Should You Follow Your Emotional Guidance System?
The Emotional Guidance System
“Follow your feelings” or your emotional guidance system is the punchline of countless self-help books and the focus of many therapy sessions.
We can spend years in therapy, life coaching, or emotional intelligence coaching learning how to respect and obey our emotional guidance system, which will often lead us in the right direction. But the truth is that not all feelings are the same. Sometimes, listening to your feelings will absolutely wreck your life. How do you tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy feelings?
When to Follow vs. When to Not Follow Your Emotional Guidance System
Healthy feelings are like your sense of smell. They provide you with information about the world, about yourselves, and other people. Your feelings help you make decisions, and know when to move closer to something (or protect yourself). Your emotional guidance system does a lot to protect you!
At the same time, we’re all vulnerable to unhealthy feelings. Unhealthy feelings are rooted in depression, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, trauma, or impulsivity. If we listen to those feelings, we will almost invariably experience negative consequences. While our emotional guidance system does a lot of good for us, it can also lead us toward adverse outcomes when not properly followed (or ignored).
But the big problem is that our feelings always feel true, no matter if they are “healthy” or “unhealthy” – that’s the problem with following your emotional guidance system 100% of the time. It’s therefore very difficult to differentiate between feelings that we should respect and obey or feelings that we should override.
On today’s episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast we’re talking all about feelings and the emotional guidance system – and how you can determine which feelings to listen to and which ones to let go of.
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Should You Follow Your Emotional Guidance System?
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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self. She is a licensed psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a board-certified coach, as well as the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
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