The Gym for Your Mind Series from Melanie Shmois
We’re back with Mental Exercise #2 from our Gym for the Mind Series. In this edition, we’re talking about The Power of Emotion, and how you can make powerful changes by learning how to create and allow emotions. If you’re new to this series, start with my post about the Gym for your Mind, and then check out Mental Exercise #1: Coaching Yourself first.
I am often astounded by how little education we get when it comes to our emotions and how to manage them effectively. Emotions are a critical piece of our human existence, yet many of us have very little understanding of their role and how to deliberately create them.
Emotions drive all of our actions. They are the reason we do anything in our life; they create our focus, our success, our productivity, etc., yet we spend little to no time teaching our children, adolescents, or adults how to manage them.
I would like to bridge this gap for you by teaching you the two most important aspects of emotions:
1. How to create them and
2. How to Allow them
One of the most amazing skills that humans possess is our ability to create emotions on purpose. Just like a car that needs fuel to drive, we need emotions to help spur us into action. Imagine pulling up to the emotional gas station and fueling up with discipline, commitment, motivation, and excitement – all which help you achieve your results!
I recommend practicing by picking one emotion at a time. For example, let’s take a look at how you can create an emotion for commitment:
- Feel committed! Adopting an immediate shift in your attitude will motivate you, making it easier to follow through.
- Pick one thing to be committed to! If this is a new habit for you, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start with 1 thing, master your commitment in that area, and then add to it gradually.
- Think thoughts that create commitment! Thinking the thoughts will help you talk the talk and walk the walk. Remind yourself “I am doing this no matter what”
- Act as if you are fully committed! Imagine you’re telling a friend about a new business venture you’ve recently started, or are considering starting. You can reaffirm your commitments to yourself by letting your friend know what you are going to do and avoiding the use of verbiage that will allow you to back out later.
- Don’t waver! It is not easy to adopt new habits overnight, especially if you’re new to learning how to create or manage emotions. Think of ways you can reign in your motivation or remind yourself to keep going when it gets hard – because it will!
When doubt or fear creeps in, immediately shift to your practiced thought for commitment. In this case “I am doing this no matter what”.
Practice living in this emotion until you get the result that you crave. Just like an actor in a play, rehearse your lines and act in character until you truly feel the part.
One of the most life-changing tools I have helped clients learn, and also use on myself, is how to allow an emotion. Allowing an emotion does not mean resisting it, reacting to it, or avoiding it. Allowing an emotion is opening up to it, breathing it in, and moving towards it.
An emotion is simply a vibration in the body caused by our own thinking. I use this definition to remind myself and my clients that I can handle any emotion – I can handle that vibration. I don’t need to run away from it. I don’t need to act it out or resist it. I can allow it to be there and pass through me.
I’m going to share with you a self-coaching technique I personally use when dealing with unpleasant emotions. Master this, and you will become much more comfortable with creating and allowing emotions.
First, I break down the emotion by asking myself the following questions:
- What am I feeling?
- Where is it in my body?
- How does this feeling make me want to react?
- Why am I feeling this?
Next, I let the emotion do what it needs to do, and because I understand it, I can do this without any suffering. When you are able to observe and describe the emotion you are less likely to react to it. Instead, you’re a compassionate observer. Try to not judge the emotion or yourself for having it.
Not only does the ability to allow your emotions decrease your likelihood to turn to things to numb or avoid it (alcohol, drugs, overspending, etc.), but you deepen your relationship with yourself because you have the confidence that you can handle anything that comes your way.
The majority of my clients have found that when they use the self-coaching technique above, they are less reactive and many have reported improvement within their relationships as well, so this is a very important skill to master!
In summary, your emotions are the fuel for the actions you take or don’t take in your life, so choose wisely. Practice daily and watch your life explode in only the best ways.
If you would like to increase your ability to create and allow emotions, I can help. Schedule a consultation call with me below!
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.