In my last article, “Accepting the Challenge to CHANGE,” I shared the importance of recognizing how significant your ability and willingness to observe yourself and your surroundings is to gaining Control over your level of Stress. By initiating the Evolution from within, the CHANGE will eventually manifest itself in your surroundings. However, the focus must first be on Self and the CHANGE you control from within. Now, we will take a look at how our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs affect our level of Stress as well as how to begin Mastering all of the above in order to Free ourselves from psychological lock-down.
Whether we realize it or not, emotions play a very significant role in our Stress level and ability to decrease Stress within our lives. Our (Core) Beliefs and thought process also affect our Stress level. This is made possible by way of our Perception or view of people and events regarding whether we see them as a potential Threat or Opportunity. Our Thoughts form the basis of our Beliefs, which gives rise to our Emotions, which ultimately drive our Behavior. So where do our Thoughts come from? How do they become a part of who we are, and how is it possible to CHANGE our Thoughts?
Thoughts are how we interpret the information taken in by our senses; smell, taste, sight, touch, and hearing. Thoughts dictate the way we perceive and explain our Reality including relationships with ourselves, others, and the world around us. We rely on these five senses to assist our Perception, one way or another, regarding the relationships we have in our lives. Note: Our two major motivations in life are driven by decreasing pain (threats) and increasing pleasure (opportunity). Our senses enable us to view information and experiences in life to obtain pleasure and avoid pain. Ironically, 125 million people world-wide wear contact lenses, 126 million wear eyeglasses, those who live near an airport or freeway experience a significant level of hearing loss, and two out of every ten people are affected by allergies, so you could imagine the limited amount of accurate information we have at our disposal as it pertains to our Perception and Interpretation of what we face on a daily basis. A question you should ask yourself is how often you Misinterpret a situation or person based solely on what you have experienced in life as opposed to considering the Facts.
Interestingly enough our childhood experiences play a significant role in the formulation of our Thoughts, Emotions, and Beliefs. Most of us have heard the famous line used in psychotherapy, “…so tell me about your childhood.” As typical or insignificant as that may sound, it has a definitive basis for how we function in life as adults. From the first five year of life we absorb approximately 20,000 hours of parental “tapes,”which is also known as “childhood programming.” These parental tapes include Beliefs and Attitudes concerning every aspect of our lives from how we feel and think, what kind of partner to marry, and what type of work to engage in, to how to communicate and express Emotions. We also receive additional programming from other important people in our lives; teachers, relatives, peers, etc. Whether we are conscious of it or not these “tapes” play over and over again in our minds like endless tape loops further reinforcing and influencing our Thoughts, Emotions, and Beliefs that manifest in our behavior.
Once we are able to accurately observe our Thoughts and how our Perception of information plays a key role in our Beliefs, we will have a clearer picture of how our Emotions are affected and why we react to certain events or people. As we become more conscious of these links we stand a better chance of catching and controlling our Thoughts and Emotions, thus obtaining Power over our Stress. Reflecting on our childhood and recalling the primary and secondary influences in our lives who contributed to our “childhood programming” can also lend a view of why we think the way we think, believe in what we believe in and respond to our Emotions in such a pattern-like method. It is time to Reveal, Analyze, and Learn more about who you are and why you are this person presently. Ultimately, striving to understand the above will shed more light on your level of Stress and where it comes from and more importantly how to Overcome it.
Ebony S. Muhammad