Think Differently, Feel Differently

Why is it that so many people don’t know what to do with negative feelings? Today, let’s look at some research, collected at Rutgers University some time ago and is still relevant today, that may help explain the challenge.

In a study done with 10-week-old infants and their mothers, results indicated several things. First, our emotions are among the earliest signs of our awareness of patterns of meaning. Second, we naturally self-organize to seek out and become interested in positive feelings. Finally, negative feelings trigger negative responses.

Awareness of negative feelings, and perhaps even more importantly, the ability to channel them appropriately, is not something we are born with. It’s something we must learn. We don’t usually learn it from our parents though, because they didn’t learn it from their parents. We don’t learn it in school either. So what can we do?

Well, we can just go on denying our negative feelings, expressing them in ways that do damage to ourselves and to others. Dwelling on them just causes a downward spiral into depression where helpful information has a hard time getting through. On the other hand, we can seek out education that will teach us how to control what we think, and as a result, get a handle on what
we feel.

It is our thoughts (psychological) that trigger feelings (expressed biologically), and there is much you can do to learn to think differently. The first step, on the road to changing the way we think, is to want to change. Once we have made that positive decision, we will see opportunity for the education we need all around us – perhaps as close as a click of a mouse.