Christian Marriage Counseling: Feeling Follow Actions

When couples come to us for Marriage Counseling, often each spouse is overwhelmed by their own individual feelings. They have reached the point of desperation by the time they get to us and feelings have masked their thinking. Feelings can range from Anger to Fear.

The best way to stop painful feelings is to learn the “Feelings Follow Action” principle.

When we feel a negative emotion, we feel pretty powerless to do anything about it. We hope and pray that we will feel better – we expect the change in emotions to just “happen” to us, similar to how a cloud descends on someone.
We don’t “feel” like acting upbeat or cheerful. We’re sad, or upset, or anxious, etc. We can’t help what we feel. We feel like prisoners of our painful emotions. We want out, but are held hostage.

We can tell you a surefire way to change your feelings in less than an hour – but few people want to do it. When we are hurting – most folks just want to ‘stew’ in their emotional pot. Our negative feelings have sapped our energy.

When we are down, the last thing we want to do is to act happy. It’s fake, it’s phony, and we don’t really feel happy anyway. The truth is that if we take the ACTION of doing things that people do when they are happy – within about an hour, we will start feeling much happier. It’s hard to believe – but it’s the truth!
It seems too simple to actually work, doesn’t it?

All you need to try it for yourself is a list of behaviors you do when you are happy or in a good mood. Your list should be personalized to the things and ways you behave when you are cheerful and happy. Make sure to include doing loving things for other people. That is the greatest mood lifter of all. Even if you can only seek to bless your spouse – that’s OK.

Muster up the courage to try it, “Just this once”. Trying something once doesn’t usually overtax anyone. Tell yourself that this exercise won’t hurt you, and after an hour you can always go back to feeling the way you were feeling before.
Feelings really do follow actions!

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