Thoughts often precede feelings.
So, when you practice affirmations, you can say anything you want, but unless you ‘feel’ it, they’re not going to work. Your internal dialogue is like a silent prayer or affirmation, but not because of the words. Instead, your thoughts become reality because of the feelings they produce.
In other words, if you’re thinking how hard your life is, you might start to feel overwhelmed or down. In either case, the feeling you have will repeat itself.
Your world will adapt and meet you with your wishes — which you convey through feeling — and will be demonstrate its understanding of your intentions through your life experience.
At first, you might reject this because:
- A spectrum of emotions is human.
- You might find feeling great all the time to be an unrealistic goal.
- Or possibly because you see stress and negative emotion as a motivator, which it can be.
Yet, each of the reasons I listed above is a ‘belief’, or excuse. There’s another way to look at things if you decide that’s what you want to do. For example, you might consider these beliefs instead:
- Heaven is a state of mind, at least while we are alive
- Life is meant to be enjoyed
- Feeling down results in noticing more of what is wrong or incomplete, which leads to feeling down (cyclical)
- Or feeling great leads to positive action, which leads to feeling great (cyclical)
The way you feel right now — if it leaves a mark — will repeat.
Leaving a mark happens most easily with an extreme emotion; perhaps the most extreme emotions are ‘love’ and ‘hate’. If you identify you’re feeling differently than you’d like in a particular situation, think about something that produces the feeling of love for you, and then re-write your belief/feeling that led to this moment. Here’s an example:
Your boss speaks to you rudely. If you were in public, you’d probably shrug it off and keep going. But, because you’re at work and being respectful to everyone around — and this is a figure of authority for you — you feel instantly shamed and ridiculed. You attempt to let it go, but it keeps bothering you. An hour later, you notice you’re still snappy and you decide to go for a walk to get some fresh air and burn it off.
This moment left a mark. The reason you got upset is likely because of a childhood experience where you felt embarrassed or ridiculed by a figure of authority; often parents, an older sibling, or teachers.
So, you go back and revisit that memory. Before you do, you make it a point to connect with nature by being outside, and to revisit a loving memory that gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling. You decide to think about the moment you realized you were in love for the first time.
Then, you see the 6 year old version of yourself feeling embarrassed and ridiculed, and you tell him/her it really wasn’t a big deal as time went on. You let yourself know this taught you how to be respectful to others, and there’s no reason to blame yourself, as it was really just your teacher having a bad day. She could have done a better job speaking to a 6 year old in a supportive way, and next time it’s your hope she will.
Suddenly, you feel calmed, collected, and you’re no longer frustrated. You’ve re-written your belief/feeling surrounding a figure of authority talking down to you. The next time it comes up — which is far less likely to recur — you’re reminded of this moment and you shrug it off.
I’m so grateful for you,
Dr. Kareem Samhouri
Dr. Kareem Samhour is known as (perhaps) the best Doctor of Physical Therapy & Kinesiologist on the internet. People come to him for results when other methods fail, injury gets in the way, or health situation is more complicated. Dr. Kareem Samhouri exercising In fact, he and his companies reach a combined total of 1.5 MILLION people on a daily basis to help them with their health. If you ever saw Dr. Kareem on the street and mentioned something was going on with your health, however, he would volunteer and offer to help you for free... that's the Dr. Kareem way.