Tag Archives: emotions

Thoughts / Emotions–Chicken Or Egg?

From the book I referred to a few weeks ago, Younger Next Year For Women, by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., recently I read a most fascinating section on how important our thoughts and emotions are to creating the life we have.

All of this ties into what I’ve believed for a long time.  Our thoughts are really important to the quality of our life.  However, these guys mention the importance of our emotions in all of this as well.  In fact, they believe that our emotions take the lead and the thoughts follow.  As they say, ‘Maybe it should be the other way around, but it isn’t’.  Actually, this information is in the chapter written by Harry, the doctor (author), so this is scientific fact stuff.

He indicates that:

Emotion precedes thoughts at the neural level.  So a positive emotion will tend to generate a positive thought in response.  And because it’s an ongoing dance, having a positive thought will loop back through the limbic (part of the brain) system to generate a positive feeling.

The same loop works for negative thoughts and feelings, and research has shown that we have a remarkable ability to think and feel our way into happier or more depressed states, regardless of external reality, and you can train yourself to live in either an optimistic or a pessimistic frame of mind regardless of your external circumstances.

How you view your life has a surprisingly large role in determining how your life goes, so there is a real premium on having positive emotions.  The good news is that you can create positive emotions by consciously creating positive environments.

By the way, not sure if you remember that these authors also wrote the book, Younger Next Year, which came out first and is mostly geared to men.  I’ll check with my husband to see if this information is in that book too, but I’m sure it is, since this is information is gender-neutral.  Wouldn’t you agree?

So how about you?  How are your thoughts and emotions?  After all, thoughts are things… choose the good ones.

What Concerns You?

What concerns you right now?  About anything… Personal, business, health-related, financial?  Whatever it is, are you thinking about it constantly in the back of your mind?  You know that little thought that is always popping up when your mind is on the move?

Maybe it’s something really pressing on you that you need to deal with right now.  Maybe it’s causing you a lot of pain, either physical or emotional.

Well, here’s something to think about when we are concentrating on some challenge or concern in our life…  What if a more painful or pressing situation came into your life or your consciousness?  How would you feel about the first issue?  Is the first issue seeming less painful now? Less pressing now?  Less severe now?

Recently I encountered a situation which made this concept vivid to me.  I had mixed up my morning shake drink and was reaching for my supplements.  One of them seemed to have the gel caps all stuck together in the bottom.  So, of course I took hold of it and proceeded to tap it–actually whack it on the fleshy part of the inside of my hand just below the thumb… the part that has the arthritis in it… Well, did I see stars!  Wow, it was excruciating!

As I was dealing with the feeling, which was probably within the first minute or so, suddenly the glass with about 6-7 ounces of my shake slipped from my hand and spilled onto the counter.  Guess what I stopped feeling and thinking about?  I was too busy doing damage control of the thick liquid spreading around the counter to even think about the pain in my hand.  As soon as I noticed this reaction, I laughed and realized that our pain or concern is really a relative thing.

So what are you concerned about now?  If you replaced your thoughts about it with something else, would you still be as concerned?  And by the way, let’s think of replacing our concerns with something better to think about.