Thinking and feeling are not the same. Emotions are bodily reactions, like reflexes. These responses often arise spontaneously, and kick in when you need to react immediately, for example out of fear.
When you identify and describe your emotions accurately, you can think clearly about a way forward. In moments of high emotion (whether positive or negative):
- Accept and acknowledge your emotions.
- Pause and take a step back before making any critical decisions.
- Avoid problem solving or trying to rationalize while experiencing your emotional response.
Working Through a Divorce
Working through their divorce, Miranda describes how she and her ex-husband moved beyond the emotional aspects to focus on their son and the financial impacts of the divorce.
“We essentially sat down and figured out what we wanted to have happen, and what would work out best for us in terms of dividing our stuff, getting us each established in new homes, how to handle our son's living arrangements and other items.”
While they successfully worked their way through their finances without outside help, that’s not to say they were immune from the emotions that accompany the divorce process. There was hurt and pain, but they combatted these feelings with mutual respect.
“Even though I was hurt by my ex's request for a divorce, I realized quickly that it was in both our interests to move forward and get established separately with minimum fuss,” Miranda says. “It's less expensive, and it's better for us and for our son. The key is being able to look at the long-term goals and find ways to ensure that everyone gets the best new start possible. In order to do that, I had to move beyond my hurt.”
Let Feelings Out
Let your emotions move through you and pay attention to the specific feeling words that best describe them.