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The Link Between Thoughts, Emotions, and Behaviour

Jonathan Riley

“The key to happiness is to always have control over your emotions.”

Everything begins with a thought and where you end up in life, begins and ends in your thought. The way you think will make your life a living hell or a living heaven. Everything starts with a thought.

Thoughts, in and of themselves, have no power—it’s only when we actively invest our attention into them that they begin to seem real. When we engage with specific thoughts, we begin to feel the emotions that these thoughts triggered, and we enter a new emotional state, which influences how we act. For example, if you regularly engage with the thought that you’re a failure and feed more attention to it, you’ll start to feel down, worthless, discouraged and perhaps even depressed.

When you’re feeling down, worthless, or discouraged, your body language reflects that, and you’ll sulk, slump your shoulders, and not appear very confident. But if you instead focus on more encouraging thoughts, your self-assurance will increase, and you’ll feel better overall, which will show in your posture, mood, and energy levels. Thoughts trigger emotions, and the vibrational frequency of these emotions then feed back into the original thought. And as we continue to give mental attention to the initial thought, it reaffirms the emotion, which then energizes the thought. And so, we experience a continuous cycle of think, feel, think, feel, think, feel. This results in the emotional state you come to experience: stressed, depressed, discouraged, happy, energized, confident, etc…

How you think and how you feel directly impact how your body reacts, and all three influence how you behave and what actions you take. This is how your thoughts create your reality. It’s in the way you behave and act that you define who you are and what you experience in life—and the way you behave, and act is simply a construction of how you think, feel, and do.

So, in short:

Emotions are the reactions to the thoughts you give attention to.

How you feel (and your body language) is a reflection of what you’re thinking about.

Since emotions and the body’s reactions are triggered by the thoughts you give attention to, therefore, your thoughts create your experiences, and thus, you experience what you think.

Every thought we have causes a chemical reaction in our brain, which then causes an emotion. As we engage with a thought, it creates a new circuit that sends a signal to the body, and we react a certain way. As we repeat this pattern, it seeps into our mind and becomes a habit. This is why neuroscientists say, “cells that fire together wire together.”

As you keep thinking the same thoughts, producing the same emotions and performing the same actions, you continue to live by the same experiences.

As we repeatedly engage in the same thought patterns of think, feel, do, these patterns encode as a blueprint in our subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is in charge of 95% of how we live.

Neuroscientists have discovered that 95% of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behaviour are influenced by brain activity that is beyond our conscious awareness, implying that 95% of our life is influenced by programming in our subconscious mind.

It’s tough to make a change when we’ve internalised the same destructive beliefs so many times through repetition. Our thought patterns reinforced our beliefs, and our beliefs came to define who we are and the reality we experience.

When you form an opinion about who you are, you are more likely to do two things: look for evidence that reinforces your belief and disregard anything that runs counter to your belief.

If you believe you are a failure, you will see every mistake you make as proof that you are, indeed, a failure. It is through your thoughts that you create your reality. As long as you believe you are a failure, you will continue to feel and act in ways that reinforce your belief, and you will dwell and fall into a trap of self-pity.

In addition to helping you deal with your thoughts, behaviours, symptoms, stresses, goals, and past experiences, My Practice can also help you deal with other areas that are important to your success. Talking to a therapist about personal issues can be difficult, but it can help you deal with problems and give you a sense of being heard, understood, and supported.

If you’re interested in scheduling a free 15-minute consultation with us, book online today.