I Discovered I Can Choose My Emotions

I had a remarkable experience a few days ago. It started as an ordinary moment when I began noticing a familiar feeling. It was a mixture of anxiety and dread. I’ve felt this before – many, many times. But it still caught me my surprise because I thought I’d moved on from my anxiety. And, yet, there it was churning around in my stomach. My mind started racing, “Again? I thought I was done feeling this way! Where is this feeling coming from?” It was in asking that last question that I suddenly experienced a clarity.

When I asked myself, “Where is this feeling coming from?” I instantly thought of the way manufacturers churn out the same products over and over. It felt like I was creating the same emotions over and over, not out of necessity but out of habit. Then, I asked: “Do I want to continue feeling this way?” Absolutely not!  And with that, I suddenly had a choice over how I wanted to feel. I discovered that I didn’t have to passively follow my emotions wherever they wanted to go. There was a moment when I simply held the old, familiar feeling as if it were a strange artifact. I examined it, felt the strangeness of it, and then, deciding I didn’t want to keep it, let it go.

My emotions always showed up however they wanted. Most of the time, I wasn’t even aware of how I was feeling. They simply took over and I rode along without a word. With this new discovery, I became the driver.

Next, came the fun part. With this new clarity, I realized that I could feel whatever I wanted. Happiness, joy, success, self-assurance, confidence, love – I could call each of them up at will. When I asked myself to create a feeling of happiness, I was suddenly filled with wave of good feelings. It still amazes me how easily this is. Were they always available to me, waiting to be called on?

Since this experience, I’ve been much more present in each moment. Seeing my anxiety with detachment took away its power over me, and it no longer steers my mind into dark places. Whenever it does come up, I simply ask myself if I want to continue feeling this way. Then, I consciously choose how I want to feel. How we feel and think determines the quality of our lives. By focusing on happiness and success, we change how we interact with the world, and in turn how the world reacts to us.

It’s amazing how one moment turned my inner world into a playground with endless possibilities.

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9 thoughts on “I Discovered I Can Choose My Emotions

  1. Great article and well done for taking responibility for your life, Life is such a sweet journey when lived consciously. Enjoy every moment.

  2. I was just re-reading about this idea, a few minutes ago, in the book “My Stroke of Insight”…the author goes into detail about this idea and backs it up with brain science and strategies to support the positive choices. She also mentioned something that’s really helping me…that when one notices that unpleasant emotional reactions/feeling, especially when it’s a strong one, that it takes about 90 seconds for the physiological chemicals/reaction to disperse….so to be patient during that 90 seconds and to stay away from the critical or negative thoughts that lead to the feeling and it will just go away, on it’s own. But, if one goes back to that original thought loop, the reaction will continue. So, I think that’s similar to what you’re writing about.
    How really amazing and wonderful that you had such a powerful insight….what a positive insight! : )

      1. I 100% agree with your article. Thoughts lead to feelings. And vice versa, feelings lead to thoughts. Feeling good and thinking positive thoughts is the way to go.

    1. Thanks! It wasn’t until this experience that I realized that I have control over my feelings. Now, it seems so easy and obvious.

      Thanks for mentioning this book. Is it by Jill Bolte Taylor? I heard about it some time ago and been meaning to read it. It’s now on my to-read list. Are you having similar experiences?

      1. Yes, that’s the book…it may be one of the more interesting and helpful books I’ve ever read. It’s now underlined and highlighted…she has so much to teach others! I’ve read ideas like that before, many times, but her perspective and presentation is really really resonating with me…for me, I think it’s close to life changing….well, I sure hope it’s life changing. If I can integrate the ideas into my everyday life, it will be.
        btw another amazing book is “The Untethered Soul”, by Michael Singer. (he has 4 amazing CD’s too…especially numbers 2, 3 and 4…life changing, I thought) What he writes about blends nicely with the Jill Bolte Taylor book…great combo!

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