How easy is it to talk ourselves into something? Very easy, unbelievably easy, if we aren’t careful. Add in the fact that we can be influenced by those around us without even realizing it and it’s easy to see how quickly we can rationalize most anything.
Emotional Mind is a facilitator of rationalization. If we can think it up, our emotions can certainly run wild with it.
For those of us with a traumatic past, which I’m guessing is the vast majority if you are a reader of this blog, Emotional mind is a daily struggle. I know it is for me.
Just by sheer human nature, but exacerbated by past trauma, the slightest passing thought can turn into a raging, emotional, and exhausting battle in our heads. So how do we combat this?
This is where Rational Mind and ultimately Wise mind can come into play.
I know from my own first hand experience, Emotional Mind is where I jump too initially, more often than not.
As you may know, Emotional Mind is just that, approaching a situation or thought without really being grounded. We aren’t necessarily thinking clearly because we are too busy getting excited, angry, sad, or whatever emotion happens to jump to the forefront.
It’s also very reactive; instantly we can be on the defensive as to why this person would say or do that, or what they’d want to put us in a particular situation.
On the other side is Rational Mind. This involves thinking through a situation logically, and looking for facts to support it. We pause before jumping to a conclusion in any direction, and make sure we examine every possible option pertaining to the situation.
Is there indeed clear evidence to back up the thoughts that our emotions are trying to run with? Or, have we been so hurt in the past that we can’t clearly see the circumstances for what they really are?
This is not to say that every situation is cut and dry, because clearly they are not. The best way to determine the truth as best we can decipher it, is to use a combination of Emotional and Rational Mind – which is Wise Mind.
Emotions are not a bad thing, but if we let them run wild they can cloud our judgment and send us down a path that isn’t healthy. We need to make sure we take the facts and our past experiences with a person or situation, and use both to come up with a Wise Minded approach.
Perhaps our emotions are justified based on past experience, so we know to try and avoid certain people or circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t prejudge before thinking it through first.
In addition to that though, if we know someone is toxic to our existence and they have been for a long time, then we already know what we need to do. Either avoid them completely or limit the interaction to a short amount of time and have a safe person with us.
That’s not necessarily something we have to take much time in thinking through. However, it’s still a good idea to re-evaluate from time to time just to keep ourselves grounded and our emotions in check. If nothing else, we validate to ourselves why Wise Mind tells us to steer clear.
I wrote not long ago about healing happens in the scary middle, the gray area. Well, I like to think of Wise Mind is kind of a gray area. A combination of emotional and logical thinking that isn’t necessarily black and white. It’s a happy medium.
Again, I know how easy it is to let our emotions run wild and put us on the defensive right out of the gate. I encourage you, and myself, to put the brakes on the emotions and take a few minutes to really see each circumstance for what it really is.
Every person, every situation, is different. We owe it ourselves to make informed, rational decisions to not only stay safe and to not put ourselves in unhealthy, invalidating situations, but also to give us the best chance to grow.
image courtesy of www.wallpapername.com
Thanks for the informative read, Matt. I have been steadily improving at using the Wise Mind tool. Just today I had someone on Twitter call me ‘dumb’ and my immediate reaction was emotional. I felt like something was pressing down on my chest and tears welled up in my eyes. After having a cigarette and reassessing things using Wise Mind I came to the conclusion that I am not dumb (except in mathematics haha) and her comment says a lot about her and nothing about me. It still stings a little but others on twitter have encouraged me and soon I will forget about it.
thanks Matt for sharing i haven’t used this tool before i know its going to be really useful for me most of the time i use my emotional mind.but i am going to use this tool and also my mindfulness to help me be more grounded and less emotional thanks for sharing take care kind regards Lynda