Emotional reasoning is when you determine that how you feel defines reality. So even if you don’t have any proof, you assume something is either true or false because you feel it is.
Emotional reasoning is different than intuition or gut instinct. Intuition is a communication from the unconscious mind. Emotional reasoning is the inability to distinguish between emotions and thoughts.
And when we have strong emotions that interfere with our thought processes we can end up with distorted views of the world, situations, relationships, even ourselves.
Related Article: 15 Cognitive Distortions, Why They Suck and How to Fix Them
Here are some examples:
- After weeks of eating healthy and working out, you fall back and binge on an entire pizza. Even though one slip won’t hurt you, just like eating one salad after weeks of poor eating won’t make you slim, you feel like you completely ruined your progress. You think there’s no use in trying, give up and stop eating healthy all together.
- Someone is trying to be more assertive. Previously a people pleaser they decide to set healthy boundaries. Imposing those boundaries feels uncomfortable. Even though this is what’s to be expected with any new change, the feelings of discomfort stops the person off from boundary setting.
- Typically a great student, you fail a test and then make a bad decision. The two compact each other and you feel stupid so then you think you just aren’t smart anymore and think you’re stupid.
- A person hears a conspiracy theory. There are loosely connected events but no facts that prove it’s true. It just feels true. They end up selling all of their belonging waiting for the end of the world.
- Someone has been cheated on in the past. They are with a new, loving and committed parter. However they can’t shake the feeling that their new partner is cheating. It just feels that way.
- After moving to a new city and having trouble making friend you feel like a lonely and a loser.
- After a few attempts at finding love you haven’t met good people. You feel there are no good people and then decide to settle.
How Emotional Reasoning May Be Negatively Impacting You
- You feel something but the feelings could be a response from something that happened years ago. And you can end up treating a current situation or person unfairly.
- You can feel like you’re not making progress on your goals and give up right when you’re abut to see results.
- You may give up on something challenging that will positively benefit you because it feels tough.
- You may think you are less than or unworthy because of one mistake.
- You may see the work in a skewed view and believe theories that keep you stuck seeing the world in a negative, altered lens.
- You can cut yourself off from good people because you feel something is wrong even though it’s not.
- You can compact already negative feeling because you’re thinking of previous experiences.
- You can end up asking for or expecting less than you deserve.
- You can find yourself doing something detrimental to your well being because it feels good.
- You can settle and cut yourself off from opportunities.
- Thoughts lead to feelings which lead to action and therefore results. Feeling a certain way makes you
Benefits of Putting Emotions in Their Place
Emotions have a purpose. They alert us to what’s going right and what needs to be worked on. They help us find center. We should honor our emotions and acknowledge all of them—even the “bad” ones.
So I’m not gonna leave you hanging! Check out this article and learn how to fix emotional reasoning once and for all here.
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