What’s the big deal with our emotions?
So many emotions rush in and out of our lives on a daily basis: anxiety, joy, sadness, boredom, surprise and despair are just a few. Yet if we trace these emotions back to their origin, they either come from love or fear. Take anxiety for example. We may feel anxious about how others view us or about the result of an action we have taken or are about to take. These negative thoughts and feelings are often irrational and not based on facts. They are manifestations of fear, and we all have them from time to time. Negative emotions make the body contract, the stomach knot and the mind worry. When we experience a positive emotion like joy, the physiological effects are quite different: we may feel a pleasant warmth in our body, as well as relaxed muscles and little awareness of time passing.
Many psychologists and self-help teachers tell us that a state of emotional equilibrium is best for our mental health. This means not allowing ourselves to be buffeted by high and low swings of emotions but rather to remain more ‘even-minded’ and therefore less affected.
Fearlessness is having faith in yourself—or a greater power—that everything will turn out for the best in the end. Nowadays when I am fearful I hand it over to God and trust in Him.
Many of us have issues with control, and I count myself among them. I can trace this need for control right back to childhood: trying to organise the games we played and manipulating others with bad moods in order to have my own way.
Now I realise that we can control very little about events occurring in our lives and in those of others around us, and that what do have influence over does not even bring lasting contentment. We can control our thoughts and emotions however, and thoughts are extremely powerful. Thoughts often become words, words often become acts, and acts repeated over and over become habits (good and bad). So it’s vital to trace and then change the thoughts and resulting emotions if we want to rid ourselves of bad habits, including living in fear.
Try these simple ideas to help cultivate fearlessness and change your life for the better:
- throw away the lists, or at least adopt more flexibility towards them, enabling you to change when you do things or if you do them at all;
- start meditating (even short periods of quiet time enable us to look within and be at peace);
- keep this question in mind when faced with challenges: “What’s the worst that can happen?”. This reminder should help you to be more courageous and determined in what you do; and
- sail your own course through life, regardless of what other people think or say. Dare to have the courage to be you!
It’s over to you
The tight grip of fear may have felt like trailing lead balloons behind you through life, dragging you down and holding you back, and yet you are the one who attached them to yourself! You can let them go now. Hand them over to a higher power, breathe a long sigh of relief and start down the path of a new, positive you, filled with fearlessness and love for yourself and others around you. !