Is Your Thinking Off Track?
How can you tell if your thinking is off track? Is there a signal that you get that warns you to stop before you do or say something that you will later regret?
The answer is YES! That something is like an inner GPS that warns you when you have made a wrong turn. The “it” that I am referring to, is your feelings/emotions. The good news is we all have it!
We have it backwards…
Most of us have it backwards. We think we should take action based on our emotional state. If we are angry, we should do or say something to express our anger. If our teenager does something that upsets us, we should lecture, shout or maybe even kick her out of the house. Later, when we calm down, our teenager has left and we don’t know where she is, then we regret our hasty action.
What our emotions are really trying to tell us, is that our thinking is off track. It is our built-in warning system that tries to tell us that we need to step back from the situation. Our emotions are there to tell us that we are not looking at the situation through clear lenses. We are too close and if we don’t stop ourselves, we are likely to do something we will wish we hadn’t done. Or at the very least, we will spend too much time in feelings of anger or ill-will toward someone else.
The next time you feel upset by a person or a situation, don’t react right away. (I am not referring to life or death situations or when you are in physical danger.) Walk away, and let your emotions settle down. Then ask yourself if the action you were going to take, is in the best interests of everyone involved. Most of the time, I think you will find that some other action now seems more beneficial and appropriate.