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Changing Emotions & Songs …

Greetings readers! October is recognized as National Emotional Wellness Month, and, make no mistake about it, emotions are mind- and life-shaping, and they do matter. I used to love listening to a very popular song from back in the day, titled Hooked on a Feeling, by Swedish band Blue Swede. It was a great tune indeed, but as time has revealed, being hooked on a feeling (especially unproductive ones) can lead to negative thinking, unhealthy behavior and regrettable actions.

Emotional wellness is largely defined as the development of inner strength, peace and balance permeating mind, soul, body and spirit. Now, women are notoriously known for being emotional—that’s why we need our chocolate! However, men can also be emotional. The truth is anyone at any age can be impacted and controlled by such unhealthy emotions as fear, anger, anxiety, stress, and even depression. In fact, according to research by the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 6 million men and 12 million women in America are affected by depression. Moreover, according to a study commissioned by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders cost the nation more than $42 billion annually. People suffering from anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than non-sufferers.

It’s clear: The time is now to “unhook” from those feelings that drive negative thoughts and behavior. Some ways to do just that may include changing your diet (moving to healthier food choices, of course), and breaking from unproductive, routine behavioral patterns by incorporating exercise, recreational activities and mental-development techniques. More difficult, but necessary, choices may include separating yourself from environments, and even people, that leave you stranded on emotional islands of despair, depression and negativity. And, I must add, that we must also learn to accept unavoidable changes in life and set realistic expectations for ourselves and others. It’s not impossible and can be done!  

Change your thinking, lifestyle, and possibly your song of choice, like I had to do. Instead of Hooked on a Feeling, try Don’t Worry, Be Happy, by Bobby McFerrin. It’s a great song to get hooked on!

Balancing my emotions,

Annette Briggs

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