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Don’t micromanage your emotions

Having a bad day?

Feeling like you’re in a bit of a funk and can’t figure out why?

Feeling bad may not be the problem. The real issue may be that you’re feeling bad about feeling bad.

What’s wrong with me?

We all deal with various emotions throughout the day, but the ones who seem to be happiest and healthiest are those who allow themselves to feel whatever they feel without negative judgement.

Being sad or frustrated is a passing inconvenience, but labeling yourself as lazy, immature, unlucky, unenlightened, or evil as a response to what you’re feeling, is a fast and easy way to turn temporary discomfort into long-term suffering.

“But aren’t we SUPPOSED to be happy?”

I believe that “happiness” (as long as we define that term precisely enough) is the goal of life, but sometimes the best way to reach a goal is to back up a bit and pursue it indirectly.

C.S. Lewis wrote,  “the man who tries to measure how quickly he’s falling asleep is likely to remain awake all night.”

Constantly checking up on our happiness quotient typically results in more stress and often ends in a self-perpetuating loop of negative reinforcement.

Too much direct effort can lead to emotional micro-management and “analysis paralysis.”

Rather than attempting to change the way you feel, try changing the context within which your feelings are processed.

Building healthy habits turns happiness into a habit

One of the most practical habits you can develop is setting a few clearly defined goals that require you to take small, but specific, action steps towards results that are personally important to you.

These goals should be creatively fulfilling and mildly challenging. It’s usually best to choose goals that are separate from your existing familial and professional obligations. Make it about you and something selfish you would like to be, do, or have.

Most importantly, these goal MUST be significant enough to you that, even on your worst day, you will still be able to recognize the “beyond the moment” benefits they’ll bring to you by remaining committed.

What does this have to do with happiness and having a bad day?

As it turns out, quite a bit.

A sense of purpose not only enriches our lives in ways that far exceed being comfortable or problem free, but it also provides a context for our feelings that literally transforms emotions into creative energy.

When you’re living life with intention, you don’t feel bad about feeling bad because you experience the energy behind your emotions differently from those who lack what Napoleon Hill called “definiteness of purpose.”

To the creator, feelings aren’t burdens to carry, they’re a valuable source of fuel that can help drive you towards your own decided destiny.

That’s my two cents.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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