Act the way you want to feel
I recently finished the book, The Happiness Project and have started to re-read Spark. The former is fairly self-explanatory and the latter discusses the association between physical activity and a variety of psychological conditions.
Interestingly, both books touch on the important, and often overlooked, influence that the body has over the mind. We more often think of the influence of the mind over the body – if we’re feeling blue we tend to feel lethargic, fatigued, etc.
Quite simply, acting the way you want to feel is a fairly powerful strategy to combat a variety of emotions/feelings that you perhaps do not want to feel at certain times.
Some of you may think this an effective strategy to ignore your emotions. I disagree. On the whole, I believe that we spend too much time analyzing why we feel the way we do. This can lead to an unfortunate and never-ending cycle of questioning. This is exhausting and not always effective. Actually, this can often lead to increased feelings of apprehension, sadness, or anxiety.
In Spark, the author talks about one of his clients who was getting into a habit of drinking to combat her daily stress. She came to him concerned about this pattern of behaviour. He suggested that when she felt the urge to drink to pick up a skipping rope. At her next appointment she explained that she had skipping ropes scattered across her house. She didn’t always feel like skipping, but she did it each time the urge reared its ugly head. The result? She felt more in control, masterful, happy, and her drinking habit had gone by the wayside.
The next time you’re feeling blue, grumpy, angry try very very hard to act the way you want to feel. This takes work, so do NOT expect perfection on your first go.