Did you know, that if you hate someone, that person controls you!
Ok, if that new knowledge alone does not get you changing your thoughts of a situation to like, tolerance or even love, then read on.
I can look all around me and find things that make me have emotions of anger, resentment, judgement, hatred, or any other less flattering emotion that keeps me feeling stuck as an individual.
Those damn kids who walk slow across the crosswalk!
That one person, when they eat, they have their mouth wide open and shoveling more food in when they are not even finished what they started.
That one person, who gossips about you, about the crap things she does herself.
That one co-worker who complains about everything, yet does nothing himself.
That boss who does everything and anything to find you doing something wrong.
That nosy neighbor who peers through the blinds to at every move you make.
The over bearing mother-in-law?
(I don't have one just in case Mam is reading, I might just love her more than her son.)
The Ex Wife / Husband.
If any one of these examples ring true, you are not alone.
I am definitely not going to sit at my desk this morning, as I write this, to pretend that these feelings do not flood my thinking from time to time.
Let's face it, I just created the thoughts above with no hesitation.
I could have gone on and on and on because I allowed myself to answer the question of what drives me crazy!
It was easy.
When actions of others do not match our values, our morals, or our beliefs of what person should do, or how things should be, we react with thoughts and feelings which do not serve us.
It is easier to throw stones when the rock wall falls than repair the wall that broke.
Let's face it, sometimes the rocks are too brittle, too far gone to be saved, but a good clean up to be done is what is needed.
Let me get a bit sciencey, (if that is not a word, it is to me) stay with me here...
If we think a thought of hatred, our bodies release chemicals into our brain which is creating an addiction to the feeling of hatred.
(Remember this is proven by science.)
Let's use the kids on the crosswalk as an example.
When you see kids approaching the sidewalk and because you have already had the feeling of hatred to other kids who have crossed slow, your thoughts of kids at the crosswalk releases the chemical that triggers your emotion of discomfort.
In your mind, you are already saying to yourself, "Look at those fricken kids, no respect for others, where the hell are their parents, they are going to walk slow just to spite me!"
Then when they do cross fast, you don't care, you say to yourself, "That's right, I will run you over, you little ungrateful brats!"
Those were not the same kids, yet they get your same emotion.
I know you have done this before. RIGHT?
It is because you have programmed your brain to react negatively toward any teenage who are at a crosswalk.
You are addicted to your own negative thinking.
Good news, its changeable. (Science says so!)
Ok, it's work, not going to lie, but it is worth your release of having control over yourself.
One of my favorite quotes on this, from an unknown author...
"Do not let people rent your head space for free!"
5 Steps to Changing Your Thinking
1. Recognize your Emotion.
It's one thing to have an negative emotion pop up, but the lingering of it, is the issue.
If a unwanted emotion comes up, this is where you have to begin to understand your own self.
Recognize the emotion, feel it, name it, and write it down.
2. Recognize your body.
Your body will react a certain way for each emotion you feel.
Think about the difference between happy and sad.
Our bodies are completely opposite in shape.
Sad - slouch, face sag, head down
Happy - shoulders back, face bright, head back
In step 1 you were asked to recognize the emotion and feel it.
In step 2, recognize what your body is doing, feel it, name it, and write it down.
3. Recognize the Trigger
Triggers are what started you on this journey of emotions and thoughts.
This section can be the tricky part.
This is the section, people tend to push blame on others.
This is where I am going to tell you, it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you.
Keep on open mind and read on.
This emotion has everything to do with you, I want you to understand, YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOU.
No one else! Nothing else!
You might say, "Well those kids were not raised right to have such disrespect. They held ME up, and I was late for work and that is what triggered me."
We all have different ideas on how things "should be" in this world.
And the truth is, things are different in this world and they "should be".
It is so important to understand...
Your thought of how others should be, what others should say or what others should do is only for you to demonstrate.
Here's an example.
If you and I went grocery shopping together, and I was walking fast because I knew what I needed, and you were walking slow because you were looking for a specific item. I then turn to you and tell you to keep up. You would explain to me how you are looking for a specific item. Or you could get pissy and say shut up and relax.
Do you see, I am being impatient, I am looking at you as if you need to move fast because that is my belief. Not yours.
You could then look at me as if I need to slow down because that is your belief, to enjoy every moment.
But if we choose to understand the triggers which cause the discomfort of our thinking and emotions, we can then choose a different pattern to support.
Our perceptions are always tricking us.
So step 3 is to recognize the trigger (fact or circumstance) and write it down.
4. Recognize the Flip
The flip is tricky but when you learn it, is your freedom.
In step 3 I gave you the kids on the crosswalk for an example.
I am sure you could pick out the thinking on which was causing the negative emotion.
It is always easier to see others lessons when looking from outside.
This is what you have to do, and the exact reason you need to write it down.
Read over your step 3.
Find the thinking which does not serve you. If you can not see it, pretend someone else is telling you this problem.
Find the thinking that you are allowing outside facts to control you.
Really focus on how you would feel without this thought. Write that feeling down.
Find a thought that you can match to the feeling you just wrote down.
This is called the flip.
The cool thing is, our brains do not know the difference between the emotion of physically doing and mentally doing.
Remember in the beginning I stated, the brain releases chemicals which keep us addicted to our past behaviors.
This means... we can flip our thinking and create new chemicals, good chemicals to become addicted to.
Then when we see the kids on the crosswalk and our brains trigger our new thinking.
5. Recognize and Repeat
It is one thing to do the above work to create your own inner smile, it is another thing to continue your work.
It is important to continue to improve your thinking daily.
Most people stay stuck because as soon as you start to gain momentum on inner strength, your old thought patterns tell you different.
"It's too hard to feel good all the time"
"I can't always be the happy one at work"
"Why am I the only one who has to change"
All of these thoughts are just outside sources controlling your thinking.
You need to WANT to control your thinking.
It is not easy, life is not easy.
But suck it up buttercup, and make yourself matter.
Because, YOU are worth it!
Head on over to my Home Page to get extra tips on how to find your Inner Smile.