The Emotional Shift, “Isn’t That Interesting?”

Vital Living DiagramVital Shift–Part Two in a Series of Five 

Making the emotional shift may not be a life or death matter but the quality of your life does hinge on it. Here are some signs that your life may be calling for this shift. Do you ever:

  • Feel lonely or isolated?
  • Seek out food or alcohol to fill in the inner emptiness?
  • Feel plagued by negative thoughts or feelings?
  • Struggle to tame the inner critic of yourself or others?
  • Get tired of tensions or conflicts with your partner, children, friends or colleagues?
  • Get tired from giving too much of yourself away in trying to please others?

Who among us does not struggle with some or most of these!? The good news is that a simple step that can put you back in control of these emotional struggles rather than having them control you.

The vital awareness is knowing that your emotional well-being is controlled by you and you alone.  When you take responsibility for your emotions you take the reigns back in your hands. When other people or forces control your emotional reigns you feel needy or easily victimized. When you shift from an external to an internal source of control, you own up to the fact that no one makes you feel anything. You control your own emotions. From this awareness, you can choose to “uplift” your feelings toward acceptance and generosity toward yourself and others.

Research shows that the effect of this emotional shift powerfully impacts your body chemistry and your stress levels. As your stress and reactivity lessen your relationships get easier, you get healthier and live longer, you become more productive and creative, and you find it so much more pleasant to live in your own skin. Again, making the emotional shift may not be a life or death matter but the quality of your life does hinge on it.

What’s the key to making this shift? Inner-focused, caring curiosity. The capacity to look upon yourself with care and curiosity when you feel a difficult emotion or a powerful urge is the great evolutionary leap that separates the advanced human being from the habitual animal.

Exercise that leads to the emotion shift: For the next week (and beyond!) set an intention to say these words when you feel a strong emotion: “isn’t that interesting?” These three words are a great deflator of the judgment that fuels negative emotions. Post the words “Isn’t that interesting?” in an important place and see how your mind and emotions shift from reactivity to receptivity and learning. Practice this emotional shift regularly and you will change the quality of your life, your relationships and who you are in the world. And there is a boomerang bonus that comes with your simple act of inner-focused, care and curiosity: When you stop reacting to others they stop reacting to you, and when you are generous to others that generosity comes back to you many times over.

Categories Brain shifts, Presence, Thriving, Vitality | Tags: | Posted on July 27, 2013

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