Goal 3. Autonomy
You’re the boss
It is nice if you decide how you react to impulses from people, circumstances and situations. It is nice if your emotions are not in charge of you, but you are in charge of your emotions. Then you can see your emotions as carriers of valuable information. Then you can deal with situations and circumstances. You set your own limits and respect them. You choose your mood and the environment that suits you. Then you have emotional autonomy.
Situations and circumstances are neutral. They have no meaning, mood or emotion in them. Emotions are your physical reactions to situations in response to the thoughts you have about them. They show you your subjective experience and opinion about it.
The same events therefore evoke different reactions in different people. Emotions are in you and are yours. You are the owner and determine how and how much you allow, feel and express when. Autonomy in dealing with emotions is self-evident for some and a challenge for others. Sometimes you are not so aware of your emotions. Others can sometimes be very aware of it. Your emotions can even take on a life of your own, because you no longer have control over it. When you structurally hinder or stop your emotions from flowing, they can express themselves unexpectedly, sometimes even explosively or through physical complaints. Emotions are intended as a signal at a time to immediately feel and let go. They disappear because you allow them. There are several ways to have more autonomy over your emotional state.
It starts with taking ownership of your emotions and your emotional state. Your mood and your mindset (optimist or pessimist) are also part of this.
If you always have a morning mood, it’s not because of the mornings, but your thoughts about the mornings.
Emotions are physical feedback from your thoughts about events. You could see this as important management information. It is therefore primarily a valuable navigation tool. Emotions can be your guide. They guide you from your current state of being to your desired state of being. A pleasant emotion indicates that your thoughts are in accordance with your needs. An unpleasant emotion indicates that your thoughts conflict with your needs. By following the pleasant signals you automatically get where you want to be. That is the way of least resistance. Hidden in your unpleasant emotions is information about an unmet need, a desire.
The reason for the emotion is often the opposite of what you want. By paying attention to this need or desire, you remove the cause of your unpleasant emotion. There is yet another way to gain more autonomy: consciously choosing what you allow, when and to what extent. This applies to both emotions and the situations in which you find yourself and which can evoke these emotions. In our environment where we are daily exposed to an abundance of psychological influence, this can be challenging.
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