Or, was it what I thought, that led to what I was feeling?
Thoughts and Feelings
Often, what we think, whether at a conscious or subconscious level, will leave us ‘feeling’ something – an emotion.
Anger, joy and sadness are emotions. We can ‘feel‘ emotions.
A confusion in terms can often be heard when someone says, typically in business, “I feel we can go down that route”, when what they might say is, “I think we can go down this route”
So, where do emotions come from?
If I hear shouting, angry shouting, and I am aware of my thoughts and feelings, I may recognise a feeling that represents ‘threat’, (fight or flight). So, the emotion is ‘fear’, and the body responds by dumping chemicals (neurotransmitters) into the blood stream to prepare you for action.
But this change in our physiology came about as a result of our senses being heightened from a deep belief, and a subsequent thought, usually at an unrecognisable, subconscious level. In my example, that would be because as a baby my place in this world, my belief system, was threatened and as a result a blueprint for the future was learned and embedded into my psyche.
The good news is that while there are a number of instances where we cannot alter that learned reaction, we can adapt to understand it, be with it, and before long, accept it for what it is, so letting go, in that moment.
It works both ways!
Interestingly, we can also influence our thoughts, and so our emotions, via a physical stimulus.
Many of you will have heard or read how if we smile, we ‘feel’ better. And so it is when we sit – or stand with a decent upright posture. We ‘feel’more alert and attentive. Slouch, and we quickly feel – and begin to think in a less motivated way.
When we become overwhelmed, we layer experiences and beliefs over one-another leaving confusion for the senses. As we think ‘threatened’, we feel threatened. The more we feel threatened, the more powerful the threat becomes.
Anxiety and Panic
This can ultimately be one of the ‘birthplaces’ of ‘panic attacks’ and other high anxiety states. When I see clients with these symptoms, after a period of exploration, we can usually unearth the triggers and causes, and begin to unravel, before re-learning the place and position of calm previously held or available.