You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think that someone is disrespecting you? It hurts, we get sad, angry or resentful and it usually leaves you in a bad mood. But, what if your interpretation of the situation was causing you to overreact and to needlessly feel offended or hurt?
Take for instance the occurrence that you spot someone you know across the street. You wave, they see you but continue to rapidly walk the other way without acknowledging you. Your immediate reaction will develop in response to the meaning that you’ve given to the situation. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. The incident has a sequence of concrete facts – we saw someone we knew, we waved, they did not wave back. The question is, how did it make you feel?
If we choose to, or automatically make a presumption, we can take it personally and make it mean something about our value or worth. But would your demeanor change if you received a phone call later that day from the person explaining that they didn’t wave back because they were urgently rushing to use the bathroom? This is a silly story but it makes a simple point. The events that took place were identical but one version left you feeling better than the other. It is our perception or interpretations that shape our version of reality and our experience of life.
The way that we feel about our life has everything to do with the meaning we give to everything that happens in our lives. If you want to feel better about your life, you need to encourage yourself to have better thoughts. Often our immediate thoughts are based on beliefs and experiences that have long been engrained into us. However, there are things that we can do to help promote self-awareness if we would like to make a change.
Next time you find yourself upset about something notice what is happening to you emotionally. The dominant feelings that you are experiencing are created by the thoughts and meaning that you are giving to a situation. Now notice what is happening physically to the ease of your breath and the flexibility of your posture. Most likely your body is reflecting the emotions that you are feeling.
The relationship between our body and mind (emotions) runs both ways. Our emotions directly influence the way our body reacts, but the form (posture) of our body can also trigger and support our thoughts and our feelings.
When you become aware of what is happening (internally and externally) you are in a better place to see how the meaning that you are giving a situation is impacting your thoughts, behaviours and feelings. Every minute, you have the power to decide the meaning that you give to each moment of your life.
At BodyMind Wellness Studio, I help practice members to discover where they lock tension in their body and bring awareness of what it feels like to bring movement and ease into these areas. As the tension in the body drops, it becomes possible to increase physical range of motion. When people start moving in ways that they haven’t allowed themselves to move, they also begin to feel things that they haven’t been open to feel.
“The meaning that we give to ANYTHING has the ability to create or destroy how we feel about EVERYTHING.” Dr. Julie Doobay
Copyright Dr. Julie Doobay 2022