How often do you react in a certain way and then regret it?
How often do you say things in annoyance or anger and then wish you hadn’t?
Perhaps you don’t even realise it. Perhaps you think it’s perfectly fine to be often annoyed, irritated, or angry. Now think about it – is that really how you want to spend a large part of your day?
Our emotions, our actions, and our emotions tend to be cyclical. If you feel annoyed, you act annoyed. The fact that you act annoyed, actually just feeds that annoyance, making you feel even more annoyed. Instead, if you choose to smile, choose to surround yourself with positive things that make you happy, then the chances of you feeling better are much higher.
However, most people like to hold onto their annoyance. When they are feeling negative emotions, they don’t want to replace them with positive emotions.
Most people claim that it’s because they are upset and so cannot feel happy.
However, exactly the opposite is true. You cannot feel happy because you choose to hold onto your negative feelings.
I’m not saying that it’s a blanket solution, or that you can be perpetually happy. However, most of the time, at least for day to day small irritations you have a choice of whether to let them get to you or not. It’s easy to let them get to you. It takes some effort, at least in the beginning, to not let them get to you. But the effort is definitely worth it.
So if you want to start filling your days with a generally positive vibe, then this exercise will be of use.
Take your emotional inventory.
Over a week write down all emotions you feel
Make two columns: Negative emotions and Positive emotions.
Keep that with you. And throughout the day, whenever you feel one emotion or other, write it down. It doesn’t have to be a long entry, a paragraph, or even a sentence. Just jot brief notes that will remind you of your emotion.
For example, a man on the train joked = funny / a man pushed me rudely on the train = annoyed
Just keep a log for a whole week. From the time you wake up until you go to bed.
The following week, have a look at those collected notes:
What do they tell you? Do they show you a pattern? Do they tell a story of how emotions control your day? Are some days more positive than others? Why? Do you tend to be more positive or more negative? What are your thoughts on this? What can you change? What can you do differently? What can you do more of?