The Easiest Way To Change Your Attitude and Emotions

by Dan Johnston

The Easiest Way To Change Your Attitude and Emotions

“Our behaviour can actually change our thinking.”

When I was younger, quite a bit younger, maybe 18-19-20, despite studying psychology and being I would like to think a relatively smart person, I did not think there was any connection between the mind and the body.

I had this view on life that was so insanely analytical and – don’t ask me how that happened being an ENFP – but I had this insanely analytical view about our actions, our decisions, and essentially how the body and the mind work and all that came together and to me – it was all up in the head.

It was just thinking about making a decision.

It’s all logical.

And of course, we all know that’s not how the world works.

That’s not how people work.

There is so much more complexity and it took me many years of travel, of trial and error, of success, of failure, relationships to figure out:

No, that is not how people work.

What We Do Can Change What We Feel

One of the most interesting parts of this to me is all the research showing that our behavior can actually change our thinking.

What we do can change what we feel about different things.

So for example, if someone has a belief in their head, but say they are, for whatever reason, some kind of racist and then their behavior changes because they end up assisting somebody of a different race, they’re actually going to change their attitudes based on their actions.

So because they behave in a different way, their attitude will change.

I thought this was really cool when I first learned this.

I remember when I was back in Vancouver. This was when I was working as a mortgage planner many, many years ago, and I remember feeling really terrible.

I am not going to use the word depression necessarily, but just feeling really a lack of energy, I was feeling just down and I didn’t like it.

And in my head I didn’t understand why I was feeling that way.

I was like: What is going on here?

I was trying to think: Is it a life purpose issue?

Is there someone I’m not happy with?

Why do I feel this way and I couldn’t figure it out.

So I decided to Forrest Gump it and I literally got up – this was in the middle of the afternoon on like a Tuesday, the middle of the week, got up and I just started to run.

In Vancouver, if you don’t know it in the downtown area where I live, it’s surrounded by water.

So you can run around basically the entire city and that’s what I did.

I just started running and I kept running and I think all I ended up to running 18-19 kilometers.

Now, I was not a distance runner. I did run usually on many days, but like three, four or five kilometers, and I just kept running and I think at the end of it, it was like three hours, which is not a good time for any of you who run distance, but I basically told myself, I was going to run until I would feel good.

And that’s what happened.

At the end of it physically I felt terrible, my joints hurt, I probably should have stretched or worn special shoes or something.

But despite the physical negative feelings, mentally, emotionally, I actually felt good again.

And it was ultimately just by going and running and changing my behavior.

The Importance of Body-Mind Connection

So I wanted to bring this up because us ENFPs and – if you’re a subscriber of mine, you probably are not necessarily an ENFP but you fall into some kind of personality where we do a lot in our heads –

We’re very emotional, sometimes very intellectual, we think about the mind (and this isn’t all of us by any means) – I have noticed a pattern of people really separating the mind and the body and sometimes looking at people who are fitness nuts and assuming they’re not an intelligent person.

They’re just about fitness. Therefore, they can’t be really intellectual.

This is really dangerous.

There is a massive connection between our mind and our body, between our actions and our attitudes and in understanding this, we can sometimes find a great shortcut to making a change.

Because I’ll tell you this, it’s a lot easier in many ways to change what you do than change what you think.

It’s something we’re all capable of no matter how you feel.

You can get up and go for a walk. You can get up and talk to a friend.

And these sorts of actions can actually then change our emotions.

They can change our attitudes.

They can change how we think.

So the next time you’re struggling with something and you find yourself kind of stuck up in your head, I want you to think about getting out of your head and think about doing instead of thinking.

Just try that out and see how it works for you and let me know in the comments below.

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