Picture a spool of ribbon.
One side of the ribbon is green and the other is red. When you wake up every morning, your ribbon is unspooled. Throughout the day your thoughts and emotions causes the spool to roll one way or the other. As you are feeling these thoughts, the spool is rolling in a certain direction. When your emotions gain momentum, an avalanche of thoughts enters your mind, causing you to feel either good or bad. When this happens your emotion heightens to either feeling, and your spool rolls faster.
For example, Jack and Jill get into a little argument before work. This causes Jack to leave in a bad mood.
Now Jill, annoyed, begins to think negative thoughts. She thinks how he doesn’t do the dishes. Or how he doesn’t clean the toilet seat. Or how sloppy he is. How’d he get so sloppy? It’s so disrespectful. He’s being disrespectful. What a jerk!
Not to mention Jack, who is also simmering in irritation and anger.
When he gets home, a confrontation obviously happens because negatives thoughts have been swarming through their heads like hornets.
This way of thinking creates resentment and contempt.
Think of the spool of red ribbon.
If you want to showcase your green spool, you can’t just switch it from green to red, you have to slowly unravel the red until you get to green.
Here are some steps to get to that green ribbon:
Take a deep breath and focus in on the thoughts that you are thinking.
Often times these thoughts are pilling in so rapidly that you’ve already begun to feel before you realize what you are thinking.
It is important to acknowledge the thoughts and recognize their presence.
This step helps you grab a hold of your consciousness and prepare for deliberate thinking.
Start thinking backwards
Just like the spool, you slowly unravel your thoughts backwards until you start feeling better. Begin with the active thoughts you are thinking, for example:
“I hate my job!”
“Why do I even work here?”
“My boss is a total jerk. He is always on me about something.”
“I know he cares about his job, but he is always on me.”
“It is nice to be around someone who cares about work so much.”
“I’ve had my fair share of boss’ that don’t care and he’s not one of them.”
“Maybe I have a lot to learn from him.”
“He might be making some very good points. Maybe I could do some of these things differently.”
“I like the way he delegates his tasks and frees up his time to focus on things that’s important to him.”
“I can learn a lot from him.”
And just like that, the momentum has shifted and the spool rolls faster in the other direction.
Fuel the Fire
Deliberate thinking is a way of staying ahead of emotions.
When you feel your mood shifting, find something to make you feel good.
When you wake up in the morning list things you are grateful for.
This is one of the most powerful tools to use because it helps you find more things to be grateful for, which feels good.
Practice Makes Perfect
Shifting your thoughts and emotions is a lot easier said than done. It does take practice but is worth putting your attention in daily.
This will escalate your mood and is a good technique to have for those heated arguments.
Your thoughts are a reflection of your emotions, so experience with words or phrases that make you feel good and use them on a daily basis to get to the color ribbon you want.