Postdate: 04 April 2018
Self-knowledge is indispensable for more happiness and a meaningful existence. It determines how you deal with emotions, positive and negative. Most thoughts are unconscious, which makes them appear before you know it. This also influences your behaviour.
Emotions as reaction
Thoughts arise from your subconscious and your consciousness mind, but the majority arise unconsciously. Before you can recognise negative emotions, you first need to know that you have them and on which moments they appear. In the book 'Emotional Mastership of Life' Coach Jan-Luc Spaninks, e-motion (e= energy and motion= movement) emerges when you turn energy into action and thus into certain behaviour. A negative emotion is a reaction to negative thoughts, which are often learned. The situation is part of the process that leads to emotion, but is not the core.
Reaction to situations
because of daily stimuli it may take a lot of effort to become aware of your own emotions, while rest is a good indicator to know what's on your mind. Action leads in most cases to reaction, especially when problems arise. When the driver behind you is tailgating, you will think “what an pain in the neck!” and you immediately feel angry or irritated. This can be expressed in negative behaviour. Feeling angry is the negative emotion as a reaction to the situation, and hooting or driving slower the possible behaviour.
‘The heart of change is in the emotions’
Learn to change thoughts
In both cases these situations are difficult to influence. In addition, your thoughts play the most influencing role: your colleague criticizes you, you think he or she doesn't like you, and you feel hurt. It is about training yourself to turn your thoughts around. You can also think that your colleague wants to be involved and analyse how you can use the critique in your advantage, or that the driver was unconscious of his hasting behaviour. This will cause more inner peace and optimism, because it does not draw any negative emotions.
So, with thoughts you can regulate your emotional state. This process requires practice and patience. The message is: Do not wait for the circumstances to change, but change your thoughts with regard to the circumstances. You turn negative emotions into more positive emotions, and with this get the results you wish for.