Everyone has those moments where they feel nervous, anxious, angry, bored or upset and these feelings get in the way of things you need to do, or they keep you awake at night as you fret over what someone said or did, or how you treated someone. Very often it’s easy to get caught up in these negative emotions and feel like there is no way out.
What if there was a way out? And what if one simple little question could change your whole perspective? Over the weekend I watched public speaker and all-round awesome spiritual teacher Gabrielle Bernstein (check out her website here) on a YouTube vlog where she spoke about a time she was incredibly nervous before speaking. Danielle LaPorte was waiting to speak at the same event and commented that Gabrielle seemed anxious. Danielle then asked her:
‘How would you like to feel?’
Imagine for a moment that you are feeling anxious and someone asks you this question. How much would this change your perception of your situation? As Gabrielle says, your reactions and perceptions are just that – reactions and perceptions; they are not reality. You can choose your reality and change your perception by asking that one little question.
Try this for yourself the next time you find yourself in a situation that is eating you up or blocking your creativity and filling you full of negative emotions:
- Take a few deep breaths (close your eyes if it’s practical to do so)
- Ask yourself ‘How would I like to feel?’
- Really think of how you would like to feel: what emotions would you feel, what facial expressions would you use, how would you speak, how would you act
- Notice as you feel yourself start to relax and replace the negative thoughts and feelings with positive thoughts and feelings
- What small step can you take towards making this new perspective your reality?
This is a new concept for me, all too often I let my immediate reaction dictate my mood and it can have a detrimental effect on my whole day. It really was a light bulb moment when I heard this question and already over the past few days I have been able to put it into practice and see the benefits of taking a moment to think about how I want to feel.
It won’t always be easy, in the heat of the moment it’s easy to get caught up in reactive responses or to allow yourself to stew in boredom, a bad mood or angry feelings. However, try to keep this question in mind and, when you remember, ask yourself how you would like to have felt then relive the moment with the new perspective. This will help to cement the question, and the happiness you will get from the positive feelings, in your mind.
Give it a try the next time you find yourself feeling anxious, bored or annoyed and let me know how you get on.