You’ve heard it before, right?
That you’re an emotional thinker—not a logical one. Or that you use the right side of your brain over the left, or even that you’re more yin than yang.
These are all variations of the same idea: that emotions are the driver of thoughts and behaviours—at least in my case, anyway (and I’m totally not the only one).
Truthfully, it’s a struggle. Living life as someone who is emotionally driven means that I can act on impulse way more than a logical person. I can become ungrounded and all caught up in my emotions, leaving me confused about a situation and person. Not ideal.
To put this into perspective, consider yourself for a moment. When someone asks you to hang out, do you immediately jump up and say, “Yes,” knowing you have other more pressing tasks at hand? This impulsiveness suggests that you are acting from an emotional state, rather than thinking logically about the situation and responding from a place of doing what’s best for you.
For a long time, I didn’t know how to deal with all the emotions that would arise. I would get triggered by something small, and the rush of emotions and emotional thoughts would rush in, causing me to act impulsively in some way that I would later (always) regret. Until now. I better understand what was driving my emotions and brought awareness to my patterns. This was a variation of childhood trauma and learned behaviour. This requires deep diggin’!
For all you right-brained, yin energy, and emotional thinkers, this one’s for you.
Below is a guide to help you navigate the difficultly beautiful world of feelings.
1. Get to know yourself better.
Ask yourself, what makes me tick? How do I act on impulse in response to my emotions? What is my average emotional state? All of these questions—and a ton more along the same line—will help you navigate where you’re at right now.
2. Pay attention and be aware of your emotions.
Emotions can arise in your body or mind. A thought can trigger uncomfortable feelings in your body, or vice versa. In that triggered state, ask yourself what you’re feeling. What can that feeling be traced back to? How can your awareness in that state help you make a decision that starts to break your patterns?
3. Reframe your thoughts.
Being an emotional thinker isn’t bad or negative. It’s beautiful! Emotional-minded people are creative, understanding, empathetic, caring, giving, loving, and they can feel.
Being logical or yang or left-brained is not better; it’s just different. Everyone experiences the world differently. Some use the emotional lens and others use the logical lens, and that is o k a y.
You are who you are. Self-acceptance is key.
4. Self-Acceptance. Self-Love. Self-Compassion.
Ahhhh, the key ingredient. Throughout this process of awareness and shifting, be open to loving yourself. Hardest part, I know, but like all good things, it takes work and is totally worth it.
5. Find someone trustworthy to talk to.
Is there someone in your life who you know won’t judge you, loves you unconditionally, and is open to listening to you? If yes, great! You’re halfway there (I totally just sang “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi). The other half is doing the work of opening up.
If you don’t know anyone you’re comfortable opening up to, that’s okay too! There are so many resources out there to help, whether it be apps, a therapist, or talking to yourself.
Tip: when I had a hard time speaking to others about my personal stuff, I would talk out loud when I was alone or I’d record myself speaking so that I felt like I was speaking to someone. It’s better than letting all the thoughts ruminate in your head.
I’ll leave it at that. I truly hope this helps you, in whatever way it is meant to.