Somehow I Manage, Vol. 2
So, I’m once again sat on my couch on a Sunday night. Cup of tea by my side. Fire lit. Went for Your Hand in Mine by Explosions in The Sky, hope all you Friday Night Lights fans enjoy that one. (If you haven’t watched the tv series – it’s great). I’m doing my best to keep on track with the blogs although I’ve had a busy day and have a busy week ahead. But if I can help others, then I’m going to devote some time to doing so.
This weeks skill is my favourite of the skills that I learned during my time in mental hospital. It hasn’t been one that I’ve been using much though at all. I tried to explain it to the mental health documentary guys today and actually struggled to do so. I’m going to do my best anyways to break it down, put it in simple terms and hopefully ye can get the hang of it. It’s a simple skill and makes life a hell of a lot easier.
Being human, we can be highly irrational at times and there’s a lot going on in life so we can struggle to comprehend what’s going on in our head. When this happens we can struggle to process the information in our brain, and we can be very one sided in our thinking.
To make the above make sense, I’ll break it down like this. We have three states of mind, and being able to identify what state of mind we’re in and then change that to the ideal state of mind can be really helpful at times. Our state of mind, or how we think and feel can have an impact on what we do. Sometimes that’s positive, sometimes it’s negative, so if you can get into the right state of mind it can make life easier for you. So the two states of mind are: Reason Mind, and Emotion Mind, but if you can use both at the same time you can enter Wise Mind. (It’s basically three states of mind but I wanted to use an meme from The Office.)
Reason mind is approaching things in a logical, intellectual way. Your behaviour is guided by facts that can be observed, measured or counted. It’s basically when you approach situations in an objective manner. So your behaviours are guided by reason and logic, emotions don’t come into the picture at all. It’s a ‘cool’ state of mind.
An example of this would be calling the bus station to find out the bus schedule, instead of just walking over and hoping to find a bus, or studying for a test.
Emotion mind is approaching things in an impulsive, passionate manner. Basically your thoughts and behaviour are governed by emotions. Therefore, your decisions are usually not thought out and your behaviour is usually an immediate reaction to an intense feeling. And the higher the intensity of your feelings, the higher of the energy of your behaviour. So basically when you’re in emotion mind, your behaviours are controlled by your emotions and reason and logic don’t come into your mind. It’s a ‘hot’ state of mind.
An example of this is having a fight with someone you disagree with, or going on a trip on an impulse without planning.
Wise mind is the meeting, or coming together of reason mind and emotion minds, but it’s better than the two put together on their own. That’s synergy for you. (1+1=3 etc). What is added when you bring both minds together is a sense of intuition or a feeling of ‘knowing it’s right’. Sometimes people have a gut reaction or they can feel in their body that something is just right. It’s the right thing to do or the right way for things to be. Wise mind involves approaching life in a way which you know is intuitively right for you.
Everyone has wise mind, even though you may not have found it or experienced yet. It’s there though, just like your heart or your brain. Always there working away, even if you’re not aware of it.
Wise mind is not what you think or not what you feel. It’s kind of like what you know to be true or the correct thing to do. Wise mind can come when you’ve got to the heart of an issue, and you can see the bigger picture, or that inner calmness after the storm.
If you want to check if you’re in wise mind, check if you’re being mindful of both your emotions and the facts of the situation. Check if the situation feels intuitively right or wrong for you. Check if you just know it’s the right thing to do or think. And check the outcome in the end, even though you may be in wise mind, and the outcome is right for you, it may not be right for others.
If you want to try it out then follow these steps:
1. Pause, take a breath.
2. Ask yourself which mind you’re in.
3. Check what the other mind would say (reason/emotion).
4. Try acknowledge or hear what both emotion mind and reason mind have to say, and ask yourself what feels and sounds wise.
5. Keep trying till it feels wise.
And don’t forget to give it time, it may be hard to find wise mind at first, but once you find it, it’ll be easier and easier to find it each time.
Some reason mind thoughts may be based on factual evidence. What evidence is there about what I think will happen? Is there a plan in place? What advice is there available?
Some emotion mind thoughts may be based and driven by feelings, opinions and personal interpretations of events. What am I reacting to? What am I worried about? What should/must I do? What would others think or say about me?
Some wise mind thoughts may be what is the bigger picture? What will the consequences be for me and others? Have I gotten through this before and how? Is it fair, is it safe, how will I feel? What is the best response to this situation for me or for my relationships? What will be most effective at this point all things considered?