Go back in time to elementary school and remember those very early Christmas mornings waking up excited about gifts, edible delights and all-around good times. Most likely you did not get much sleep the night before but that didn’t matter because you were thinking about gifts, edible delights and good times. As such, it was easy to wake up and get moving. Now go back and recall all those early mornings having to wake up for school. Even if you liked going to school it is most likely there were many mornings that you just didn’t want to get up. It just wasn’t as exciting as Christmas morning.
This is an illustration of how you think is how you feel and then behave. If you are thinking positive and having motivating thoughts you will feel good and get up early for Christmas morning regardless of a lack of sleep or anything else. If however it is Monday morning and it’s time for school you may not be thinking positively or feel motivated to get up and go to school. In this case you probably will not feel good about getting up and your behavior will reflect your thinking and feelings. This is where parenting comes in and an attitude adjustment will be applied. The attitude adjustment hopefully will change the way you are thinking about getting up for school.
It makes sense that if you do not like the way you feel about someone or something that you change the way you are thinking. The fact humans have a prefrontal cortex affords us the capacity to think and if needed change the way we think about someone or something. Our thinking will then influence our limbic system where our emotions come from in addition to our memories.
There you have it as Dr. Richard sees it. Thinking precedes feeling and behavior. Change the way you think and your feelings and behavior will change. If you grew up not celebrating Christmas please do not be offended. Simply insert a happy, joyous event or occasion for Christmas and the same principles will apply. In my next article I will explore how perceptions and beliefs influence how we feel and behave.