The Option Method is a fantastic way to change direction when you aren’t feeling the way you want to feel. As quick and effective as it can be, there is even a quicker way to turn yourself around. The first is be happy. Remind yourself that regardless of what you are feeling, your ultimate goal is really to be happy, so why not go there? Ask yourself what you are doing to stand in the way of your happiness? Would it be okay, just for now, to step aside and let it happen? Whatever you think it might cost you, ask yourself if that is really true and see what happens.
Second, look at how you are feeling about what you are feeling. Yes, I said, how you are feeling about what you are feeling. Most feelings will pass quickly if we don’t hold onto them. Ever stub your toe? It hurts for a moment and then it is gone. But it wouldn’t be gone if then we chastised ourselves for being clumsy. And then we thought about all the other clumsy and stupid things we do. And then we started to worry about hurting ourselves. Then we’re off and running and not having a very good day.
There is a difference between feeling our feelings and having feelings about our feelings. When it comes to feeling good, chances are we don’t reflect on it too much – as long as we’re feeling good about what we consider to be the “appropriate” things. But feel good when we believe we’re not supposed to – such as when we make a mistake – and most likely we will have a feeling about that feeling. It’s called guilt or shame. And when we feel bad feelings such as guilt or shame, we are likely to have feelings about those feelings, such as embarrassment. Before we know it, we’re caught up in a big ball of unhappiness and we may not even remember how it all started.
So what do we do with all that? Sometimes things have snowballed so much, that we can’t even remember what we were unhappy about to start with. So let’s go back to the top of the page and read the first paragraph. And I have another tip for you. A great way to get in touch with your happiness is to be glad for what is. So why not start with your feelings?
It’s never a mistake to be glad for your feelings, whatever they are. Being glad for your feelings neutralizes any fault associated with them. Being glad for your feelings opens the door to more and more gratitude and less and less regret. Being glad for your feelings acknowledges that everything that is, is perfect, and that includes you. I could go on and on. Why don’t you try it and let me know what being glad for your feelings does for you.
Happy Thanksgiving, Wendy Dolber
“Be glad for where you’ve been. Each choice will be now. Sad or glad.”
Bruce M. Di Marsico, from The Myth of Unhappiness, Vol. 3.