Updated: Dec 15, 2022
Your initial thoughts, feelings and emotional reactions are not always right. They are nano-second responses to life situations often leaving your rational brain response in the dust. As the saying goes, “I don’t know what I was thinking!” You weren’t! Your responses are natural and necessary but if left to themselves, and not processed, they can wreak havoc in your life. Letting those thoughts, feelings and emotions go rogue, without engaging our brain in the evaluation of whether they are true or lies or whether they serve us or not, may bring us down a destructive path. We may entertain ideas that result in this toxic thought increasing its power and catapulting us into negativity,and false conclusions that can lead to hopelessness.
In addition, our perceptions are often further skewed when we experience trauma, codependency or a broken childhood. In addition, your environment may not have been conducive to cultivating healthy responses to the needs of your mind, will and emotions.
A healthier process is to take your thoughts, feelings and emotions and gather them into one space. Write them down. Now they are outside of you. The energy they produce is no longer gaining speed and power thereby thwarting a knee-jerk reaction. Dr. Caroline Leaf refers to it as the "MPA", (multiple perspective advantage). We all possess this ability to see our reactions from outside ourselves and neural pathway is actually located front and center of our brain called the frontal lobe of our brain. Many times during stress we bypass the utilization of the MPA and thereby react without analyzing the situation.
Once you write your thoughts, feelings and emotions down, go back over what you have written. Do this several times on several occasions. Now you may see things in a different light. Maybe your initial negativity was attributed to being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired, (HALT - stop everything and re-assess). Maybe there is something deeper going on that needs further exploration and healing. Either way, analyzing your thoughts, feelings and reactions allow you the space to gain insight into possible solutions for the issue and can save you from countless poor outcomes and pave a better path for your future.