Who knows what their thoughts actually are during a day? I thought mine were relatively empty, making one decision after the next, but otherwise nothing of any consequence. Not true. I spent a day with a notepad and recorded every thought that I had. It’s surprisingly busy up there. Actually, I kind of knew that from my experience in meditation, but what I didn’t realize what was happening.
Two themes were replaying constantly. Two very emotionally charged themes. So, now I have it. Two things that are the clearest influences on my mental state. How does that help? With knowledge comes power. With great power comes great responsibility. Now I have the ability to adapt my thought patterns and change my behaviour.
When a strong emotion crops up, stop. Don’t react to it. Don’t act on it. I try to realize it’s happening and just stop. If necessary, I take a few seconds to breathe deeply and calm down. This first part is hard, but it helps to prevent regrets when I do something stupid while in the grip of things like passion, hate, anger or fear.
Name the emotion. Names have power. Take control of the emotion rather than let it control me. Describe it as a physical feeling. Emotions often cause a physical reaction. Knowing it will help identify the feeling again later.
Use your higher brain functions to respond appropriately to the feeling. It’s real. Don’t ignore it, but using the conscious rather than unconscious brain helps to deal with it much more positively and constructively.
Add in to this, some somatopsychic effects like power posing and I feel much more confident and able to direct my life.