There is a theory called “set point” theory which states that any kind of system – mechanical, physical, or emotional – tends to find a state of equilibrium. It takes an enormous effort to shift the system to a new balance point. You can think of it as similar to Newton’s Law of Inertia that points out the difficulty of making an object change its speed or direction. This way of thinking is useful for understanding why it’s so hard for us to change. This includes everything from managing our weight and physical health to changing our feeling set points to a new level of emotional health. We all have emotional set points we tend to keep landing in – like it or not. With focus and effort, though, it’s important to know that this can be changed
For my purposes, I’d like to talk about how we inadvertently use our set points in a way that slows our journey towards greater happiness, hope, and well-being.
Think of it this way – the tendency towards self blame, doubt, or fear are all manifestations of our existing set points!
Here is something to consider when you find yourself falling into your normal source of misery – what if this is simply a habit? What if those feelings are nothing more than your normal energy state trying really hard to return to its familiar place? Maybe, just maybe, the intense resurgence of those feelings is really proof that you are, in fact, making change?
The next time you find yourself in the emotional dumpster, it might be worth asking
- Is feeling this way a habit?
- Am I feeling like this because I’m used to it?
- Is there really a good reason for me to feel like this?
- How much time do I spend in any given day like this?