How Wise is Your Mind?

In order to live more effective and balanced lives, it is good to integrate reason and emotion. This integration is known as the “wise mind.”

People tend to operate with pure reason or with pure emotion.  By viewing the world through either lens, we miss the big picture. 

It can feel cold and heartless to view events and relationships with pure logic and rational thought. However, it can feel disorganized and chaotic to view our lives and situations purely emotionally. 

Naturally, the human mind has three states: reasonable, emotional, and wise. Every person possesses each mind state, but most people tend to operate more in one than another most of the time.  

The Reasonable Mind

The reasonable mind likes to approach situations intellectually. It is often uncompromising and likes rules. 

An individual operating from the reasonable mind relies on the rational part of their mind. They usually plan ahead. They like facts and information.

However, by leaning so heavily on information and facts, sometimes productivity or effectiveness suffers. The reasonable mind can get stuck in opinion and debate. 

The Emotional Mind

The emotional mind dominates when feelings, rather than facts and information, control a person’s thoughts and behaviours. Emotionally-led people tend to act impulsively, and don’t fully consider the consequences. The emotional mind works from what it believes the truth is, from a perception of truth, or even from an idea of what it thinks the truth might be. 

The Wise Mind

As you might have guessed, the wise mind is balanced and exists in the overlap between the reasonable mind and the emotional mind. When a person operate out of the wise mind, they recognize and respect their feelings. However, they are also able to respond to them rationally and maturely. The wise mind is that place where every person that can know and experience truth. 

A Wise Mind Exercise 

Define a recent experience that you’ve had in which you were operating in each of these three states of mind. Describe the difference in outcomes, and try to interpret why the differences were present. 

  1. The Reasonable Mind
  2. The Emotional Mind
  3. The Wise Mind

Using the wise mind takes effort and balance. We can only learn to use the wise mind through experience. It takes a little extra effort to initiate the wise mind. 

In so many ways, learning to use the wise mind is like learning to ride a bike. Effort, practice, balance, steering – all the things that help you learn to ride a bike will also help you learn to use your wise mind.

We must find balance, or we fall off of our bike. If we don’t find balance between the rational and emotional minds, our wise mind cannot operate. Repressing or denying our emotions will cause us to lose our balance. Uncomfortable emotions  like anxiety, depression, anger, shame, guilt, etc. can also make us lose our balance. We must do the best we can to maintain and regain balance, or we will not be able to use our wise mind. 

In bringing wise mind skills to our emotional reactions, we gradually develop the inner confidence to move through more challenging moments. Please understand, being confident doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes or lose our balance. Confidence is trusting our ability to use our acquired skills, on the spot as needed, to tame our emotional triggers. 

What Does The Wise Mind Help You Do?

  • Regain calmness when attacked or confronted 
  • Intuitively sense what will calm emotions when in the heat of internal crisis or conflict 
  • Find clarity of choice when confused  

Benefits of Developing The Wise Mind

  • A more peaceful and pleasurable participation in life. 
  • Increased capacity to identify, understand, and tame self-sabotaging beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and habits. 
  • The elimination of destructive thought patterns that feed future suffering. 
  • The reinforcement of patterns that seed future happiness. 
  • Ongoing effective emotion-regulation (especially during times of extreme crisis and challenge). 
  • Increased capacity to tolerate painful life events. 
  • Emotional resiliency and enhanced emotional intelligence. 

Food for Thought 

What steps can you take today to further develop the growth of the wise part of your mind?

How might you benefit from developing the wise part of your mind?

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