While we make plans on what we’re going to do for each day, we let the mood we wake up in dictate our day. Practise “forward feeling” to set the tone for the day by deciding how you’re going to feel without letting external circumstances rule your emotions. Whether you want to feel happy, creative, assertive, stress-free or unstoppable, focusing your thoughts in this way and setting the intention at the beginning of the day will help shape your mood and behaviour in ways that make it a reality.
“The fastest and most effective way to change how you feel is to change how you think because it’s your thoughts that generate your emotions,” says life coach Michelle Zelli.
“Thousands of thoughts pass through your mind each day, but your brain can only focus on one at a time. It’s up to you to ensure that the one you choose to home in on is the one that makes you feel how you want to feel and achieve what you want to achieve.”
The Science Behind It
The success of forward-feeling comes about because your brain’s primary goal is to make you happy and achieve what it thinks you want. Every day, it assesses your main goal and filters your experiences to take you towards that. There’s also biology involved to shape your mood and behaviour.
“All thoughts are chemical in nature. Positive thoughts generate chemicals in your body that result in positive emotions, [giving you] positive life experiences,” says Dr Vilhauer. “Good things don’t need to happen for you to feel good. Simply anticipating that they will happen will cause you to experience the feelings associated with them now.”
In the US, for example, there’s a trend called “positive passwording” that sees people choose passwords to reflect how they want to feel that day, week or month, so that every time they sign in, they’re reminded of their goal. You can try apps like Happify and RealLifeChange to record your daily experiences and keep track of your emotions.