Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Head or heart? Which rules you?

Often people make decisions based largely on either their feelings – their ‘heart’ – or on logical thought – their ‘head’.

I think both approaches have pros and cons and I’ve started to look for ways of applying the best bits from each on a daily basis, with varying degrees of success.

I am someone who is naturally ruled by my ‘heart’. How I feel about an event, object, person, or activity dictates what action I will take towards it and, my mood often controls my reactions to other people or their actions.

Someone who is governed more by their ‘head’ might look more rationally at a situation, considering probabilities and possibilities, looking at the facts and then choosing an appropriate course.

I’ve always felt that being feelings-oriented enabled me to be more spontaneous or, perhaps, passionate. It means that I spend more time doing things I enjoy or being with people I love, because I want the good feelings associated with them. I also ‘run away’ from the negative feelings of boring tasks or those which might not have much short-term appeal.

Alas, it has led to me making some bad decisions, which no doubt have effected things like relationships, finances and health, and it has meant I’ve experienced prolonged periods of depression as negative feelings have been allowed to govern.

It’s not all bad though, and I’ve enjoyed some fantastic ‘highs’ when I’ve chased after something exciting or done something purely because it’s fun. I would hate to lose that!

I’m no expert, but if you’re a ‘head’-case (no offence intended), then perhaps listening more closely to your feelings might give you some great insights into yourself and lead to some good times. (Not that thought-led people don’t know how to have fun, I’m sure!)

As for me, and people like me, I’ve started to realise (about time!) that sometimes we have to do something less enjoyable in the short-term (like my coursework, waiting for me on the table…) in order to secure enjoyment in the long-term. Perhaps it’s merely a product of getting older and feeling (there’s that word again) that life might be passing me by…

But finally, I think the greatest gain in adapting a slightly more rational approach is that I can take a step back from negative emotions, examine them, see whether they’re justified in the light of true facts, and then re-assess my actions or thoughts, enabling me to feel a whole lot better or enjoy things I might otherwise have not.

I’m hoping this will help me avoid overly-long bouts of being depressed in the future, just as soon as I’ve put all my toys back in my pram…

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