Did you know we have another superpower? It's called wisdom! Each of us has the ability to make wise decisions. We like to call this part of our brain the Wise Mind. We are wise when we can balance what our thoughts and logic tell us with what our heart and emotions are feeling.
We call the logical part the Reasonable Mind and the feeling part the Emotional Mind. When we think only with our Reasonable Mind we are ruled by facts, reason, and logic, such as when we follow a recipe or complete a math equation. We don’t acknowledge our feelings when we are using our Reasonable Mind.
When we use only our Emotional Mind we are ruled by feelings, moods, and urges, such as when we are stressed, anxious, angry, or sad. In our Emotional Mind, we often forget to think before we act or speak.
When we use our Wise Mind, we allow our hearts and minds to work together, valuing both the reason and emotion in a situation. This can be tricky to do, especially when we feel lots of emotions. In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we explore how to call on our Wise Mind to help us have a balanced response.
As a class, group, or family:
- Look at this example together: Your teacher tells you to wear a mask.
Your Reasonable Mind says: “wear a mask because there is a lot of medical evidence to say it protects us from germs”.
Your Emotional Mind says: “this mask is uncomfortable and makes me feel irritated. I don’t feel like wearing it”.
Your Wise Mind says: “Although this mask is really annoying, I know it keeps me and others safe. I will keep wearing it and try taking a couple deep breaths”.
- We often have to calm our mind in order to find our Wise Mind to create a balanced response. Try taking 3 deep, slow breaths before you begin.
- Next, discuss examples as a group of some common problems that arise when we are just using our Emotional Mind.
- Choose one and use the structure in the above example to work through it together.
- Next, think about a problem in your life that has been bothering you lately. Discuss some examples with the group. Together, choose one problem to work through. If it would help, draw the Wise Mind picture on paper.
- Now consider the following questions: What is your Reasonable Mind saying about this? What about your Emotional Mind? Which one is stronger? What is your Wise Mind saying?
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer
In what situations do you tend to lean towards your emotional mind?
In what situations do you tend to lean towards your reasonable mind?
What is a strategy you could use to find your wise mind?
Connecting to our faith:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
- Video: Wise Mind Explanation by Dr. Marsha Linehan https://youtu.be/X_BmPxd0Eiw (1:14)
- Exercise: DBT Wise Mind https://dialecticalbehaviortherapy.com/mindfulness/wise-mind/
- Video: Wise Mind, Emotional Mind, Reasonable Mind https://youtu.be/MLnUvxg_9po (13:13)
- Adult Book: “Wise Mind Living: Master Your Emotions, Transform Your Life” by Erin Olivo Ph.D.
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