Volume 3, Issue 3, page 6
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Oct oOLLt, qei0 YOU ever have a task you want to do but
don't get around to doing for tht very
"ood" reason that, well, "I dont feel
like it ?
In our society, during work and even pleasure, the plaint that "I don't feel like it" is
the biggest enemy of our getting things done
in an enjoyable manner. During our daily work
we are forced to perform many tasks that we
don t feel like doing and thus cause conflict, strain, and weariness in ourselves.
It may seem an extraordinary thing to you,
who are subject to passing moods of depression,
boredom, resentment, and occasional cheerfulness and exhilaration, to learn that your emotions CAN be controlled, turned on and off as
you wish, and that you can CHOOSE your emotion
and hold it.
First, what IS emotion? We cannot go too
deeply into the how and why of the source of
emotion since this article is concerned with
CONTROL of emotion, but this much can be said:
emotions are learned things, habit-patterns of
response which we pick up from others. sically, there is but one emotion in the universe
and this is Love, not as we socially understand
it, but as a pure and neutrally benevolent
force which intangibly endeavors to draw all
things, all organisms together into a unified
and harmonious WHOLE. This is the "Love of
God", the essence of the universe which permeates us all -- and which we take and manipulate
into the social range of emotions we know,
even into hate and fear.
Now, then, let us move from the universal
to the practical. Let us state the physiological basis of emotion which will be the principle by means of which we can control our feelings.
Emotion is the result of external and internal physical actions. That is, your feelings stem from your outward behavior, movements like smiling or scowling or walking
briskly, and from your internal behavior, your
muscular, glandular, and nerve-system actions.
In other words, your emotions are seated in
your body, in its functions. In fact, not only
are the emotions seated in the body, but so
also are all the personality drives which make
up the social "mind".
In psychology, the "James-Lange theory"
postulates the basis of emotion as being in
the body. It is stated that "the emotional
feeling is the mental sequel to muscular tensions". Or that "emotion and physical action
are reciprocal" -- i.e., each one affects the
Rev. James Welgos, in his "Lessons in Living", demonstrates that by"internal awareness"
of our body structures, we can discover the
seat of our emotions, mind, and memories. We
have seen that there is nothing."subconscious"
in ourselves but what we make so -- and, moreover, that there is nothing in ourselves but
what we have put there, in the passive process
of learning from others. We learned our emotional responses, hence we can begin learning
to control them directly again.
The process is simple, homely, not at all
complex, as you will see. Emotion j,sult of external and internal behavior. This
mns that if you wish to be cheerful, you
must ACT cheerfully.
You feel the behave: At the moment
6 Th& AB
By KENNETH HART
a ?lew &i'wtiovt
you are feeling rather your internal
glandular and muscular functions are turning on
low" feelings, in response to some stimulus.
If you really wish to be cheerful, you must
begin ACTING AS IFYOU WERE CHEERFUL. Moreover,
you must keep these actions going. If you are
talking to someone, talk cheerfully. If you
are walking somewhere, walk with a sprightly,
Now comes the point which is most important
and which has been missed by the psychologists.
Welgos states: "You must learn to agree, or
not agree, with the sensations in your body.
What you 'agree to', in your feelings, you
This means that, if you are acting cheerfully to overcome depression, you must not
AGREE with the sensations in your body which
could keep you depressed. Get the actions going (all external thus far, you will note)
which "speak" cheerfulness -- you know, the little actions you go through with your face,
lips, arms, hands, and other body-parts when
you are happy. Turn them on, focus on them,
and do not agree with any depressed feeling.
I am not asking you to BE cheerful -- something which few people can do. I am asking you
to ACT AS IF you were cheerful for the prime
purpose of starting physiological actions
which will, of themselves, MAKE you really
If you act cheerful -- pour yourself into the
feeling you are acting -- you suddenly find you
ARE cheerful. This is not wishful thinking. It
is the following of the law of "That which you
give attention to, you get". The results INEVITABLY come if you perform the actions correctly and with persistence.
In addition to external actions, you can
begin focusing on internal actions -- not only
disagreeing with the unwanted feeling of depression, but also "imagining" cheerfulness
within you. Or, to put it another way, remember the feeling of cheerfulness you've had and
build this memory (such a memory is itself
basically physiological) up and up until you
can really feel it within you.
Actually, the external actions of cheerfulness will bring the internal, glandular,
and muscular actions along in their stead. But
if you want to speed up the taking on of a new
mood, the focus on an internal sensation,
through memory, will assist you.
To sum upp -- I feel depressed but want to be
cheerful. So I begin acting cheerful, really
making my actions, especially my actions and
speech toward others, cheerful and confident.
The feeling of depression inside me does not
go immediately, but I do not agree with it, I
do not permit myself to "droop"back to it. If
I am by myself, I imagine or remember the
actual physiological feeling of cheerfulness
within me. Within seconds, or even 15 to 60
minutes, depending on the deepness of the mood
I am overcoming, I literally SAM cheerful, and
go my way enjoying whatever I'm doing.
Moods vary, and some take a little longer
to overcome than others. Not only depression
but also fear and inferiority feelings can be
overcome; the technique is always the same.
You can choose ANY mood you want -- confidence,
happiness, contentment, etc. -- they will all
"turn on" if only you will take the actions to
turn them on.