What Is an Emotion and How to Best Handle It?

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What is an emotion anyway and how do you handle it?

My experience working with emotions is that they are the link between thought and action. You cannot have a thought without emotion or emotion without a thought because they are the same.

Since we are thinking and feeling beings we need both. Emotion gives thought energy, which creates movement. Thought and feeling are assigned at the same time.

A thought is defined by combing words in a complete sentence. For example, The thought, “I feel good right now” has both thought and emotion.

Thought – “I feel good right now”

and the Emotion – Good.

The next thing that takes place is action- you have a happy face, act kindly, say good things etc. An emotion usually accompanies the word FEEL. I feel Happy, I feel Sad, I feel Annoyed, I feel Anger, I feel… and so on.

Emotions are thought filters which facilitate thought to motion.

Let’s separate the word E-Motion. E equals energy and Motion equals movement. You can say that emotions are the reflection of our thinking and puts thought into action. We have as many emotions as thoughts because as stated they are one of the same.

However, we do have common emotions we use every day which range from Love to Fear. If emotions are filters for thoughts how do I identify my emotions?

One way is to know what the common emotions are and then begin to identify and memorize them. The best way is to write them down in a list in descending order from green emotions to red emotions. This way when you look at your list, not only will you see how your feeling but also how your thinking.

If you choose a green feeling more than likely you will feel good and create good things. On the other hand, if you choose a red feeling you may want to handle it right away. Red emotions are there to tell you something is not alright at the moment.

Let’s look at the most common emotions list from Love to Fear in descending order:

+Love
+Gratitude
+Joy
+Passion
+Happiness
+Excitement
+Joyful Expectation
+Hope
+Satisfaction
+Calm

-Boredom
-Annoyance
-Worry
-Blame
-Anger
-Hate
-Resentment
-Guilt
-Depression
-Fear

You can scan the list to see what you are actually feeling at the moment of selection. This will indicate the authentic emotion. At first glance generally what happens people want to assign an emotion they want to have versus a feeling they have now. This wishful thinking comes into play after identifying the genuine emotion first.

For example, your current feeling is annoyed but you want to feel happy how do you do that? First, acknowledge what you are currently feeling-Annoyed then identify why you are annoyed. “I am annoyed with my job right now.” Now list a few actions about your job that you’re annoyed about.

Such as, have to stay late, work is piling up and it’s too far to drive to work. If you want to change your annoyance feeling flip the current, “I am annoyed with my job right now” to “I know I’m annoyed with my job right now, but my job has been good to me so far.”

Now assign a new feeling-hopeful. Tomorrow when you go into work keep this new thought and new feeling on top of your mind for the next couple of days to see how you feel about your job. Did your attitude improve or stay the same?

What if your attitude did change for the better? Do you think you will think differently about your job now? Maybe you will catch up on the pile on your desk or look at the pile from a different perspective.

What if your attitude didn’t change? Do you think it’s time to change jobs or career? Is there someone or something other than piles of work, staying late and too long of a drive annoying you, instead, maybe, worry about your job?

What happens when the thought and feeling don’t align? Well, remember you cannot have a positive thought and a negative feeling this is a mismatch or conflict.

A positive thought has a positive feeling and a negative feeling has a negative thought.

If you are feeling annoyed but your thinking is “I love my job” this is a mismatch. Because annoyed and love are on opposite sides of each other. Do you love your job or are you annoyed with your job? Pick one!

When you settle this conflict you will begin to feel better. Here’s why you feel better. What we want and what we need are two separate time elements. What we want is in the future and what we need is in the now.

Most often we attempt to blend now with the future which creates internal conflict.

In order to relieve the conflict, the need comes first followed by the want. Let’s call Now current scene and Want future scene. Earlier in the text, you learned first to handle your current thought and feeling which is now and then flipped it to reflect the future thought and feeling.

When thought and feeling are aligned you have mental harmony. When they are not aligned you have mental conflict. In order to feel better, you will untangle the conflict with a thought and a feeling match. This takes patience and practice.

Let’s see the whole process of handling your emotion in action:

1. Assign a thought
2. Assign an authentic feeling
3. What actions are you taking?
4. What result did you get from the actions?
5. What is the feedback?

The Flip Side:

1. “I’m annoyed with my job right now”
2. Annoyed
2. I’m calling off more frequently and take longer breaks
3. Increase stress and worry
4. I’m not getting what I want because I call off and take long breaks.

As you can see your thought, feeling and actions are creating your results and feedback. The good thing is that you took responsibility by identifying and acknowledging your current situation. This is the first step to feeling better and getting better.

Now, let’s get better by using the same process to create a different result over time. Just a side note, the error is to use the same thought and feeling to change the result this will not happen! In order to change your result your thinking, feeling and actions must change in order to produce a new result. The way you change is to do the opposite of what you’re currently doing take a look at the process below:

1. Assign a new thought
2. Assign a new feeling
3. Do 2 new actions
4. Review result over a specified period of time
5. Feedback- did get what I wanted yes or no?

Flip your current situation:
1. “I know I’m annoyed with my job right now, but I will do better by shorting my breaks and calling off less”
2. Feeling: Hopeful
3. New actions this week: Do not call off
4. Result at the end of the week: Did not call off
5. Feedback: I got what I wanted

As you can see by this example you have changed your thinking, feeling, and actions in order to create a new result. In short, the formula looks like this;

Old Thought + Old Feeling + Old Actions = Same Result.

New Thought + New Feeling + New Actions = New Result.

Which one would you rather have; an old result or a new result?

Now that you learned to alter your emotion what’s next?

Identifying your authentic emotion was your first step now it’s time to discover what your average emotion is. I believe this is the most important step. Your average emotion is the one you use mostly every day of your life. This emotion is dictating your thinking, actions, and result. Locate and handle this one and I promise you will feel better more frequently.

One thing to remember feeling better is relative to each individual and is the judgment of that individual, and feeling good is different for everyone.

Here’s how to locate your average feeling: 

1. Get out a piece of paper and date it at the top left corner
2. Use the emotion chart in this article and pick the feeling that resonates with you the most. There will be close seconds, but the one is what you’re looking for
3. Write it down on the left side of the paper
4. Do this 3-4 more times throughout the day
5. Days 2-5 repeat steps above
6. Look at your list and find the emotion that is written down the most
7. If there are ties decide which group resonates with you the most
8. This will be your average emotion over five days.
9. My suggestion to get a solid average is to do this exercise for over 21 days.

In summary, what have we covered?

What is an emotion anyway and how do you handle it?

You cannot have a thought without emotion or emotion without a thought because they are the same. Thought and feeling are assigned at the same time. You can say that emotions are the reflection of our thinking.

The 20 most common emotions we use everyday range from Love to Fear.

An authentic feeling is most important to identify first. You cannot have a positive thought and a negative feeling; this is a mismatch or conflict.

When you settle this conflict you will begin to feel better. A positive thought has a positive feeling and a negative feeling has a negative thought. When thought and feeling are aligned you have mental harmony. What we want is in the future and what we need is in the now.

Most often we attempt to blend now with the future which creates internal conflict. You learned first to handle your current thought and feeling which is now and then flipped it to reflect the future thought and feeling. Using the five-step method provided a snapshot of how your current feeling is working for you. Then using the same five-step method helped by flipping the current situation to a new situation.

You have changed your thinking, feeling, and actions in order to create a new result. Old Thought + Old Feeling + Old Actions = Same Result. New Thought + New Feeling + New Actions = New Result.

The discovery of your average emotion is the most important piece in this step. Because it controls your life! Remember feeling better is relative to each individual and is the judgment of that individual, and feeling good is different for everyone.

You discovered the nine-step method to finding your average emotion, and how long to do the exercise to reach optimal benefit. Five days is good but 21 days is best. Also, you will learn that you may have two to three different emotion groups after your sorting. You will select the group that has the highest meaning with the most intensity for you. Once you have your emotion or emotion groups pick one group of emotion this will be your average emotion.

For example, annoyed, annoyed and annoyed this is one group. But the emotion is still annoyed. You can go into your day and see how it is affecting you and make changes as necessary. In order to move up the emotion scale, each emotion is handled individually until the daily desired emotion is reached.

For example, let’s say your average feeling is annoyance and you want to be satisfied. First, handle your annoyance by using the steps above then go out in your day and let go of Annoyance.

After letting go of annoyance, see how you feel at that moment. Are you satisfied? If the answer is yes, celebrate you hit your target! If it’s no, then keep working on letting go of annoyance until you feel satisfied that you let go. At that point, you will be in satisfaction.

You can repeat this process over and over again until you remain in the green emotions most of the time. When you live in the green emotions better things happen to you and the happier you will be.

It’s okay to fluctuate up and down the emotion scale that’s normal. I tend to stay in hope to joyful expectation range with a blend of love and gratitude.

About the Author

Website: Wheel Potential

As a behavior specialist-life coach Giuseppe has helped over 5,000 people over last 30 years with career change, health and wellness, relationships, New Years resolution, habit change, anxiety, and stress relief. He is the inventor of Wheel Potential Self-Help tool designed to help a person apply self-feedback, acknowledgment, and validation.

As a master personal trainer, he is the author of Mind, Body and Inner-self and Secrets of a Trim Mind.