The Thought-Emotion-Action Connection
God designed us so that our ideas, emotions, and actions are inextricably linked. What we think about affects our feelings, and our emotions affect our behaviors. Consider it this way. Assume you are about to speak in front of an audience. What kinds of thoughts come to mind while you’re alone? Maybe it’s something like, “What if I mess up?” or “What if I embarrass myself?” “What if they don’t pay attention to me?” “How will I know if I am boring them?” Such thoughts are likely to elicit feelings of worry and anxiety, which in turn trigger a physical response. This is why, when we are apprehensive, our palms become clammy, and fidgety, our hearts race, and our breathing erratic. However, if we can convince ourselves that “I am prepared for this speech,” “It’s acceptable if I make a mistake,” or “The purpose is to deliver the speech, not do it flawlessly.”
Such thoughts will help us feel less apprehensive and nervous, which will be reflected in our body responses.
Similarly, if we find ourselves thinking things like, “I’ll never be good enough,” “I’m such a waste of space,” or “Nobody cares about me,” we will feel lonely and miserable. The result? We will most likely behave in response to these emotions: we will isolate ourselves, spend the entire day in bed, or engage in vices that we believe would make us feel less lonely or provide a high.
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