If you want to master life then...



If you want to master life then master your emotions.

Are you tired of feeling powerless or out of control?  Do you want to call the shots in your life?  If so, then read on.

Emotions are a result of our total mental state including our conscious and subconscious thoughts.  Without deep attention we become slaves to our emotions.  Using mindful methods and awareness we can identify and label our thoughts, understand them, and finally manipulate or control our emotions.

Why is this important?  You will either master your emotional state or it will master you.  Do you really want to be a slave to the moods and fears of your unconscious mind?

When fear and uncertainty dominate our mental landscape we retreat. For most of us, our fear of pain or failure is stronger than our desire for success so we limit our  risks and adventures to feel safe and in control. When we limit ourselves we often become listless and passive. Your life becomes mechanical.  After a while you may experience frustration and quite possibly depression. This is a downward spiral that can result in an ugly ending.

Step one in pulling out of this deadly tailspin is to observe.  Look at your moods.  Dig deep to understand the source of any fears or doubts.  Identify your thoughts as useful or not useful.  Take responsibility for your emotions.  It may seem overwhelming at first, but it gets easier and you will gain power.

Step two is to change your emotional state.  Force of will doesn't always work.  Take a walk in the sunshine, go somewhere where there are children playing, or listen to music.  Positive mantras or videos can be a great aid for changing your mental landscape.

With a positive mental state you can begin to take charge of your emotions.  Learn to be grateful for what you have.  Identify the source of any negative emotions that remain.  A bitterness or cynical attitude often points to a hidden belief that needs to be brought to the surface and analyzed.

Finally, use positive emotions and associations for self motivation, and to develop courage. If you must, use negative associations to push you out of stagnant situations. Tell yourself that you will rot if you keep doing the same old thing. The key here is for you to be in charge. Sometimes it is appropriate to feel regret or fear.  Feel it, face it, understand it, and move on.  Don't let the myriad fears of your reptilian brain dictate your life.




What is Zen Buddhism?

4 comments:

  1. I am always so surprised at how what I think of is so horrible in the middle of the night isn't that frightening at all in the morning. I now tell myself when I night wake that my fears and anxieties are from my subconscious because I was asleep. I think it is really important to have your rational mind talk to your emotions and set things straight once in a while.

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  2. Yeh, why is it night is always worst? Conscious mind is probably weakest then. It is important to try and know where your emotions are coming from. Just burying them doesn't work forever. See them for what they are and as you say "set things straight".

    Dan

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  3. Beautiful post. You broke right through to the essentials. Awareness and change. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. I had two thoughts when I read your post. One was a zen story about the warrior who learned how to defeat fear by not doing what fear told her to do. The second thought was about using a technique called cognitive behavior therapy to transform difficult emotions, which sounds really fancy for just looking underneath your feelings for the underlying thoughts and beliefs. By changing these thoughts, different emotions will be triggered. For me, the first step was exactly what you described--learning not to be so afraid of my emotions and being willing to take an honest look. Great post.

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