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A few years back, after leaving a lunch date with a friend, I remember feeling quite flat and out of sorts. It was unusual as I’m always energised by catch ups with good mates. What was going on?
Being in positive spirits beforehand, I pondered the feelings on the way back to the office. When this kind of thing happens, I get real interested about cause and effect, like a scientist.
In my younger years I was somewhat oblivious to why certain emotions bubbled to the surface. Sometimes, this led to out of proportion reactions to small things. So that day, being a curious cat, I went on the hunt for clues.
After reflecting on our conversation, I realised that this friend was quite critical of me and in fact, this was often the pattern of our interactions. Now I’m not precious folks, I expect my mates to pull me up on stuff that needs attention. That’s what good friends should do but…….being critical in an eroding kind of way is a different story.
This realisation led to me stepping back from the friendship.
Sometimes you don’t make the connection between your feelings and what’s actually happened before that. It’s not to say that there is always a cause and effect dynamic going on. Emotions do come and go, ebb and flow; this is part of the natural rhythm of being a human. We aren’t robots!
You should be alert to those times when unpleasant emotions are signalling that you need to pay attention to a situation. Whether it’s in the area of your relationships or work, heed the feelings that come up as they are early warning signals that can help you make better decisions for yourself.
Unpleasant emotions suck don’t they, but they are a signal that something you are doing might not be working. If a situation is making you feel bad about yourself, perhaps it helps to think about what was going on at the time you experienced them. What were you doing or thinking?
Feelings follow thoughts and lead to certain actions. What are your emotions trying to tell you?
‘Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.’ (Roger Ebert)
Take care and be kind to each other
P.S. Of course you may just be hungry or tired, check that first….