By Alison Capra
These days most adults walk around with a poopy diaper. Hypersensitive, overly emotional, letting the slightest feeling of discomfort become a foghorn start for the bitching and complaining to come. Emotions are a very important part of being human. Without them, we are basically robots. Feelings of pleasure move us closer to one another in relationships, while feelings of displeasure can keep us from reliving painful experiences. Without our body's physical response (rapid heartbeat, adrenaline rush) to an emotion of fear, we might not be capable of getting ourselves or loved ones out of harm's way in a life-changing situation.
Peggy Throits described emotions as Physiological components, cultural labels, expressive body actions, an appraisal of situations and contexts. Webster's definition is a natural instictive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with other. State of mind, means subject to change. We have all seen the feelings chart. We typically use them as a tool to help children identify their feelings. However, I truly believe we have placed all too much significance feelings.
We've all heard stories of individuals being overcome in a state of irrational fear because of past traumas or circumstances that trigger a physical response in their bodies. They could be comfortable and completely safe, but they are physically experiencing panic, stress and anxiety. Panic attacks, phobias, self-mutilation or suicide may seem extreme. For people who experience these thoughts they are EXTREMELY real. Almost everyone I've known with severe depression, struggle with it regardless of current circumstances.
How about all of the siblings raised in the same household who wake up every morning under the same roof, with the same priveledge, raised by the same parents but; Billy wakes up every morning with a chip on his shoulder in a miserable existence and Dillon wakes up reeling at the thought of all of the opportunities for adventure? How do these two seemingly mirror images of each other have such a different outlook. Well, it's because emotions are a choice. The physical responses we endure are a direct response to our emotions. Our emotions are designed by our thoughts. There-go, if you can choose what you think about, you can choose how you feel.
Ever wondered why all the women in the "good ole days" appeared so hard? Pioneering women with busseled floor length skirts, leather boots and a neck that never saw the light of day, dirty hands from hours of factory work, and hips for child bearing. She had a stone cold face standing next to 6 scowling toddlers all in knee length pea coats. These women bore and raised 8-15 children with no doctor. Probably lost many pregnacies. She had no heated showers or baths. If she was lucky enough to own a tub, the whole family took their bath in the same water, father first. Beds were piles of grass or straw with a canopy to catch stray critters. She had dirt floors, no gas, no electricity or running water. Just imagine freezing your ass off in the dead of winter, walking to the out-house in the middle of the night, bare-assing that COLD seat! So how were some of the most hard working, malnourished, cold, dead-tried, uncomfortable women so content?
There was nothing like the true grit of American women the the early days of our country. Hunters, homemakers, factory workers and military nurses. Her primitive lifestyle brought her solstice that the work of her hands and sacrifices of her heart would mean something in the new world. A hard life with a worthy cause, family, freedom, ownership and a legacy.
It is time we all hit our spoiled, entitled, fat-asses with some perspective. When is the last time you were cold? Can you even remember the last time you had a cold shower? What about the last time you were hungry? Like physically, painfully hungry? Probably never.
Instead of walking up and taking your emotional temperature every morning, deciding how you feel after your long hot bubble bath and warm coffee. Decide what you are thankful for. Decide what thoughts you'll dwell on. Just as misery loves company, every miserable thought will be accompanied by yet another. Could it be that we are are filtering thoughts through a distorted view?
If you want to live life to the fullest, demolishing your goals, surpassing your greatest expectations, you'll have to change the way you think. Re-wire your brain. Establish new thought patterns. Change your perception to a thankful one.
Practice this declaration:
Today, I am grateful. I am healthy, content and hopeful.
I am hardworking, strong and full of purpose and intent.
My hard work speaks for itself.
My future is bright and I am constantly filled with new creative ideas.
Every day is an opportunity for new adventures.
"Without the renewal of the mind, there is no transformation." - Lailah Gifty Akita