When you don’t understand why you feel or behave the way you do, what do you do? Do you talk to somebody about your feelings and ask them? Do you try a little research on the web? Or read a book? Have you ever considered asking your inner self?
Asking your inner self is sometimes described as focusing. Focusing is a gentle, powerful skill that allows you to tap into the body’s own wisdom in order to make positive changes to the ways in which you think and feel. This method of self-discovery is both empowering and enlightening.
By accessing your body’s stored knowledge you can very often find the rationale behind feelings and thoughts that make no sense on a conscious level. According to Ann Weiser Cornell (May, 2005) in her book: The Radical Acceptance of Everything. Calluna Press. p. 13:
Focusing is a psychotherapeutic process developed by psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin. It can be successfully used in any kind of therapeutic situation, including peer-to-peer sessions. It involves holding a kind of open, non-judging attention to an internal knowing which is directly experienced but is not yet in words. Focusing can, among other things, be used to become clear on what one feels or wants, to obtain new insights about one’s situation, and to stimulate change or healing of the situation. Focusing is set apart from other methods of inner awareness by three qualities: something called the “felt sense”, a quality of engaged accepting attention, and a researched-based technique that facilitates change
If you would like more information about Focusing then please do not hesitate to contact me using the contact page.
Feelings are powerful. They dictate our actions, behaviours and beliefs – fact. They are so powerful that we have no control over them – not fact. When we exercise power over our feelings we are choosing, to a much greater extent, how we feel. Our feelings are largely influenced by our thoughts and our thoughts are the result of our previous experiences, influences and beliefs in any situation. Therefore if you have learned to feel guilty if somebody around you is upset, you will most likely feel guilty. If your first reaction to perceived aggression is to retaliate in anger then you will become angry.
So how can we go about reacting differently? The simplest way is to change our thoughts. And that’s where things become interesting. We have ultimate control over our thoughts. Nobody else has any power at all over them, unless we we give them that power. We can choose to perceive any situation, person or event in our own inimitable way. In order to change our thoughts we have to know that we are capable of doing so. If you believe a particular person will annoy you because he “always gets on my nerves” then chances are he is going to annoy you. If you tell yourself that he isn’t going to affect you anymore, you have a very strong chance that he won’t.
Give it a try. Next time you feel angry, sad, low, guilty, frustrated, envious, upset or offended, don’t react, pause for thought. Literally. Be aware of what is going around your head, and then consider changing those thoughts. You can control your day to great effect if you get into the habit of re-thinking before re-acting.
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