By Dr. Ken Larsen
William James, whom some credit with being the father of American Psychology, once proclaimed, “I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing.”
This simple yet profound statement points to the interconnection between what we do and how we feel. Dr. Wm. Glasser points to what he calls “total behavior”. Total behavior is recognizing the interplay between what we do, the ways we think, our emotions and our physiology.
We can only control our actions. What we do shapes our thinking, which then impacts how we feel. Finally, as we are learning, our thinking and emotions tie into our physiology, and our mental and physical health.
The placebo effect shows us how what we believe has an effect on our health and well being. Then there is the “nocebo” effect. When we believe we are miserable and lonely, we probably will be.
We have a choice here. We can let the way we feel rule our lives, or we can have some control over the way we feel by what we choose to do. We can learn from Anna in “The King and I”
While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows I’m afraid
The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well