Emotional success can seem like it is out of your hands. It is as if some people are just born to be happy while others are destined to spend their lives dealing with depression. This is how it looks but this is not how it is. You can retrain your brain for emotional success and here is how you do it.
Be Aware Of How You Feel
Before you can retrain your brain away from dealing with depression and toward emotional success you first have to be aware of how you feel. You need to be aware of when you are feeling happy and when you are feeling depressed. This seems like common sense but many people don’t pay attention to their feelings throughout the day. There are many more emotions than those of happiness and depression and if you want to change your emotions then you need to start by knowing what they are.
Realize That How You Feel Matters Now And Later
Because of neuro plasticity, whatever you feel strengthens the neural pathways that correspond to that feeling. When you feel something, depression or any other emotion in response to a situation, then you become even more likely to feel that way in the future when in a similar situation, because the neural pathways are so strong and so used to sending those signals.
If you don’t want to feel depression in the future then you need to interrupt that feeling whenever it comes up in the present. You can do this by doing something else or thinking of something else that elicits a different feeling response from you.
How you feel matters now because you want to be happy in the present and it matters for the future because the way you feel now will influence the way you will feel in the future.
Take Control Of How You Feel
Emotional success is about taking control of how you feel. Don’t tell yourself that anyone would feel the same in your situation, that your feelings are justified, or that you have no choice but to feel this way. It doesn’t matter why you feel depressed when neuro plasticity is going to build and strengthen neural pathways regardless of your reasons. Take control of how you feel no matter what because your future emotional success depends on it.
You Don’t Have To Think About It
You don’t have to think about things that make you feel bad. Even if what causes a depressive state is right in front of you, you don’t have to think about it in this way. The next time you start to feel depressed about something, look at the situation in a different way, preferably one that allows you to experience happiness. Every time you try to focus on this happy thought instead of whatever is making you unhappy, you will get a little better at it. In time, you will be able to change your thoughts and your emotions at will. This is when you will realize that you can control your emotions any time you want to.
Emotional success can be accomplished when you are aware of how you feel, when you realize that how you feel matters now and later, and when you take control of how you feel. In most cases, depression continues largely because the individual doesn’t work to feel better in the present because they don’t realize that effort will pay off in the future. You can retrain your brain for emotional success if you only work to feel how you want to feel as much as you can.
Adversity Consultant, Physiotherapist and Author