How can I distinguish between my actual feelings and external events
I have been asked this question by a fellow lady friend on Instagram. And I thought that it was such a good topic to talk about because honestly, most of our problems are exaggerated mentally and we get to see things not really as what they seem to actually be
First of all, what we need to do will take some time. There is no change that could happen over night but the willing to change could be taken in a second to act on it and the consistency will definitely lead to a change of life.
We need to acknowledge how we feel when we feel things. We cannot suppress our feelings and act as if they don’t exist then blame the outside events for how we are feeling. This means you are fully aware of every feeling that you have within you. Which also means that you are going to understand each emotion and why it is triggered and what triggers it. When you think about it, the outside situations have no power over you without your reactions.
For example, someone says mean things to pick on you; without you reacting a certain way towards them, they will not be fulfilled. Eventually they will walk away because this action wasn’t what they really wanted to get from you. This is not saying that you shouldn’t fight back or argue your way out of a discussion to make a point. This is simply saying that you don’t have to get into every fight or argument that comes your way. Some battles aren’t yours to go through.
With that being said, we need to have clarity. To be clear and aware of our thoughts. I believe that our thoughts trigger our emotions and what we think of, we feel. The more you are aware of your way of thinking, the better control you get on your feelings. You cannot walk around thinking about everything and anything… Same goes to feelings. The moment you take control of how you feel which means you are 100% responsible for your thoughts and feelings. You will eventually get to decide what’s worth getting angry at, being sad about or just being simply ok and happy.
We are biased to sadness and negative situations. You probably remember and reminisce about the saddest parts in your life than just smiling over the good moments you had. We are taught somehow to cling to the bad events that happens to our lives as “reminders” Which is completely wrong. Instead of holding on into those negative situations, we should use them as lessons. Whatever you went through and how ever the situation went down, you should always take those moments as learning steps for growth.
Take small steps into learning to let go. We aren’t meant to hold on to the external events that happen to us. One of the books that I really love and will definitely have such good influence and impact on your way of thinking is Hardwiring Happiness. Rick Hanson says that we should always be in a responsive mode not a reactive one.
The difference between those two is that when you are operated from a responsive mode means to train your brain to react on situations through whatever emotion it needs and then going back to our base line which contains our good emotions (happiness, contentment, joyful, secure…)
But as human beings we are used to being sad most of the times so we get angry and then go back to being sad… We are mostly operated by a reactive mode.. Which is always ‘reactive’ to everything and anything. We can’t wait to share our thoughts and opinions about what we don’t like and what we don’t agree with.
The moment you feel that you are reacting emotionally towards anything ask yourself the question why? “when you know your why you can endure any how”.
Happiness and peace of mind are completely free; and they are within us. But we usually choose not to feel them or be them because somehow it is easier to walk around complaining and thinking that everyone is against us by reacting to everything instead of just living peacefully drama free life.
We think that we can control our lives. The truth is we can only control ourselves and nothing outside of us can be controlled by us. We can plan our lives ahead but there is no guarantee that things will go exactly as planned. The more you are aware of those facts, the better you became in distinguishing between your actual feelings and outside events.