Choose your emotion

Thursday, September 17, 2009 ·

It's easy to be in a good mood when you're in a good mood. It can be somewhat harder to shift from a bad mood into a good mood.

Sometimes I wake up enthusiastic, with 24 ideas on what I want to write about, who I want to call, what I'm going to say at lunch, the messages I'm going to email my downline, my crossline, my upline. Those mornings are fabulous.

Sometimes I wake up weary. I curl up in a ball and just want it all to go away.

But those days are becoming more and more rare. I've been learning how to choose my emotion.


Here are some clues:

1. Practice when it's easier. Have you ever gone through child birth? Have you ever watched or coached someone going through child birth? There are breathing techniques that help you separate yourself from the pain. There are body positions that you can uses at different stages. There are things that you can do during child birth that will help a lot.

But you have to practice them ahead of time. If you wait until you're in the middle of labor, and someone says, "Breathe, sweetheart, breathe", your apt to take a wild swing and punch him in the jaw. You have to practice when it's easier, so that you can draw upon your expertise when you're in the moment and really, really need it.

2. Act consciously. When you feel yourself slipping into a mood, pay attention. I tell myself, "This is not where I want to go." "This does not belong to me." "This belongs to someone else, and I'm not that person." I play great music, really loud, really quietly. I sing. I keep a collection of inspiring books, and open one up and read a few pages to get me back on track. I tell myself again and again, until it starts to take hold, "This is not mine. I'm giving it back to You."

3. Be kind to yourself. If you're too far gone to drag yourself out, let yourself wallow for a while. No berating. No self-flagellation. Turn away from those habits again and again. Realize that you're here now, but you won't be here for long. You'll come out on the other side and return to the reality that fits you better.

4. Balance your energy. I have to admit that my most powerful tool is my Ayurvedic herbal drink. It shifts overwhelm to decisiveness. It shifts foggy-headedness to clarity. It shifts procrastination to action. It balances my energy, so I can exist in my best reality.

It's all in your head, but that's a marvelous thing. That means you can take charge and change it. Choose your emotion. And make it a good one.


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