I used to feel like the positive emotions I experienced were quiet, and the negative emotions and thoughts in my head were turned up loud. It was definitely the wrong way round. Sometimes the good emotions like happy, fun, joy, passion were so quiet I’d miss them. I didn’t even realise they were there to feel, until I looked back at experiences with friends or family and realised that they were really good times. I felt like I’d missed out.
I love movies and watched the original Wizard Of Oz recently. It reminded me so much of how I used to feel in life. The start of the movie is black and white with Dorothy doing her day to day work. It reminds me of living in cruise control. Same thing day in day out, predictable. Then when she is transported to the land of Oz everything is in vivid colour. I used to feel like everyone else knew how to make friends, to have fun, to be carefree, happy, passionate, excited. They were living in colour and I was stuck in black and white, with the volume turned down.
I wanted to talk the to director, script editor or DJ to get my movie changed to colour, to turn the volume up on the positive thoughts and feelings (the volume was definitely up on negative thoughts in my head!).
It turns out I was in luck! After years of searching, I realised that I am the director, script editor and DJ to my life, only I wasn’t taught the tools to make a movie and make the lasting changes I wanted to make.
Do you look for external solutions?
Maybe, like me, you’ve been there before, maybe you’ve been happy, you’ve had times in your life having lots of fun and something happened and it’s harder now or you’ve forgotten how. Perhaps you’ve never really had it. Emotions are everywhere. I used to try and change my emotions with things that I could see, hear, smell, touch or taste. I’d feel sad or worried and go eat chocolate or cake to feel happy, safe or calm. Not the best solution, I know! As a result, my health was not great.
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It took me a while to realise that I was using things outside of me to try and change my emotions (which are internal). I see people all the time buy clothes, cars, house’s, get into relationships, do so many things to get the feeling of excitement, fun, love, caring, acceptance that they yearn for. However, as you probably have heard time and time again… As William Arthur Ward put it “Happiness is an inside job”
But how? I’d ask how do I get control over my emotions? I was talking with a friend of mine one time and they got a piece of paper and a pen out and handed it to me and asked me to write down all the positive emotions that I can think of. Actually, do it now. Grab a piece of paper and a pen (or open a new note in your phone).
Make a list of the positive emotions that you can think of, all the ones that maybe you’d feel, or maybe you don’t feel and would like to. Emotions you see others feeling easily that you’d like to, or that you’ve seen in movies etc. Once you have a list of emotions, now go down the list and next to each one rate them out of 10 for intensity that you generally feel the emotion. 1/10 is hardly feel it at all, almost doesn’t even exist (0/10 is never felt it) Up to 10/10 which is feel the emotion often and strongly, just perfect for you, it’s easy for you to feel it anytime. By the time you have finished, you should have a list of positive emotions with a number next to each one. Mark a star next to any emotion you’ve rated 7/10 or greater. When I did this in the past, before I learned how to live in more positive emotions, my list had about 5 positive emotions on it, all rated below 5/10. I looked at the list and was shocked that I didn’t even have the words for all the many different great emotions.
This is what’s happening
Emotions are like recipes, you can learn them. Some of us haven’t been taught how to feel some emotions. Where are we really taught how to be happy? I learned from watching others when I was growing up. As a baby I was working out how to interact with the world. Learning feelings was a part of that. Although, unlike when I learned how to tie my shoelaces, I didn’t learn the steps to feeling happy. When you want to make the best chocolate chip cookies, and you’ve never made them before, you may be able to guess most of the ingredients. If you’re lucky you may get close to working out how to make them on your own, but the chances are that they will not be the best. So most of us go online or ask someone for a recipe. Then it’s a lot easier because you follow the steps to make the cookies. You’re a lot more likely to be successful because you followed the steps.
Do you want help with Sadness, Procrastination, Self-Sabotage, Confidence or Motivation?
I used to be sad a lot, there didn’t seem to be a reason for it. Little things would happen and I’d feel sad. What I didn’t know was that I had a strategy, a recipe, that would run automatically & because I did it so often. I became the best at it. I had the best recipe for being sad. It was really easy too, like making lemonade – lemons, water and sugar, easy! I could do it anytime anywhere.
My recipe for being happy was a lot more difficult. So difficult that I hardly tried it, and when I did, I got there by accident, so I couldn’t recreate the steps to do it again. Like making a soufflé. Souffle is a French dessert that’s like a fluffy cloud of sweet amazingness! The thing about Souffle though, is that while it may not have many ingredients, each ingredient has to be added in the right order. It has to be the right weight, the rights kind of ingredient. Everything has to be perfect! Every now and then I would make souffle and it would work, and that was like me being happy. I’d hang on to the feeling so tight because I wasn’t sure how I fluked getting there and wasn’t sure how long it would last. And then sometimes, I’d get close and then something would happen and I’d just miss out on being happy (or the volume was turned way down!). Some of us have a simple recipe for being happy, or having passion, getting excited. Just like the recipe for lemonade
I learned how to change my recipes and now being happy is so easy I can do it anywhere, anytime, with anyone. It’s inside me. At one point in my life, I never thought this was possible. But all I needed was to work on the recipe.
What people are saying about Emotion Academy:
"After many years of training, courses, and counselling in various forms I thought I had certain aspects of my life sorted. Yet completing Emotion Academy showed me that I had been running away from my emotions and not facing them. After Emotion Academy, now I have the tools to engage with myself and win the internal battles once and for all - Neil Welsh, Victoria
Have you seen people that get excited over birthday gifts, or about a movie coming out or they’re just excited because the sun is out that they’re alive or whatever, it’s in their frame of reference. They get excited for no apparent reason. And it’s so cool to watch and to be around.
Then there’s people that have their dream gift for their birthday, something they wanted for such a long time. You see them open a gift with their dream pair of sneakers, and all they say in a voice with no emotion is ‘Great, thanks’. They say the words but they don’t feel the feeling, like the volume is turned down on the actual intensity of the excitement or happiness. This is the moment when you have a choice. You can chose to change the recipe. We can choose to feel how we want to feel, it might just not seem that way sometimes, however, it is in our control.
If we can choose a new recipe, how do you do it?
I started to think about feeling emotions as something I could learn. If I was going to learn a new language, like French. I’d learn it so much faster if I actually went to France and spent time with people who speak French, who have been speaking French their whole life.
So I started looking for people who had been feeling the emotions I wanted to learn, people who had been feeling these emotions with the volume turned up their whole life. People who had a simple recipe for it.
I started looking for people who love to laugh, who laugh easily and are the best at laughing. I would hang out with them and go to a comedy movie and just by hanging out with them I noticed that I was laughing more. I’d have so much fun and I learned how to laugh easier. The more I hung out with them, the easier it got. I’d watch how they held their body, which was different to the way I held mine. The way we hold our body has such an important role to play in how we feel.
Melisa Grigg - Head Coach & Trainer
Melisa was stuck in sadness for 15 years, hated her job, was overweight and her relationship had just ended. Melisa inspires people with her story and now teaches how she sorted her life out. She worked out how to be happy and how to lose over 30kg of body weight. In simple steps she teaches how you can stop procrastinating, find confidence, stop being so sad and finally start to find true meaning and purpose in your life.
When you’re feeling down when you’re feeling pissed off or angry or whatever, you’re more likely to be looking down. The more likely to have your shoulders down, the more likely you’re looking at the floor.
When you see people get confident, feeling happy, excited, peoples arms are out, their shoulders are back, their looking up, they’re smiling. So, what if you did that? Even if you didn’t feel it completely, you did it and see what happens, you try it on.
People say fake it til you make it and I like that. Act as if you’ve done this a thousand times, act as if you’re somebody in a movie, playing yourself, being happy, being excited. The response will change for the people around you and the response will change for yourself.
How to create your recipe
So how do you start? Go through your list of positive emotions. Pick out the ones that are 4, 5, or 6 out of 10 and highlight them. Don’t start with the ones that are 1 out of 10, because you may feel like might never get there. Start with the ones that you’re average to ok at, make them stronger first. Once you get them to 7 or 8 out of 10, then start working with the ones that are 1 or 2 out of 10 and learning those recipes.
Go to your friends, family or the people around you. Find out what they love to do for fun that entices them to feel great emotions. If you don’t have people around you that feel emotion that you think are 7 or 8 out 10 of happy, excited, fun, passionate, there’s other ways as well. Watch a movie, watch music videos and notice how people are acting. Notice what they’re doing, and then act as if you’re doing it yourself. I have songs that I listen to, for feeling excited, or fun or happy or playful. And everytime I listen to those songs I feel these emotions. I dance around the room I jump up and down. I have fun. Create a playlist find songs that make you smile, that make you happy that gives you energy and life and fun go do them. And choose! Ultimately it’s a choice. You can chose to be happy or you can chose to turn the dial up. It may take some work and time to build those emotion muscles. But it’s totally worth it.
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