How Changing Attitudes and Emotions Can Change Your Life
By Sherry Kulakowski
You can use your attitudes and emotions to benefit your life at all times. It is a subject on which you are tested every time you have a human interaction, whether it’s at work, at home, while driving, or with families, with neighbors and even with strangers. We get opportunities hundreds of times each day to make a choice on how our day will go and with the days, how our lives will go. You are essentially the CEO of your life and you choose how to run your life, no one else does.
Physically when you feel negative emotions such as anger, fear or depression – it constricts your body and challenges your immune system. One of the most common ways in which the emotions interact with the body causing health or illness is through the immune system. Our immune system is our most powerful ally in preventing and healing illness.
Mentally, negative emotions are your enemy at all times. This is especially true when you are in a difficult situation because just when you need your best level headed thinking to get you out of a jam, the negative emotions will cut off that flow, preventing the creative thinking that you need to make better decisions.
Surprisingly, anger may be the only negative emotion that is beneficial, however, only in small amounts. A flash of anger will alert you to the fact that something is wrong, but there is a saying that “Anger over 3 seconds long turns into ego.” Anger has tremendous power and if channeled the wrong way it can prolong hurtful connections with others and can destroy the brain and body just like any other disease. Anyone who may have an anger management problem will benefit greatly from finding ways to address the situation rather than allowing it to erupt at will.
Depression, on the other hand, is an extreme sadness that may be expressed as dejection, lack of hope, feelings of worthlessness, or inappropriate guilt. It diminishes a person’s ability to think or concentrate which is one of the reasons why depressed people have trouble finding their way out of depression. People very often say that depression is anger turned inward and it is a signal that your life is not working. Seeing a doctor can be a very important step in the healing process.
Perhaps the most crippling attitude of all is seeing yourself as a victim or martyr. This is common in people who may have had an abusive childhood and were at one time victims, but cannot see that now they have the power to stop being victimized. When you see yourself as a victim you see your misery as lying outside yourself; you see yourself as having no control or having no say in what happens to you. You are always at the mercy of the external world, which is crippling.
We would be much better served by taking the time and effort to maintain positive, immune enhancing attitudes and emotions, such as joy. Joy is a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace which comes from a connection to what matters. You feel real joy in direct proportion to how connected you are to living your personal truth. The real long term, long lasting joy is in discovering exactly how you were meant to live your life and then spending your energy in that calling.
Forgiveness is also very healthy and immune enhancing. Very often when we fail to forgive, the only person we hurt is ourselves. Most of the time the other person may neither know nor care about our own lack of forgiveness. Try to look back over your own life and with compassion, forgive those who may have harmed you.
Non-judgment is one attitude that can totally change your life. Try for one day not to judge anyone or anything. Don’t judge the person who cuts you off in traffic, the politician, your boss, spouse, friend, or co-worker. Look at situations and people with compassion instead of judgment. If you can do this for just one day, you’ll begin to see how much of your life’s energy is used up in judgment of others. The good news is that practice makes perfect and as we practice non-judgment, it gets easier and easier.
Probably the most immune enhancing attitude and emotion of all is love. It just plain feels good to love. Love, though, extends beyond just the special people in our lives. There is love of our world, nature, art and music and there is most importantly self-love. What self-love means is that we maintain our self-respect within relationships. It means that we learn to say no when we need to, knowing how to gently but firmly let others know where our boundaries are.
Don’t confuse self-love with ego. To love yourself doesn’t mean being a narcissist in front of a mirror, it means being interested in yourself. It means to care for yourself, respect yourself and to be concerned about your welfare. To love yourself is to explore and maintain your uniqueness. It is through love that you can begin to live up to your potential. The degree that you can trust and love yourself will determine the extent you can trust and love others.
Your life will speak to you in every moment, in every encounter, and in every feeling. By making responsible choices you can reinvent your life every day, and as our days go, our lives go. Remember, you are the CEO of your life, choose where you want your life to go.
For more information on Attitudes & Emotions, the A.R.E., 215 67th St., Virginia Beach, VA has free afternoon lectures on this subject (check the monthly schedule by calling 757-428-3588). For books on Attitudes & Emotions, go to the A.R.E. website, www.edgarcayce.org follow to the A.R.E. Bookstore site or visit our bookstore in person to browse.
Sherry Kulakowski has been part of the A.R.E. work for over 20 years. She has a degree in Business Management from Newbury College in Boston Massachusetts and graduated Valedictorian from the New England Academy of Therapeutic Sciences in Nashua, N.H. She moved to Virginia Beach in 1998 to be on staff at A.R.E. After obtaining her Spiritual mentoring Certificate with Atlantic University taught Body, Mind, Spirit and Dreams and Meditation courses for the Cayce Reilly School of Massotherapy and also created two on-line courses, Body, Mind, Spirit and Ethics, to enable distance-learning courses for the school. She has also given talks and workshops on metaphysical subjects for various audiences including many A.R.E. functions and retreats, government groups and college groups.
For the past three years Sherry has written a monthly column called Connections for Tidewater Women, a monthly magazine for the Tidewater area. She has been published in Massage magazine, Venture Inward and other magazines and periodicals.
This article was originally published in Tidewater Women Magazine, March 2005