We all have a host of COGNITIVE CHOICES that really determine how we feel. Our choices include:
- How we LOOK AT what happens
- What MEANING we attach to what happens
- What we FOCUS on about what happens
- What we COMPARE things to
- What we EXPECT of ourselves, others and lives
- What we REMEMBER about the past
- What we IMAGINE will happen next
- How much IMPORTANCE we attach to what happens
- What we spend our time THINKING about
So much that goes wrong in the lives of individuals, families, schools and society is caused by people generating more emotion than is necessary or helpful in response to their life events, and what they do because of it, or to deal with it. That is why emotional management is the most important life skill.
It Simply Means 1) There is always more than one way to look at anything 2) Whatever way we pick will be understandable given our unique life experiences 3) But some will make us feel better, others will make us feel worst 4) Some will make it easier to deal with things, others will make it harder 5) And we always have a choice as to how we want to look at things.
“Life is MIND made”
The way we choose often tends to be automatic. It’s often the way we’ve made that choice many times before. That’s why we tend to be relatively unaware that we’ve made a choice. However, the way we make these choices is not “cast in stone”. We can learn to make them differently and better. With practice and rehearsal, making them in different ways can become as automatic as the old ways were for how to change what you think, feel, say and do)
Ray Mathis is an Education Consultant, Speaker, Educator, Author, Advocate for Mental and Emotional Tool Kit, Tool Time group leader and Author of several books including: It’s Just an Event-It’s Your Choice How You Want to Feel: The ABC System of Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral Self-Management and Self-Improvement.
For Further Insight:
The Mental and Emotional Tool Kit for Life. A FREE resource for teachers, students, parents and professionals of all kinds from the Chicago Institute for Rational Emotive Behavioral Education.
Book: A Guide to Rational Living / Edition 3