3 Steps to Change How You Feel

    Do moods seem to come over you in a random way? Are your feelings like a rollercoaster that take you up and down? Does it ever happen that one minute you feel one way, then the next minute something happens that makes you feel completely different? Do your moods seem to happen to you or do you have a say in the process? In this week’s post, we’ll explore 3 steps you can take to positively influence how you feel.

    No matter what you’re feeling, there’s one step that will add a positive dimension to your experience—being mindful or conscious of it. If what you’re feeling “feels bad” then becoming aware of it is the first step to understanding and shifting the direction of your feeling. If what you are feeling “feels good,” becoming aware of it can accentuate and grow that positive experience.

    By mindfulness I mean recognizing and accepting whatever you are experiencing at the moment. Rather than judging your experience as “good” or “bad,” you simply bring it into your awareness, acknowledge it, and seek to understand it. You bring your present experience into your conscious awareness by paying attention to what you are thinking, feeling, and doing right now. This is in contrast to being “lost” in what you are doing.

    Mindfulness adds the frontal lobe activity of your higher brain centers to any experience you are having. Your frontal lobes are your “Command and Control Center”—they coordinate and integrate the functioning of the different parts of your body and brain. When you consciously pay attention to something, it activates your frontal lobes.

    Applying conscious attention to any experience, instead of simply being swept along by it, adds a layer of awareness, meaning, and control onto whatever you are going through. You gain the ability to understand what you are doing that is making you feel the way that you do. You realize that what you are experiencing is a direct result of what you are doing internally, what you are thinking and feeling. In other words, you see that how you interpret whatever is happening strongly flavors your experience.

    Paying attention to “where you are coming from at the moment” is step one to shifting how you feel.

    The second step is to realize that wherever you are coming from, whatever you are thinking and feeling, is just one possibility amongst many—and it doesn’t define who you are. Your present experience is just a way of looking at things. It is simply one possible point of view and there are a wide variety of valid perspectives. When you understand that your point of view is one of many alternatives, that insight can free you to look at your choices and choose what will work best for you and those around you.

    The third step, then, is to choose how you will think, feel, and act to create the experience you desire. It can be as simple as this: if you want to change how you feel, you can consciously focus on how you want to feel. A great example of this is practicing Inner Smiling. We do this as an integral part of Qigong and Core Energy Meditation practice. It’s really quite simple and amazingly effective, once you get the hang of it.

    To practice Inner Smiling, lightly close your eyes, take a couple deep breaths, and put a subtle smile on your lips. Allow the feeling of smiling to relax and soften your jaw, your face, your eyes, your eyebrows, and your forehead. Take a deep in breath and, as you exhale, imagine the feeling of smiling washing like a wave of positive energy down through your whole body. Imagine that every cell in your body is smiling. Soak in that good feeling.

    Take a few moments to try that now and notice how you can instantly shift into a positive inner state. The more you practice this, the stronger and more effective it becomes.

    I would love to hear your results with the above three steps.

    Enjoy your practice!

    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. This coming Sunday, January 29th, on Spiritual Growth Monthly, we’ll explore two more secrets to a good mood. Click here to learn more.

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