How to Use Your Emotions to Make Better Decisions

Emotions: How do some people keep a clear mind to make intelligent decisions? Is managing emotions a skill anyone can learn?

Emotions

There are no bad emotions. There are only bad uses of emotions. ~ www.jaywren.com

Emotions Have Positive Purposes

All feelings help us interpret our world and make decisions.  Even anger, doubt, and fear have positive benefits.  Anger can help us protect ourselves and the people we love.  Doubt helps us avoid doing things before we prepare. Fear can save our lives by avoiding danger.

Additionally, feeling positive is healthy.  When we feel good, we enjoy life more.  Positive feelings reduce mental stress.  Consequently, positive states of mind reduce the unhealthy physical stress that comes from mental stress.

Used correctly, our feelings can give us greater opportunity for success.

Too Low and Too High

When we overreact out of anger or fear, we risk damaging relationships and even our safety.  Additionally, when we let doubt drive us to inaction, we do not take risks that are part of growing personally and professionally.

Can we have emotions that are too high?  Absolutely.  When we are emotionally highs, we see a world of abundance.  And that’s fine up to the point. However, these highs can lead us to spend money and make commitments beyond our means or best interests.

Think Through the Action

The solution to making intelligent decisions in the face of highly charged negative or positive emotions is to think through the action.  I can ask myself, “What are the consequences of acting on my emotions.”

Personal Case Study #1: I am angry with my boss and with other people around the office.  When I vent my anger, am I damaging my relationships and putting my job at risk?

Thinking through my actions to the damage that my actions might cause can reduce the anger that I feel.

Furthermore, I can focus on what changes I can make in myself to reduce the anger I feel toward the people in my office.  I can get more rest, eat healthy snacks, and reduce caffeine.

Personal Case Study #2: I am jubilant about a pay raise and decide to buy a new car.

Before I buy the car, I can think through the costs and whether my pay raise makes the car affordable. Making an expensive purchase is never in my best interest.

Conclusion

All feelings are healthy.  However, sometimes I must do a few things to make my emotions work for me and not against me.