Lifestyle | Health

July 19, 2013

Detach Your Feelings From Reality for Better Decision Making

You might think that a bad mood is tied to an event that impacted you negatively, but that's not necessarily the case. Understanding that your mood is often independent of your circumstances can help you avoid making bad decisions.

We've all been told at one point or another to trust our gut, Dr. Amy Johnson at Tiny Buddha warns against letting your gut guide you down the wrong path.

You see, you are always feeling your thinking. You are not necessarily always feeling “the truth,” or even your own personal truth. 

Every emotion, feeling, or mood you experience follows directly from the thinking you are experiencing. That thinking is not always accurate or important. It does not always indicate what’s best for you. 

In reality, your feelings are nothing more than feedback about your thinking. 

Feelings are not feedback about your mental health, the state of your life, or whether you have the “right” job, partner, or dietary habits.

Before coming to this realization, Amy would try to change things in her life that she decided were causing her bad moods, creating a feedback loop that kept her from seeing clearly. For example, she'd notice that she was in a bad mood occasionally at her job, and so she started toonly see the negative aspects of her work, and then decided she would only be happy if she found a new one.

In reality, her bad mood was just a random symptom of some negative thoughts. They happen, and we can't really control them. In fact, dwelling on the bad mood, and trying to change the things that caused it, will only serve to make it worse.

As it turns out, much of the negative experience of emotions is the cover-up. It’s when you resist, hide, or try to change those emotions that you experience them as painful.

When you do that, you’re playing with mental superglue again. You’re putting so much pressure and focus on those emotions that they are held in place. Remember, when you don’t hold on to thought and emotion, new thought and emotion rushes in.

The big takeaway here is to ride out the storm when you get in a bad mood, and try not to tie it to anyone or anything without sleeping on it first. If it keeps reoccurring, it might be time to think about making some life changes, but it's dangerously easy to make that determination prematurely.

 

Text by Lifehacker
 

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