The Attitude Doc- Happiness/Women's Issues Articles

From personal home organizers, yard care specialists, personal financial advisors, etc., we seem to have accounted for the management of everything in life. But, who is handling the management of your diverse emotions when it comes to aging, senior dating, your glorious golden years and other areas of your emotional life? Many of us seem to consider everything outside of ourselves, and disregard the most important: managing our emotions.

What does it mean to manage our emotions? According to Webster, to manage is to “direct or control the use of.” When we want money management tips, we hire a personal financial advisor. Of course, we need a cosmetologist to manage our hair, and a gardener to manage our yard care. “Time is money,” we say, so we’d better get the most updated Day-Runner or Franklin Planner available. Another must for some might be a Feng Shui consultant to manage the energy or space in our homes. For $50 an hour, six hours a day, with a five day minimum, a personal home organizer will come to your home and manage your files, drawers, pantry, closets, photos, in essence—your life. These are a few examples of what some people are willing to do for life management to improve life’s flow.

So, how many folks do you know who are willing to hire someone to help them manage their emotions? How often do you hear someone say, “I’m off to see my senior dating consultant to learn how to express my concerns and feelings to that new man I just met.” We might hear responses like, “Oh, I can manage my own emotions, thank you,” or “I don’t need help with my feelings,” or “What a waste of time and money that would be.” But, would it really be a waste of your time or money? What if managing your emotions meant you would have quality love in your life or you could finally express your innermost feelings without the fear of judgment? Would it be worth it to you then?

To be aware of our feelings is crucial to our well-being from early in life. Current research indicates even a fetus feels and is sensitive to the environment. We feel even before we verbalize. Feelings are deeply rooted in human beings before we are even born. Our feelings are a key in helping us know ourselves while we explore our environment. They contribute to our wholeness, the balance of our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects. That’s how important our emotions are! As we grow older, we keep an ever-tightening lid on our emotions resulting in failed relationships, poor health and even mental illness.

When feelings are denied, resisted, or stuffed, they don’t go away. If anything, they intensify and lodge into our cellular system. Unexpressed feelings can turn into disease. Like any other form of energy, unless allowed to flow, they can become stuck. In Chinese medicine, a tradition thousands of years old, anger is said to get trapped in the liver, resentment in the gallbladder, guilt in the heart and grief in the lung.

If there was the slightest chance that the ancient Chinese might have some wisdom on this topic, wouldn’t it behoove us to become more aware of our feelings and how we manage our diverse emotions? After all, our emotions do determine our perception of reality, which in turn determines our level of happiness.

No one can do this work for us. A psychologist or a caring, wise, and true friend or partner could help us get on the right track, but in the end, managing our emotions is up to us. This can be accomplished by managing our thoughts.

Here are five steps that will assist you in managing your thoughts and emotions:

  1. You can’t begin to manage your emotions until you become aware of them. Just as you are aware of being hungry, needing to go to the bathroom or having an itch in the small of your back, you must become aware of what you are thinking and what you are feeling when you’re feeling it. Be conscious. Be aware. Discover which areas you have the most difficulty acknowledging. Are you comfortable with marriage after fifty? Do you feel you are worthy of “senior” love? All of these feelings and beliefs will make or break your ability to create a successful relationship (or June wedding).

  2. Develop a “feelings” word vocabulary. Contrary to what we’ve learned, we do experience more than mad, bad, sad and glad. I have researched and created a 650 word feelings dictionary, which has dramatically affected many of my client’s lives. Ask yourself, “What am I really feeling?” Now look it up in the dictionary and see the depth of those feelings as you explore alternative descriptive words to help you define just exactly how you feel.
  3. Once discovered, explore what beliefs or thought patterns may be associated with that feeling. For example, your real estate agent informs you that a neighboring condo unit for sale was chosen over yours and is now under contract. The beliefs associated with it might be, “Why do others always get the lucky breaks?” Or maybe, “Nothing works out for me.” And there is, “My father was right, I’ll never turn a profit in my real estate investments.” Maybe your best friend is getting married at age 67 this summer and you don’t believe anyone would find you attractive at your age. What kind of person would hold any one of these beliefs? The answer might be “someone who feels sorry for him/herself,” or “someone who sees oneself as a victim.” Get it? Each time we allow ourselves to grab onto and become stuck in our initial feelings, without exploration and release, we allow ourselves to remain imprisoned in a victim identity. That identity becomes a controlling emotion that won’t serve you in any positive way! (And it could drive any plans for a date next Saturday night away too.)
  4. Now, take the same formula and apply it to your own situation. Close your eyes and do some deep breathing for a few minutes. Send the breath throughout the body. Be aware. Feel the feeling and the associated belief, and what it feels like to be that kind of person (a victim, for example). Now allow images and sensations to surface. Feel them all—fully—while you keep breathing. Fully is the magic word. Don’t hold back. Feel it all completely. Now, allow the feeling to dissipate.
  5. Now that you have told yourself the truth about that issue and fully felt what you were resisting, you will have dissolved the core energy surrounding it, which most likely originated in childhood. Now it’s time to reprogram your thinking and your cells with a belief that you prefer. In the above example, you replace the old belief with, “I trust my condo sells in the perfect Divine Timing of the Universe. I am a trusting person.” “I am a beautiful and intelligent woman and I accept that the right partner for me is just around the corner.” Feel the new cellular reprogramming. It’s there. Your cells are like baby birds, just waiting to be fed your feelings. Only you can determine what to feed them. So feel you are a trusting person and live your life that way.

How do we manage our emotions? By feeling them. Feeling does not mean dramatizing; it simply means feeling. In this way you will develop a more positive and inviting attitude, stay healthier and happier and improve all of your relationships, including the most important: the one with yourself.

Who knows, wedding bells could be part of your future. June isn’t over yet!