The Unconscious Influence of Emotions

The Unconscious Influence Of Emotions

Do your emotions serve you well?

Have you ever stopped to consider if you should really be making those big decisions today? None of us like to admit that we may just not be on our game sometimes. However, science shows us sometimes we need to just step back.

All decisions are emotional – The Behaviour Cycle shows us that emotions drive behaviour. We experience something, we attach it to a belief we have created from previous experiences, this belief drives an emotion, and the emotion creates an observable behaviour.

Somewhere between emotion and behaviour we are required to self-regulate, but this proves to be quite difficult for a lot of people. So if we don’t want to identify or admit our emotional state then how can we manage our decision making outcomes?

Feelings aren’t fact! They are an emotional state we experience from our belief system. For example, I feel so happy when I see a lizard in the wild because I believe they are lovable, wise creatures and I had pet lizards in my youth. Someone else may see a lizard in the wild and run away screaming because their belief system says “danger, unknown threat, run”. So feelings aren’t fact. If this is so, then how do we manage our days when our feelings and emotions are low?

It’s about identifying what we are experiencing every day before making any decisions or plans.

If I wake up a 2 out of 10 on the ‘s#!t scale’ then I probably am not at my best to make any big decisions. I will be heavily influenced by my negative emotions. I may avoid really good decisions because I feel they are too risky in my current state and need too much energy. Or I may make an incorrect decision which is  definitely too risky because I want to ‘up’ my excitement levels. As you can see, both outcomes are not optimal. Emotions have the capacity to skew decisions and affect your risk perception.

It has also been proven that anger lowers IQ levels. Woah, stop right there! Don’t we now know a lot of people this applies to? (I dare you to share this with them…)

So before you head out the door, self-assess. Where are you sitting on the ‘s#!t-scale’ of your emotions. If you are not at your best tell those around you “today is not a good day” so they can step up and help manage decisions and actions.

Wait until your thoughts are clear and you are rating yourself around a 7/10 before making any big decisions.