Emotion Trumps Reason

We have both a rational part of our brain and an emotional one. And it is important to remember that emotion will trump reason every time. We can make decisions when we are angry, fearful, guilty etc. and those decisions made in the midst of twirling emotions, often also come with regret. The “why did I say that” or “what the heck was I thinking” will come in the aftermath of a decision made in too much emotion. That being said, decisions made with pure logic can also go sideways as it will negate the feelings altogether. The bottom line is that either end of the spectrum will get you into trouble.

It is much better practice; therefore, to move towards the middle; when feeling too emotional, it is best to slow things down; giving yourself time to process what is happening so as to allow your rational brain to have a say in how to respond – give yourself the 24 hour rule and sleep on it – and if you sense that your decision is not being informed enough by both emotion and reason, then ask those around you what they might do. Often times, they will provide feedback to you that will focus on the neutral. Being able to make a decision that is based on both emotion and reason is what we like to call “Wise Mind” and comes from the world of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

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