We cannot control the outside circumstances, but we can use some tools to manage our inner world. This helps us to feel as though we have choices regarding both what we do and how we feel about what happens to us.

“We actually have much more control over our lives than we tend to think we do. Especially when we get caught up in one of these stuck loops, it can feel as though our lives are shrinking down around us.

Our inner world and outer world influence one another, and we must learn how to navigate that.

For me these three tools, PAUSE, TEA and MASK helps me to make my emotions my ally.

Our lives are controlled by three elements: emotions, thoughts, and actions. It’s easy to see how these elements matter. What we feel, what we think, and what we do are integral to who we are. What’s less obvious is how these elements interact.

Your emotions, thoughts, and actions are connected to one another in a bi-directional feedback loop. Each element influences the others.

Feeling a certain way causes you to think and act a certain way. Particular thoughts inspire particular actions and encourage particular emotions. And, most importantly, new actions can trigger new thoughts and new emotions.

For reasons that are not yet understood, the brain tries to align your emotions, thoughts, and actions; it prefers congruency between them. This means that a strong signal from any one of these three components can have a huge influence on the other two. This pull toward alignment can work in your favor … or not.

If you don’t make a conscious effort to intervene in this feedback loop, it will control your life. But you are greater than the sum of your emotions, thoughts, and actions, and you can learn how to master them.

The thought-emotion-action is a feedback loop and is the best tool to remind us that we always have the power to step into intentional living.