“Think logically. Use your head,” we are told. We are admonished not to be emotional. “Our brains separate us from mere beasts.”
Perhaps. And I encourage us to use our brains and our emotions.
Though wonderful, our brains often get stuck in habitual thought or biases that can lead to quite poor decisions and actions. In fact, what many people call “rational decision making” is often our brains thinking habitual thoughts in reaction to something emotional.
We get unstuck with emotion. Emotion acts like a built-in GPS: it tells us which way we are going. Bad feelings say that we are thinking (often habitually) thoughts that take us away from what we want. Feeling good is the signal that our thoughts are moving us toward what we want. Once we are clear again of our direction, we can rely on our smart-thinking-brains to help us get where we are going.
First step: learn to tell what feels good and what feels bad. You will notice “bad feeling” in your body as tension, weight, or exhaustion usually concentrated in your belly, chest, back, neck, arms, head, or legs. “Good feeling” is felt in your body as lightness, buzz, relief, or release.
In your corner,
PS: If you find yourself once again trying to solve a recurring problem, your brain is stuck. As a coach might send in a rookie to change up a game, give your emotions a chance to show you what they can do for you.