Emotions and Logic: Getting them to Work Together
Did you know it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to experience intense anger, sadness, or anxiety and think logically at the same time? I’m not saying that you’re not responsible for your actions. In fact, it’s that responsibility that often leads people to taking their emotions and stuffing them, so that they can quickly return to rational thinking. Unfortunately, there are consequences to this. Those emotions are likely to come out in one way or another. Over time, they might even come out in inopportune times.
It’s important for us to be able to experience our emotions, while also giving room for logical thinking and decision making. Whether it’s when we’re trying to manage a stressful situation or dealing with something in our relationships, our thinking and our emotional awareness are important in living quality lives. However, they don’t play together that well.
Emotions aren’t that often based in rational thinking. This means that we can fall for the trap that says we can just tuck them away by thinking through things rationally. At the same time, rational thinking is needed when trying to establish goals and readjust our plan so that it helps us live the life that we want to live.
Trying to make logical decisions when you haven’t provided yourself room to allow your emotions to ebb and flow. This is a recipe for a disaster. Especially as situations get more intense.
Sometimes when people make decisions based in their emotions, they can be disguised as logic. For example, if you’re in a stressful situation, it can seem like you need to remove the stress and only focus on feeling better. But what happens when that doesn’t work?
When we try to practice logic without paying attention to our emotions, we risk developing resentment and frustration. When we focus only on our emotions, without paying attention to logic, we aren’t as likely to make any decisions or establish any goals.
Therefore, it’s important to set aside time to pay attention to your emotions, but also find support and give them time to change and lessen.
To help yourself identify your emotions and identify if you’re ignoring them, ask yourself the following:
- Did I let the emotion run its course?
- Do I need to share these emotions with someone else?
- Am I overriding my own emotional experience?
You also have to use logic to determine next steps, plan, gain information, and make changes in your life.
I recommend asking yourself the following to assess how you’re utilizing logic:
- How is logic helping me right now?
- Why am I using logic in this moment?
- How can I use my own logic while others are reacting to their emotions?
Finally, ask yourself what plans you need to make. What goals are you wanting to achieve?
Balancing logic and emotions is an ongoing practice. It’s never something that we really perfect. However, we can get better at giving time to both of these processes. When you learn to find balance with both of these things, you’re more likely to establish relationship goals and life goals that align with a valuable life.