A Fils for Your Thoughts

July 27, 2008

Listening to Your Emotions

Filed under: Knowledge,Personal Development,Philosophy — Haider @ 3:56 pm

To completely rely on your reasoning does not mean that you must ignore the signals your emotions provide. There are two important ways in which your emotions can support your reasoning (there is a third way, in the form of intuition, which I will leave for a separate post):

1- What your emotions say about you: To better appreciate the role your emotions play in your life, consider how you respond to your pain sensors, and what function they serve in the first place: pain is a signal that lets you know that your body is exposed to something that is harmful to it. If the harm is (potentially) great, and the pain is severe, your body won’t even wait for a response from your brain, but will respond with a reflex to jerk the body away from what’s harming it.

The same applies to feelings of hunger, for example, which let you know that your body is in need of food, or particular nutrients. If you choose to ignore your hunger, you would be dismissing an important message about your body.

The same applies to other feelings, such as fear, depression, joy, etc. They reveal to you your own values, and what you need to adjust or work on in your life.

2- What your emotions say about your beliefs: When you hold a belief that is inconsistent with the reality you are observing, your emotions will register the conflict, and you will feel uneasy, frustrated, angry, etc. Therefore, your emotions are important when considering the validity of your beliefs: why are you having these feelings? What are the issues you have not yet resolved in your beliefs? Where do the contradictions lie in the beliefs you hold, or the inconsistencies between what you have accepted to be true, and the inputs you are receiving from your senses?

Your emotions are not random sensations about a distant dimension. They reveal to you the consequences of your beliefs on your life, and they are an essential element for a better understanding of your body and your mental state. In the same way that a rational individual would take into account external factors to understand external phenomena, he needs to be attentive to internal signals to better understand his internal reality.

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