Which Feelings Will You Choose To Surf This Week?

Feelings are much like waves. We can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to surf.
Author Unknown

I came across this quote on Pinterest this week. Not only is it a great quote, but so appropriate for summer! It got me to thinking about how many feelings, and variations of feelings, we have in a given day. Just today, I have felt excited, nervous, frustrated, thankful,  busy, bored, optimistic, and worried. These are just a few that I can recall at the moment. You may be wondering how someone could have all these feelings in one day!! It surprises me too when I see it written down. Take a moment yourself and think of all the feelings you have had from the start of your day to the end of your day. You may be surprised how many emotions you experience.

Emotions really are like waves! They come and go and there is not much we can do to control them. However, like the quote says, we can choose which ones we will surf. We can decide which emotions we are going to allow to stay with us for a period time.

And just like the sport of surfing, this kind of self-control takes practice. Learning to be self-aware and seek control over our thoughts and emotions can be work, but does get easier. If you find yourself surfing a wave of emotions that are bringing you down, bring this visual image of waves to your mind. Think about your feelings as waves and decide which ones you want to surf and which ones you don’t. If you don’t see any good feelings flowing in, try some visual imagery of the waves and name some of them “happy,” “content,” “relaxed,” and so on. Claim some of those positive waves for yourself and imagine yourself surfing the wave of contentment or joy or peace… you choose!

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Published by

Kim Peterson, MA, LPC-S, RPT

Kim is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist in Dallas, Texas.

4 thoughts on “Which Feelings Will You Choose To Surf This Week?

  1. Ugh, I needed this. I have so many emotions right now (mostly the not-so-good ones)… anxiety, annoyance, fear, etc. I forget that I can *choose* to feel emotions. I read somewhere (Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor I think) that emotions run through your body for 90 seconds. And if you’re able to witness and acknowledge it going through your body (tightness of stomach, fast heart beat, etc.) then you’re more likely to be able to choose to move on rather than, like you said, ride its wave.

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