Article in brief: How are feelings towards a situation created? Do thoughts provoke feelings and behaviors towards situations or do situations dictate feelings and behaviors?
Newton’s Law of Motion dictates that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”, that same law is also true for feelings as “for every feeling, there is an equal or opposite behavior”. ‘The Behavior Cycle’ (also known as The Cognitive Behavior Cycle) suggests that behaviors, feelings and thoughts are all connected in a loop cycle.
It is believed that people’s behavior in a situation comes from self-discipline; if a person is in control of their emotions, then they are more capable of controlling their behavior in most situations. However, behavior is mostly a combination of not only self-discipline and control, but also feelings.
Most people blame external events for the way they feel; they blame the weather for feeling gloomy, they blame the driving on the road for their bad mood, however, feelings are also mostly generated by thoughts. Perhaps that day when it was dark outside and caused someone to feel sad, it wasn’t the weather that made them feel sad but the thoughts implanted in them with regards to dark days? Isn’t it funny how people originally from the Gulf region love dark days but people from the west who live in the gulf almost automatically feel gloomy when it is dark outside?
This is better explained by the ABC rule by psychologist Albert Ellis:
- A – Activating Event: Something happens in the environment around you.
- B – Beliefs: You hold a belief about the event or situation.
- C – Consequence: You have an emotional response to your belief.
Overcoming feelings towards a specific event or situation isn’t easy, but starts with these simple steps:
- Identify the exact thoughts
- Challenge the thoughts
- Take small steps to gradually overcome the thoughts
- Behavior: the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances
- Cycle: any complete round or series of occurrences that repeats
- Cherry, Kendra. “Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.” About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://psychology.about.com/od/typesofpsychotherapy/a/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy.htm>.
- Cherry, Kendra. “What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?.” About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://psychology.about.com/od/psychotherapy/a/cbt.html>.
- Stangor, Charles . “Introduction to Psychology, v. 1.0.” Flat World Knowledge. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014. <http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/127?e=stangor-ch13_s01>.
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.