Today, I want to focus on a sweet little tool that can help you with your emotional self-awareness, emotion regulation and emotion expression. I see so many people that get caught up in the Emotional Reasoning (CBT) cycle and make decisions based upon how they feel. They decide to say something, do something or act in a particular way that is not “them”.
Example from Pop Culture
Have you seen the hilarious Snickers “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” commercials?
Check this one out!
Even though this humour is meant to sell a chocolate bar, it is also very true and a great example of how our emotional state can be effected by something as simple as hunger.
The psychotherapeutic approach Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a wonderful collection of skill building strategies that all human beings need to navigate successfully in this world. DBT focuses on building Interpersonal Effectiveness, Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance. For this post, the concept of the “wise mind” is the DBT concept that I will focus on.
We need utilize both the emotional mind and the reasonable mind processes in order to manage our life in a way that supports our goals, our dreams, builds healthy relationships, helps in our pursuit of happiness and anything that supports you to flourish.
Achieving the Wise Mind State
One quick and awesome strategy that can help you to utilize both your emotional process and your logical process is H.A.L.T!
Have you ever experienced an emotional reaction, or a behaviour, in a situation that is uncharacteristic of you or not how you would normally behave? Well then, stop, be curious and ask your self the following:
- When was the last time I ate something?
- Am I angry about something else? Is something unsolved?
- Have I been feeling isolated physically or emotionally?
- Am I tired from a long week, a difficult time in my life or from a health issue?
If you can answer yes to being any one of these, hungry/ angry/lonely/tired, just stop, solve the problem, give some space before you decide to act. You are then asking your Logical Mind to participate.
Just because you feel something; doesn’t make it true!
Check in with your logical mind. Sometimes emotions are just telling you that you are not taking care of yourself, that you are in a similar situation from your past when you did not have the skills to deal with it or they are a result of being hungry/angry/lonely/tired.
My suggestion today is work on shifting your mindset from being a victim to your emotional state to being an empowered human that is curious about what your emotions are telling you. Listen. Overcome the obstacles.
Here is an inspirational TedEd video to get you started on the right track, with the best mindset and optimal state of mind (mood) to become an amazing translator of your emotional language.
with Steven Claunch
You know I couldn’t leave you without a bit of PsychNerd babble 😉
The research team of Yip and Côté (2013) found that people with high emotional intelligence make smarter decisions because they aren’t swayed by their current emotional state.
From their results, they found that great decision-making is not about eliminating all emotions: they are a vital source of information. It is important to acknowledge the emotional information and decide if it helps or hurts your current task. Those with high levels of emotional intelligence are more likely to ignore those emotions that have nothing to do with their decision.
Good news! Emotional Intelligence can be bolstered and enhanced! Start with H.A.L.T today and stop, reflect and decide before you act on emotion alone.
Being hangry is not an excuse for bad behaviour…
Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.
Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through