Sunday, October 9, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

The action-emotion connection

Human beings are unbelievably complex. Whenever I ponder the very limited insight I have into what it means to be human I am filled with pride. We are amazing creatures, in my opinion the finest animals to have ever graced the earth. The more I learn about the human body and mind, the more it blows my mind away.

I think that our knowledge of ourselves is pretty limited. We have made amazing discoveries that covers the physical details of our lives, but the infinite little interactions and dependencies are for the most part unknown to us.

One such area of interaction is the connection between the mind and specific actions.

Do you ever wish that you could make yourself feel happier? It is a lot easier than you might think. If you want to feel happy right now, just break into a big smile. Not just a little polite smile, but a huge teeth-showing grin. Get into it and smile like you mean it. The action of smiling immediately makes you feel happier!

This gives you a powerful method for creating positive change in your life. If you start of your day with a huge smile, you will face the day in a much better mood. No matter how early Monday morning comes around, get up and smile. In your car on the way to work, smile until you start laughing. You'll be amazed at the difference this will have on your day.

All this can be accomplished by the simple action of smiling. Of course, this connection between action and mind can be leveraged in many different ways. It can also work against you if you are not aware of it.

If you are slouched down on the couch you will feel lazy and tired. If you think you're just going to relax a bit so you will feel more inspired to do what you should be doing you are fooling yourself. The action of slacking off on the couch will make you feel tired, uninspired and lazy.

A better approach is to be proactive. If you want to be effective and take a certain action, don't sit around waiting to be struck by inspiration. A much more reliable way is to start taking actions that will make you feel like doing the tasks you should be doing.

To use an example close at hand: Many bloggers have a hard time finding motivation to start writing a blog post. The typical lead in can be to waste time on the internet, go get something to drink, maybe look for something inspiring on TV for a bit, etc. The problem is that these time wasting activities puts you in a time waster frame of mind. A much more effective approach is simply to sit down and start writing a blog post. It doesn't matter if you don't know what you want to wrote about. The simple action of sitting down and writing will have two effects. It will get you motivated to write and as you get into writing ideas and inspiration will flow much more freely.

The same technique can be used for virtually anything. The next time you are having a hard time finding the will to take care of the dishes, try the same technique. Instead of lulling yourself into non-action by avoiding the dishwasher, just walk up to it and start taking care of the chore. Even if you tell yourself "I am just going to clean two plates", you have cleared the most difficult hurdle to taking action: getting started. You will probably find that once you get started on the dishes you'll be motivated to finish the job. You'll also most likely realize that the chore was much less of a hassle than you had imagined.

So, be mindful of the things you do. The very actions you take will define your mindset and how you live your life. By knowing how to control what actions you take, you can control how you feel.

  1. Thank you for writing this :) I do enjoy this and put this into action (although not always) It was good to be reminded of this! Rock On!

  1. @Michael Thanks for your comment! It's amazing how effective this is and the range of moods and emotions it can produce. I don't always remember to do this either, but practice makes perfect :)

  1. Anonymous

    It's amazing how difficult we seem to find putting such simple, practical advice into practise - I guess there are just times when we 'allow' ourselves to wallow in our self-pity! lol

  1. Great post! Yes, I am discovering that taking inspired action in small steps strengthens my self confidence and eliminates the desire to procrastinate.

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