What shapes our emotional state? How do you feel about yourself? Why do our emotions often fluctuate within a short period of time? Do your past experiences affect your emotional state in any way? In the last two editions of this column, we have discussed five major reasons why emotions matter and how it affects our wellbeing, relationship, happiness, productivity and performance. What shapes our emotional state as a human being will be our focus for this month.
There are four things that shape our emotional state. These are:
How you feel about yourself
Do you feel you are blessed, highly favoured and a work in progress; or do you feel you are a victim of life, a disaster and not good enough? Some people feel that they are the light of the world, the salt of the universe, the vicegerent of the earth, a blessing to humanity and a leader of men. This positive thinking and empowering belief shape their thoughts and energy positively. Hence, they feel good about who they are and have a high self-worth and self-belief.
On the other hand, some folks believe that they are not worthy of success or happiness, they think that they are not smart enough, beautiful enough or talented enough. They feel they can never be enough. This might be due to life challenges, background or circumstances. This negative thinking and limiting beliefs shape their thoughts and energy negatively. Therefore, they feel bad about who they are and have a low self-esteem and self-worth.
The real truth is that God said He made you beautiful and gave you His spirit. What other evidence do you need to feel good about yourself, despite your imperfections? How you feel about yourself shapes your emotional state. Period!
How you feel about your past
When you think about your past, are you filled with regret or serenity? Many people think of their past and are filled with worry, disappointment and regret – perhaps due to missed opportunities, bad decisions, poor choices or past mistakes. This affects their emotional state in the present, such that they are filled with anger, fear, doubt or resentment.
On the flip side, when some individuals think about their past, they are filled with peace, gratitude and calmness based on how much they have learnt in life from their past mistakes and victories. They know that without those experiences they wouldn’t have become better, wiser and stronger.
Your past is nothing but a learning experience to guide you in making better judgements and informed decisions in life. How you feel about your past shapes your emotional state. Simple!
How you feel about your future
How do you feel when you think about your future? Is your heart filled with fear, doubt and worry, or is it filled with calmness, gratitude and joy? When some people think about their future, they are filled with fear of unknown – fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of ill-health, fear of poverty or fear of death. This perpetual fear of what will happen in the future negatively impacts their emotional state and wellbeing.
Conversely, when some folks think about their future, they are filled with great expectations, gratitude for new possibilities and victories, as well as calmness in their souls because they believe they will be alright at the end of the day. They know that the only way to predict the future is to create it with their thoughts and actions. How you feel about your future shapes your emotional state. Fact!
How you feel about others
Do you think that people are meant to be used or nurtured? The way you think about people affects your emotional state when you are in their midst. Some people – due to faulty education and unpleasant life experiences – believe that people are meant to be abused, taken advantage of and manipulated. They see people as resources that should be exploited with any available opportunity.
However, many people also believe that human beings are their greatest assets; they know that human beings are meant to be cherished, nurtured and treasured. They see people as a source of peace, joy, advancement and possibilities and not a resource because they understand the truth that men are God’s greatest creatures.
As business leaders, we must understand that people are not resources, as we often classify them because resources are things that can be depleted, like oil, gold and other mineral resources. Rather, people are sources of inspiration, love and possibilities. Humans’ creativities, abilities, and talents can never be exhausted. The way you feel about other people shapes your emotional state. Confirmed!
ACTION PLAN: Create time to think through how you feel about yourself, your past, your future and people in general. Take actions to shift your perspective and feelings about yourself, your past, your future and others.
AFFIRMATION: My thoughts are pleasant. My body is relaxed. I am blessed and highly favoured.
Sesan Kareem serves as Regional Manager at Pharmaplus, www.pharmaplus.com.ng, and the Principal Consultant at Sesan Kareem Institute, www.sesankareem.com.ng