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How Real Are Our Feelings?

Posted by DrZSaatchian on November 16, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Perceptions: What Determines Our Reality?       

                                                                     

For the majority of our life we are certain that what we experience is “real”, and yet what we consider reality is the experience that is presented by our senses, and how our brain constructs this reality.

We each have an internal model which has been built from years of individual life experience. Our brain is constantly helping us construct a reality, which is continuously updated and remodeled.

Our experience of time is just as individual as all our other experiences. You say but time is a stable and fixed construct, which is universal. Can you think of certain points in your life when time has appeared to either slow down or speed up? During moments of terror (say during an accident), some people report that time appears to have slowed down to such an extent that seconds feel like minutes.

Our internal model original purpose is deigned to keep our experience of our external world stable. It is there to help us make sense of a continuously changing external environment, and help us to navigate it to the best of our ability.

But if unchecked it can bring on experiences of instability and pain in our daily life.


Who is in control?

What if you decide to take control?

So what if you make a conscious effort to choose a reality that brings more peace, joy and contentment to your life? What if you decide how you want to feel? And decide to change the quality of your experience.

We look outside ourselves for markers of where we need to be in life at any time. We look to society, our family, our friends and neighbors and the media, to decide where we should be in life, what we should be doing, and even how we should feel and think about things.

However the outside environment is constantly changing and shifting. Trying to derive a sense of meaning and a sense self by focusing on what is outside of you (society, family and friends), can lead to feelings such as fear, anxiety, overwhelm and sadness. To take control of your feelings and thoughts you need stability and flexibility- you need an internal lotus of control, and internal sense of self.

 

How to take Control?

If what we see, feel and think and experience is only a perception of “reality”, then is it possible to decide to change this “reality”.

You may be saying “but we cannot control the events in our outside environment (say a natural disaster, or an accident, or act of violence), or other people’s actions. Yes, this may very well be so, but in fact you are making a decision, you are deciding to not make a conscious decision! You are deciding to let your genetic predisposition, your history, your outside environment etc, determine how you perceive the event, what it means to you and how you will feel and think about it.

                                                                                         

You in Control

 So what if you make a conscious effort to choose a reality that brings more peace, joy and contentment to your life? What if you decide how you want to feel? And decide to change the quality of your experience.

We look outside ourselves for markers of where we need to be in life at any time. We look to society, our family, our friends and neighbors and the media, to decide where we should be in life, what we should be doing, and even how we should feel and think about things.

However the outside environment is a constantly changing and shifting. Trying to derive a sense of meaning and a sense self by focusing on what is outside of you (society, family and friends), can lead to feelings such as fear, anxiety, overwhelm and sadness. To take control of your feelings and thoughts you need stability and flexibility- you need an internal lotus of control, and internal sense of self.


Steps to Take Control

How can you change the quality of your experience and therefore your life? What would you have to do, believe, feel, and think to make your life be at a higher level?

Three simple pattern changes can put you back in control of your emotions, thoughts and direction of your life.

First step is to see it how it is- you must first understand where you are at- what your thoughts and feelings are, and how they are being determined- What level of emotion are you at?

 

The next step is to recognize that you can affect your reality, so ask yourself: How do you want your life to be? How do you want to feel? - What level do you want to be at in your life?

 

The final step is to decide: Make a decision to have this be your reality- change your thoughts state, change your emotion state, and change your body state.


When you decide that you want to experience life on your terms, please feel free to contact me, Dr. Ziba Saatchian @ 818-275-0136

and I will help you go through these steps in detail.


About Ziba Saatchian, PsyD

Ziba Saatchian, PsyD PSB 94020175 is a psychotherapist in private practice working as a psychological assistant under the supervision of Margaret Donohue, PhD PSY9038. She specializes in working with children, adolescents and their families, as well as individuals struggling with depression, anxiety and childhood trauma.

 

Picture: from Canva.com

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