By Fallyn Lara
In counseling we often say, feelings are neither good nor bad, they just are, although, our childhood experiences may have told us otherwise. Our parents may have said, “stop crying,” “put a smile on your face,” or, “turn that frown upside down.” In turn, we may not have understood the skill of regulating our emotions or have dismissed them. So instead, we do one of two things…let our emotions overrule us and be unsure how to manage them, or we completely stuff them away in a little box and pay no attention to them. What if I were to tell you there is an alternative? Yes, it is called the “Wise Mind”.
“Wise mind is that part of each person that can know and experience truth. It is where the person knows something to be true or valid. The wise mind is almost always quiet. It has a certain peace. It is where the person knows something in a centered way.”
– Dr. Marsha Linehan, the founder of DBT
Emotion and Logic Collide
Research has shown that our brain has two main categories: the left brain, or “logic,” and right brain or, “emotion.” Within a theory called Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, there are different aspects of the mind and the integration of both logic and emotion parts of the brain. This is called the “wise mind”. Essentially, our logic side of the brain is all about the hard facts and using reasoning to view a problem. This is the side of the brain that we use to learn new skills. The emotion side of the brain is basically in the word itself. It is all about how you are feeling and that “gut” response. Sometimes, we may rely a bit too heavily on the emotion that the logic goes out the window. So, those initial facts from our logical mind become distorted or taken over by the intense feelings. If you find yourself too far on either side, you can lose your sense of reasoning or sense of compassion or feeling. This is why it is crucial to tap into your “wise mind”. This is the integration of both your feelings and facts. To be in the wise mind is to have the balance of your two minds. In DBT, the wise mind is often referred to as the “intuition” guide.
Activating the Wise Mind
You may be saying, okay so I definitely fall in the Emotion or the Logic category. How do I enter this Wise Mind space?! One way to do this is through mindfulness meditation. This allows for you to develop the skill of observing your thoughts and identifying your feelings without judgement. As you do this, you are actually creating new neuron pathways from your right and left brain. There are many expansive meditations that you can use at https://themindfool.com/category/spirituality/meditation/, but below is a quick guide!
Wise mind Exercise
Set an alarm clock for a certain period of time each day. When the alarm goes off, check in with yourself. How are you experiencing the moment? Observe your thoughts and emotions. Don’t judge them as right or wrong, just observe and describe it by writing it down. At the end of the day, do you see a pattern? Have you learned anything about yourself? No matter what the experience you had, allow yourself to let go of all that happened. Let go of the judgments, and be in the moment. What is this like for you?
This is just the beginning of all things wise mind. As I have worked with clients, there has been so much benefit to practicing in both logic and emotion.
If you are looking to get further understanding of how this works and how to develop this further I would encourage you to reach out to our office and start your counseling process today! It is in counseling that you can not only create the skills for this, but also, get an understanding of how it all came to be and ultimately learn more about yourself and your propensities.
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