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When we become enslaved by a particular emotion, like guilt, fear or love, or feel that we can’t control our feelings, it is often because we are not paying attention to our thoughts. Even if we do stop and think, the emotion persuades us that alternative viewpoints aren’t valid (they don’t fit), so the voice of reason can’t make itself heard.

Emotions generate a false logic that edits thought and impressions to interpret events. It uses emotional thinking which dictates a course of action.

There is little actual thought involved in the process – though you may well fill in the gaps later with thinking that justifies your behaviour – because emotional thinking tends to be ‘knee-jerk’ and without reflection.

This is why we need to be able to separate thoughts and feelings, in order to develop a more grounded and objective perspective. Part of the job of an emotions is to skew our thinking so we are biased towards mindless action.

Separating thought from feeling means the ability to stand back and think from outside the emotional frame. There are therefore two questions to ask yourself about an event: “What do I feel about it?”, and “What do I think about it?”

 

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