let’s throw some light on the relationship between thoughts and feelings and behaviors. how i feel about a situation reflects my values. if i express pain because i am lonely, then i will ask myself, do i value friendship? this is absent but implicit. if i feel useless when unemployed, is not the underlying message that i value working hard? feelings can help me connect with myself and others. when i am upset and i show it, people may become more invested in helping. when i cry or vent my anger, it’s a release and i feel alive. the thoughts which color my feelings are not always facts. feelings are not facts because the thoughts behind them are colored in by attitudes and beliefs and assumptions. if i can increase my awareness of my automatic thoughts, patterns of belief systems i inherited from my family will begin to reveal themselves. i was embedded within a family system. the family developed its own coping strategies within the greater community, manifesting in thoughts and behaviors. what i was taught then may or may not be of use to me today, and may even get in the way of my health and happiness. i can give myself a chance to discard the useless, irrational, ineffective ways of being, and evolve into more fruitful ways of being. this can free me up to be playful and respond to the world differently, lessen my inhibitions and make healthier choices.