What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do thoughts affect feelings, resulting in certain types of behavior? Or is the opposite true? Do the feelings trigger the thoughts, that in turn affect our behavior? Sometimes it is difficult to discern which it is because both can be so closely intertwined at the same time. Regardless, we may be putting too much stock into our thoughts and feelings if they result in our viewing ourselves and the world around us in a less than favorable light.
If we wake up in the morning with a negative thought related to our near or distant memories, that can set into motion such feelings as anger, anxiety or depression. If we wake up feeing out of sorts, we can easily begin to attribute those feelings to thoughts we have about ourselves or the world around us.
Thoughts and feelings come and go but the value we attribute to them can have lasting affect. This can have negative consequences when those non-affirming statements or uncomfortable feelings are repeated from our past. During these times, we make those past memories roadblocks to possible change rather than merely bumps in the road that can lead us to a better present. Past regrets don’t define who we are. However, present attitudes toward them can reshape how we view our thoughts and feelings and consequently, our behavior.
As you are well aware by now in your life, change does not come easily. However, life is a process and the longer you live, the opportunities for positive change grow exponentially. True, years of reinforcement of certain thoughts. feelings and accompanying behavior appear entrenched and seemingly irreversible.
However, small persistent goals pay off. Setting high goals can set us up for failure. Slowly chipping away at old outmoded thoughts and feelings can help redefine ourselves. Remember, there will always be that push back into those old habits derived from people and events from our past. Don’t fall for that illusion.
Also, don’t be sidetracked by illness or simply aging. They can certainly result in not being able to do what was done before. However, focusing on what is lacking takes away from recognizing and embracing other gifts that we may be taking for granted. It is crucial to be alert to modifying our thoughts and feelings in order to be the person we never dreamed we could be.
As always, any thoughts, suggestions, comments can e-mailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.