How to trade your bad habits for healthy, thriving ones (Part 2 of 4)

How did saying “maybe” to the beliefs that aren’t serving you go these last couple of weeks? If you’re like most people, this strategy might have been enough to interrupt some of your bad habits but not all of them. 

That’s normal. And today, we’re adding to your toolbox for busting patterns that no longer serve you. 

What do feelings have to do with it?

How we FEEL is directly related to how we perceive the world around us. In other words, our beliefs guide our feelings. 

Let’s Bring Back Our Examples: 

In the example I shared a couple of weeks back of the “perfect” social media acquaintance, you’re measuring your whole, complex lived experience to the highlight reel of your acquaintance’s life, which can leave you feeling hopeless or worse like your life is not good enough. Your belief (that person’s life is perfect) creates your feeling (dissatisfaction with your life). 

You already know that if you’re not conscious of the belief that “only skinny bodies are healthy bodies,” for example, you wouldn’t think to educate yourself about the ways in which larger bodies can also be healthy. So when you see an old photo of yourself you might feel remorseful for not appreciating your body back then or downright shitty because your body no longer looks the way it did in that photo. Your belief (skinny bodies are best) creates your feeling (I feel remorseful/shitty). 

When we can understand that the way we see things directly impacts how we feel, it can make accepting (rather than fighting against) our emotions a little easier. 

Because let’s be real, nobody likes feeling “bad”.  Unpleasant emotions are just that unpleasant. And because we tend to push away these less desirable emotions, they come back with more frequency than if we were to allow them to be there and run their course. 

Why is this important?

Acknowledging that our feelings are temporary can help us to take action that best aligns with our goals instead of taking action from a place of a temporary feeling.  

For example, if I see an old photo of myself that makes me feel bad about my body now, I might be inclined to emotionally eat a sleeve of oreos because what’s the point? My body will never be young and thin again. 

See how feelings can cause us to act out of line with what serves us? We’ll dig a little deeper into this phenomenon next time. Until then, practice accepting those feelings without taking action. Just notice what “remorse,” “shittiness,” “dissatisfaction,” etc., feels like in your body. Observe it. And welcome it one tiny moment at a time.