Fostering Good Feelings

Fostering Good Feelings
by BlackLion

We have often been taught that suffering is a noble act. In essence, we have been taught to feel bad and like it. But what if we don’t like to feel bad? Do we have to continue to follow that line of thinking or can we let it go and actually decide to feel good? Can we choose to feel good all the time just because it feels good?

Okay, if yes is the answer to this question, how do we foster these good feelings? We have been taught to focus on what feels bad or what is wrong and not as often (or not at all) on what feels good. Our main goal is to find tools and thoughts that can lead us to feeling good and creating a habit of focusing on what we enjoy.

Here are some tools that we have found useful in developing and practicing good-feeling skills:

  • Gratitude Journal. Every day, take a notebook and fill a page with all the things you are grateful for. If you’re having a hard time starting your page, find the one thing you enjoy the most, perhaps a beloved pet. Next, write more things about this object of affection. As you find more and more aspects about your pet, say, then the thankfulness keeps rolling and rolling. The more gratitude you feel, the less you feel worry or doubt.
  • Follow Your Heart. We often choose not to do what feels good because we don’t listen to ourselves. Whenever faced with a decision, whatever the subject, take a moment and find out what your heart tells you. We often feel negative feelings in our heart as a pull or clench. If any of the choices you have don’t feel right, choose one that does. Remember, inaction is an action as well, so choose that one if none of the presented choices feels good to you. You are your own best guide.
  • Relax. Take the time right now to notice any tension in your body. Focus on that part and intentionally choose to relax it. We tend to clench our muscles involuntarily much of the time based on stress or tension in our lives. By choosing to let go of that tension, you will get an immediate sense of relief. Find other ways to relax by taking a nap, sipping a soothing drink, or taking a warm bath.
  • Have Fun with Friends. Spend time with people who really care about you. By being in an environment that encourages your strong points, you can foster feelings that can bring you up. There is no need to focus on fixing anything or even ranting, that tends to bring you more towards negative feelings. Instead, celebrate who you are and share it with those closest to you.