At least one time each day I will relay this message to a client: “Mood follows action!” Another way to view this is“feelings follow behavior”. Clients come to counseling in order to change feelings more than to change behavior. What most do not realize is that when behavior changes, feelings follow!
It is true that most of us know what makes us feel better. It may be spending time with family and friends, engaging in a hobby, exercising or travel. But we tend to put those things off until we “feel” better. How wonderful would it be if we were to give value to our actions? Giving weight to those actions ultimately helps motivate us to do things which in turn helps us to “feel” better.
Oh the circles we get ourselves into…… Work to remember which of your actions regularly give you pleasure and satisfaction. Using this knowledge helps you to move out of the circular patterns and onto a linear path.
Place importance on yourself. Recognize that you are not helpless. You are not a victim. You do not have to surrender your worth. Find the determination to do the action and feelings will follow……..
Encouraging another person to change behavior is an exercise in shared hope. Together we believe that change can and will occur and thus an improved mood will be one of the results. Repetitive behaviors lead to predictable results. It does not matter if the behavior is healthy or unhealthy. Eat too much with no exercise and you will gain weight. Drink and drive and you will eventually end up in jail. Study hard, complete your homework and you will pass the course. If what you are doing is not working then why not try something different? If it is working then stick with it!
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt