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Emotions Might Be Affecting Your Reasoning

Emotions Might Be Affecting Your Reasoning

Emotions Might Be Affecting Your Reasoning

Dr. Ted here.  You’ve probably heard me say, “When emotions go high, intelligence goes low.”  And, by “intelligence,” I mean our ability to see reason – to use our conscious mind.  Body science supports this assertion because, physiologically speaking when the body prepares itself for flight or fight but does neither, the blood drains from the capillaries and peripheral arteries into the central body cavity – from the brain as well as the arms and legs.  Ever felt weak from fear or collapsed to the floor with grief?  Physiology explains how these strong emotions actually take over our consciousness.

Depending on how deeply ingrained the emotion is for you in the moment, there will be a surrender of your conscious control that goes along with it.  And there are clues to how much conscious control is being surrendered in the language you are using to describe the situation at hand.  When your language leans toward the superlative, as in you use words like always, never, everybody, nobody, have to, can’t, etc., this is a clue that emotions might be affecting your conscious reasoning skills. 

Let’s use the example of everybody. Someone who argues, “Everybody smokes pot” is exhibiting an egosyntonic reaction, which psychologists describe as a “doesn’t everybody?” naivete of the uneducated person who is unaware that “no, not everybody does.”  Emotions are high in their defense of their position, which in turn causes their reasoning skills—their general consciousness—to suffer.

Words like hopeless, helpless, and can’t, when used in statements such as “It’s hopeless,”; “I’m helpless to do anything about it,”; “I can’t change it,” show a narrowing, and “unaware of alternatives,” pattern of behavior.  

Want to rid yourself of these unwanted patterns? Watch for warning signals of high emotions in the language you use. Eliminating even one of these patterned responses can absolutely raise your general awareness level and put you in control, opening you up to all the possibilities that really exist for you. 

A good exercise to start this process of updating these unwanted patterns is the Morter March.  Join us for Morter March Monday LIVE every Monday morning at 9 Central on our Morter HealthSystem Facebook page and visit us at!