Posted by: youluckybum | January 14, 2011

We always have a Choice

Only recently did I begin to understand that our thoughts come before our feelings.  Or that our thoughts drive our feelings.  I use to argue that I felt an emotion, and then the thought came to me.  But that is really not so.

This explains why one day I can experience a lot of frustration and not be bothered much, and why another day will see me reacting to every little thing.  My mood can have a lot to do with my day. And my thoughts have everything to do with my mood.

Waking up in a good mood is a no brainer.  Good mood=good thoughts=great day.  Waking up in a bad mood is a whole another issue.  My thoughts are negative, grumpy, sarcastic and victimizing.  I see my glass as half empty and I begin to look for things that support my negative feelings. And guess what?  I find them!  Everywhere!  My clothes don’t fit right, my hair is having a bad day and I am racing against the clock all day long! Ugh!

But now I know I have a choice.  I don’t have to spend all day in a bad mood, looking for things to support my negative side.  I can stop and readjust my thoughts just a little. Then I can gently guide myself to an attitude of gratitude.  When I am really struggling  for something to be grateful for I know I am in a funk.  We all have a lot to be grateful for.  We have a lot we can complain about too, but that is not going to help us one bit.

As I realize how grateful I am for my family, my healthy body, my wonderful home, my fantastic job, I begin to relax a bit.  I often am not able to hold a feeling of gratitude very long when I am really in a bad mood.  But just shifting my perspective for a few minutes, changes me.   Once I have stopped long enough to realize that I am in a negative mood, my whole day can shift quickly.

The key to all of this is being aware; being present to how I am feeling.   When I check in with myself and realize I am on a negative roll, then I can make a change.  This choice is what I am blogging about today.  I HAVE A CHOICE! We all do!  So why is it so hard to come to a complete stop and decide not to continue down that long dark negative path? Because it is a habit.  Not a habit we may want to indulge, but it is a habit.  And maybe more importantly, we really have never been taught anything else.

Just like trying to stop smoking or drinking or any other addictive behavior, this is not a habit we stop or even lessen overnight.  Personally I think it is so ingrained in me, that I may never be rid of it completely.  But realizing it is there and acknowledging it are the first two steps.  Then distracting myself enough from the negative thoughts to stop the momentum is the third step.  Gratitude is next.

Oftentimes, this is all I need to remember that I do have a choice and I now choose differently.  Who in their right mind would purposely choose to be in a bad mood?  That is like a magnet for negativity that I truly don’t want to carry around with me all day!



  1. Great post! I agree. I think that we are naturally in a happy and relaxed state, that is just how we are. We are conditioned to not be in that state by everything that is going on around us, and the way those events affect our thoughts – and our feelings! Coming back to ourselves takes us out of those external events, so we become more in tune again with our natural state. Well, that’s how I see things anyway! I always choose the feel good option when I need to…

  2. Like this post a lot! Choice is everything. Am really enjoying your blog

  3. In the past, I would have scoffed at your post and accused it of oversimplifying things. However, the truth is, I used to over-complicate things. Life is a complex as you make it. You can choose to waste you time and energy feeling angry or frustrated or unhappy or you can… not.

    You seem to have a great attitude – you have my support!

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