Change can be difficult. We’re constantly sabotaged by powerful feelings that send us running back to our habits. Habits feel safe and comforting, completely the opposite of the feelings that we’re running from.
In the backdrop of daily activities, emotions move us every moment. However, we often fail to identify why we do what we do. This is particularly true of unwanted habits.
Identify Your Feelings
To gain more control and live intentionally, you need to identify your feelings. What is motivating you right now? You can have a mix of emotions all at the same time. Learning to sort them out and give names to them helps reduce their power.
“Robert was feeling angry about getting a low grade on a test he had studied hard for. He became upset with his teacher for her grading system, and disgusted with himself for being so stupid. But there was nothing he could do about it. He had studied as hard as he could. He felt like a failure, like maybe he should just drop out. These unresolved, uncomfortable feelings triggered his need for porn.
On the way back to his dorm, Robert ran into a buddy who noticed his foul mood. Robert’s friend wisely said, “It’s normal to feel angry about a bad grade, but instead of using your anger to beat yourself up, focus the energy on something productive like joining a study group. You’re not stupid, you may just need different study skills.”
When you label your feelings, you can hold them more at arm’s length. This helps you recognize that you don’t have to act on them, especially if they’re based on beliefs that are untrue and unreasonable.
Embrace Your Emotions
Emotions are a natural reaction to life events and circumstances, but we often fear the ones that make us feel out of control. So we react to our difficult emotions by seeking comfort or consolation. When we overcome the fear of these powerful emotions, we can use the energy they create as empowerment for positive change.
The following video explains emotions in a way that can help you start identifying your own, so you can regain control over your life.