How Do You Want to Feel?
It’s August — a time where many of us are feeling the pressure of squeezing in all of the things that we want to do this summer. Whether it’s reading that one book, getting into a workout routine, spending more time with friends, or any number of aspirations – it’s common to suddenly find ourselves at the end of summer, only to realize that the season flew by.
If you’re finding yourself in this same boat, here’s my suggestion to you: over the next few weeks, focus on how you want to feel to help guide what you do and how you prioritize.
What We Do Affects How We Feel
I’ve written before about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how our thoughts affect our feelings, and therefore, our behaviors. But did you know this process also works the other way around? In other words, our behaviors have an effect on our feelings.
While this might sound obvious, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has such a strong emphasis on how our thoughts affect our feelings and behaviors, the strong impact of how our behaviors affect our feelings can easily be overlooked.
So. . . How Do You Want to Feel?
Do you want to feel refreshed? Accomplished? Focused? Calm and relaxed?
If you want to feel relaxed in the next couple of weeks (I think we could all use a bit more of that), what are the small behavioral changes you can do to feel more relaxed? Starting a simple meditation practice, reading a book before bedtime, taking a bath every few days, going for a walk. . . think about the types of things that help you feel relaxed, and focus on those.
Or perhaps you want to feel focused and prepared for the new school year. Notice the things you do that help you feel more focused throughout your day. Maybe it’s getting a full 8 hours of sleep, working out in the morning, journaling, making helpful to-do lists, listening to a motivational podcast. . . you get the idea!
By focusing on the feeling or state you would like to achieve, you’re providing yourself a roadmap for how to prioritize small behavioral changes.
And most importantly, try to enjoy the rest of your summer! Go easy on yourself, and remember that if you don’t get to all of the things on your list, that’s okay. At any point in time, you can notice where you’re at and what you’re needing in order to to help guide what you do.