Happy parents raise happy kids

Make a list: Feelings I Want to Feel

Teen sitting with a heartI hope that by now, you are fully trained in the technique of listing 100 things and growing. After 12 chapters that have helped you go into the deepest parts of your thoughts, ideas and beliefs, you probably feel a bit more focused and in the right direction.

If you have not done it yet (maybe this is the first post you are reading), I encourage you go back to the beginning of Make a List and start making lists, because it is a very easy (and cheap) way to improve your life and develop without time pressure, without feeling exposed and without paying someone to help you change.

As a life coach, I teach my clients emotional intelligence and I find that "learning to feel" is helpful (and, unfortunately, very much needed) in personal development. Our slogan at Be Happy in LIFE is "Happiness is a choice" and we see our goal as coaches to teach people how to feel happy and how to choose happiness.

Some people tell me that teaching happiness is strange. They say, "It's a feeling. You either have it or you don't".

Well, in my opinion, this is not true.

The definition of a feeling is very different from one person to another, based on circumstances. Therefore, we can change the definition by changing our circumstances.

Feelings are formed in our mind like rules:

  • I feel happy when…
  • I feel frustrated when…

One of my teen clients (who is facing a really hard time at the moment) came this week and we looked at her rules for happiness. I asked her, "Joan, what makes you happy?"

She said, "I don't know".

"Tell me one thing that makes you happy whenever it happens", I tried again.

"Nothing", she said. I could not blame her. She was in such a dark, lonely sad place it was understandable. But I kept going.

"You told me you would rather go shopping than go to school. Does shopping make you happy?"

"Depends", Joan answered.

"Depends on what?"

"If I have enough money", she replied.

"OK, so if you have enough money, shopping makes you happy?" I became hopeful.

"No. If Mom or Dad comes with me, I don't like it", she said.

"OK, so when you have enough money and Mom and Dad aren't with you, shopping makes you happy?" I gave it another shot.

"No. There are some friends that I don't like to go shopping with", she said.

"OK, so when you have enough money, Mom and Dad and all those friends you don't like shopping with aren't with you, shopping makes you happy?"

"No. I need to be in the mood for shopping", she said.

"What sort of mood?" I asked.

"I need to be happy", she said.

Arrrggggghhhhh! I almost gave up, but I didn't.

Do you see what happened?

Joan needed to be happy in order to be happy. She had so many conditions and restrictions on her happiness, even for a simple thing like shopping, her definition of "happiness from shopping" guarantees she hardly ever feel happy while she is shopping.

How to list 100 feelings

The work on the 100 feeling list is divided into 3 parts:

  1. List your feelings
  2. Uncover your rules
  3. Create better rules

Man chewing on penThe first stage is to go over your day and write down feelings you have had. When you are done, go over the last week, the last month and so on, until you have 100 feelings. To my clients who feel particularly bad, I suggest doing this every day for a month. So if remembering is tough, spend 5 minutes at the end of every day and write down your feelings.

If you cannot come up with 100 feelings, have a look below for ideas or search the Internet for "list of feelings" and choose feelings that mean something to you.

The second part of the activity is to go through every feeling and find the rules of those feeling. The formula is "I feel (some feeling) when…"

Here are some examples:

  1. I feel happy when…
  2. I feel sad when…
  3. I feel successful when…
  4. I feel failure when…
  5. I feel knowledgeable when…
  6. I feel special when…
  7. I feel great when…
  8. I feel frustrated when…
  9. I have fun when…
  10. I feel like a loser when…
  11. I feel appreciated when…
  12. I feel insulted when…
  13. I feel angry when…
  14. I feel lonely when…
  15. I feel fresh when…
  16. I feel able when…
  17. I feel worried when…
  18. I feel courageous when…
  19. I feel poor when…
  20. I feel bored when…
  21. I feel like spending money when…
  22. I feel anxious when…
  23. SwansI feel optimistic when…
  24. I feel strong when…
  25. I feel guilty when…
  26. I feel energetic when…
  27. I feel connected when…
  28. I feel friendly when…
  29. I feel rejected when…
  30. I feel interested when…
  31. I feel victory when…
  32. I feel tired when…
  33. I feel motivated when…
  34. I feel afraid when…
  35. I feel miserable when…
  36. I feel inspired when…
  37. I feel scared when…
  38. I feel adventurous when…
  39. I feel calm when…
  40. I feel independent when…
  41. I feel weak when…
  42. I feel smart when…
  43. I feel inferior when…
  44. I feel decisive when…
  45. I feel confused when…
  46. I feel excited when…
  47. I feel jealous when…
  48. I feel defensive when…
  49. I feel hopeless when…
  50. I feel cheerful when…

In the list above, each starter appears only once for each feeling, but you probably have more than one ending for it, so add all your endings.

For every feeling, write 5 statements. Be honest and spell out your restrictions on getting each good feeling and the easy ways in which you feel each bad feeling.

Here are some of my examples:

  • I feel successful when I write an article
  • I feel successful when I coach people
  • I feel successful when my kids succeed
  • I feel successful when we have dinner and we have fun and joke and sing songs, because I have helped make it so wonderful
  • I feel successful when a new leaf comes out on one of my plants. I think it is a miracle and I have helped it happen by caring for the plant

You should end up with 500 statements.

Now, look at your rules and decide whether it is tough for you to feel the happy feelings, like it is for Joan, or they are fairly easy to feel. How easy was it to even find those rules? Also, note how easy it might be for you to feel bad.

SmiliesThe third part is to change your rules to make it very easy for you to feel good and very hard to feel bad.

If this is a not happy feeling, like hurt, guilty, sad, poor, angry or frustrated, make rules that are hard to follow, like "I will feel poor only when I'm homeless". Then, see if you can eliminate any of your rules completely, because you realize you do not want to be unhappy in those situations anymore.

If this is a happy feeling, like love, happy, successful, understanding or friendly, make the rules easy to follow, like "I feel happy every time I think of Gal" (I actually do). Then, add as many other easy rules for your happy feelings, like "I feel happy every time I smile" and "I feel happy whenever I hug someone". Use frequent situations and situations you can initiate yourself to feel happy whenever you want.

Aim to feel successful and happy every day, all day!

Join me next week for 100 things I would do if I could live forever and let's examine all the options we may have if we had all the time in the world.

Be happy in life!
Ronit

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  • http://dailyheartbeat.blogspot.com heart

    thank u. ur brilliant and this article really gives me light.

Ronit Baras

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