The human brain has two sides, each of which has an important function. Depending on one’s personality and extenuating circumstances, one side may become more active than the other. Learning how to use your “wise mind” can be a lifesaver in having healthy, stable relationships that thrive instead of just survive.
Rational Mind vs. Emotional Mind
The left brain is our rational, analytical mind. People who are driven more by logic and reason may identify as being more “left brained”. The right brain is our emotional, creative mind. People who are driven more by feeling and intuition may identify as being more “right brained”. Those who remain largely in their emotional mind will likely find it difficult not to become reactive in interpersonal relationships, while those who take an exclusively rational approach are likely to struggle to connect emotionally in their relationships.
The “wise mind” is another way of describing the concept of an overlap in logic and emotion. When we are able to easily engage both sides of the brain, we understand ourselves better and feel more at peace and aligned with who we are and our reactions to the world around us.
How To Use Your “Wise Mind”?
At a young age, many of us were taught to think before speaking or acting, but sometimes we fall away from this habit. I feel it is an underemphasized way of thinking that many of us forget to be mindful of into adulthood. To access “wise mind” we must pause before giving a knee-jerk reaction or becoming instantly dismissive of a situation. Breathe and take a beat or three.
Consider the Big Picture
When we take a step back and focus on the bigger picture, we are able to consider the way our response to a situation will consequently affect ourselves and others, both in the short-term and the long-term. Try to understand why you are tending toward a particular reaction: does this situation remind you of another experience you have had? What did that experience teach you? Was it effective and healthy for you and others involved?
After we have taken the time to learn something new about ourselves and have decided what the most effective way to respond is, it is time to execute. Because the response will be outside of the heat of the moment and because it will take the feelings of others into account, we can confidently and empathetically take action.