If at this very moment I ask you one question ‘Do you mostly listen to your heart or your head?’
You must be thinking that If I go by my head and ignores heart then I feel lumpy feeling in my throat and my guts do not help me either. And if you are a big fan of Paulo Coelho, then you must have come across this quote ‘You will never be able to escape from your heart, so it is better to listen to what it says’. However, If I go by my heart then I am being looked as a dumb, impractical joker who is acting on feelings. Well, to be honest both looks risky. This sort of things you will get in newspaper editorials, or in magazines under ‘ask column ‘also there are hundreds, lakhs of self-help books on how to think and telling you which way to go. To be honest, I have read so many books, newspapers etc. on this topic but all those left me more confused than ever. It took me years to figure out that humans are emotional creatures who love to mix things with logic. In my opinion, while making decisions, there is no absolute white or black rather it’s a middle area, I called it as a grey area which is a combination of both the colors black and white. Though many times I still go back to my favorite Paulo Coelho quote and it made me realize that ‘listen to your heart’ basically means you should listen to your feelings and emotions.
According to the experts in psychology, our brain is not set up to suppress the emotions but as usual when we do so then to cope up with distressing situation, we get those suppressed emotions in the form of various defense mechanisms which is not so healthy behaviors. In my opinion, renowned author Paulo Coelho must be trying to explain us that we should be aware of our feelings and emotions. Constantly our body is sending signals to let us know that what are feeling, irrespective of right or wrong.
Wait, what about the head/mind?
Well, I guess here comes the importance of emotional health or to be precise emotional intelligence which combines both the heart and mind of an individual.
My professional work as doctor and blogger focuses on creating action plan for personal health and development. In my previous blog post I have explained all about the emotional quotient/emotional intelligence (E.Q/E. I). ( https://www.yadavruchi.com/post/emotional-quotient-or-intelligent-quotient).
How Can We Learn to Listen to Heart /Feelings/Emotions
Well, the best way which worked for me is ‘self-affirmations’ you can start while brushing your teeth and looking into the mirror and saying ‘I am proud of my emotions’ likewise…another way of doing it is by practice and practice. Journaling is another way where you can write what you feel, how you feel and why do you feel? Journaling is the best way to get in touch and being aware of your emotions. It is like you are sharing your innermost feelings with some who will not judge you no matter what, without getting embarrassed. Isn’t this one of the greatest feeling? I have started this practice while I was pregnant with my daughter and my hormones were causing havoc in my life and I believe journaling was the best thing, I did for myself. I still do…
Remove Unwanted Mental Distractions
I have a habit of watching selected motivational YouTube videos and TED talk videos to keep up my mental health. While watching YouTube videos there are certain ads which are violent or overly sexualized or totally irrelevant can be skipped by subscribing to the YouTube Red. It avoids mental distractions. I have committed myself to continuously learn about myself for which I read books, journals. In this fast-paced world where everyone is following rat race it is important to tell yourself that ‘I am not in competition with any one except myself’. It is your own choice to become better every day.
When you listen to your feelings by consciously being aware of them, next time when get the same emotion then you learn to handle that situation in a better way. Also, you get to know what the trigger point for that specific emotion was. Mindfully watching your emotions and constantly aware of them is the whole point of meditation. Its that simple and you get better with practice.
End of The Story
I believe doing something which you think is good even with little planning is a good way to start rather than waiting for green signal to happen and then doing that something. With early start you get more experience and you will be wiser than you were yesterday.
Live your life the way you always wanted, and your future self will thank you for this.