Use Action to Improve Emotional State
- Bill Marklein, Founder of Employ Humanity
The Father of American Psychology William James, more than a century after his death, has wisdom that will give Americans a helpful approach to respond to this national emergency. “Use action to improve your emotional state,” James would confidently advise us all during this pandemic. "Become immersed in the action of service and love, first to yourself."
Actions create emotions. One more time…Actions create emotions. Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves helps no one.
“I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.”
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.” – William James
Find a blank piece of paper and draw two columns with a (+) positive emotions header on the left and (-) negative emotions header on the right. Examples of positive emotions are calm, trust, optimism and love. Examples of negative emotions are fear, anger and sorrow.
Once you have your two columns with the top headers, audit your actions the past week and think about what actions created positive emotions. Similarly, what actions created negative emotions? What actions can you eliminate from the negative side and what actions can you continue and add to the left side to improve you emotional state? Continue to asses and re-assess.
Go a step further and think about what body language does the same for your emotional health. For example, clenching fists makes me feel angry and walking tall makes me feel more confident. Positive demeanor during crises is essential in the presence of the people we lead like our colleagues, community and children.
Using self-awareness, manage your behavior and body language to do actions that more love and serve yourself and others. We cannot control the circumstances, but we can always choose our response (actions) that will shape our destiny.
We will need to embrace the liberty to choose our actions that will help create how we feel during these uncertain times. Act as if what you do makes a difference and it will.
As humans, we are all in this feeling together.