Head vs. Heart – Why listening to your feelings and thoughts are your greatest advantage
“One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that logic and emotions are enemies, but the reality is that they are two sides of the same coin,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests.
Emotions are often viewed as irrational, distracting and fleeing. But listening to both one’s heart and head results in stronger resilience, better conflict resolution and higher self-esteem.
A recent study conducted by psychtests.com studied 12,259 people and looked at the results from three different groups. Of the three groups, one relied solely on logic to make decisions (“Logic” group), another relied solely on emotions (“Feelings/Gut Instinct” group) and a third group comprised of people who used a mix of the two (“Logic and Emotions” group).
The “Logic and Emotions” group had a greater emotional intelligence overall and were better at listening to and identifying their emotional state. They were more self-motivated, more self-aware, and strived for self-improvement more than the logic-only or emotions-only counterparts.
“When an emotion is triggered, whether positive or negative, it is always, always, a message – a signal to pay attention to what is happening in the moment. Logic is the means by which we interpret that message,” says Jerabek. “So, the next time you experience a strong emotion, stop and ask yourself the following question: ‘What am I doing right now that is triggering this feeling? Why does this situation bring up such emotions?’ Maybe you’re thinking about a regret from the past. Maybe you’re worrying about a potential event in the future. Or, perhaps your emotions are simply telling you, ‘Hey, this doesn’t feel good or feel right. Stop, think, recalibrate.’”
And, when you have a moment to listen to your emotions, you’ll probably also find yourself better at coping with stress and minor annoyances throughout the day and become more mentally flexible – finding creative answers to regular challenges. The study also found that in social situations, a strong logic/feeling connection can contribute to a better understanding of body language, and an easier time navigating different social outings. People who listened to their head and heart also found a greater sense of self, relying less on other people’s approval, and more likely to enjoy a higher self-esteem, the study showed.
“And to people who believe that they make all their decisions based solely on logic, I hate to break it to you, but that’s actually not true. All your decisions involve emotion in some form,” Jerabek adds.
“Think about the last time you had to make a major decision, like buying a car. Perhaps you conducted several weeks of research, analyzed different statistics, and weighed the pros and cons of each of your options. You took, what you felt, was a rational, objective approach to buying a car, based on sound judgement and reasoning. Does that mean your choice was strictly logical? Not really. After all that information you gathered and analyses you conducted, you essentially went with the choice that felt right. Your emotions and your logic are allies…they are powerful tools to help you navigate the world. You can’t have one without the other.”
So, the next time you’re evaluating a major decision or in a situation where emotions arise (whether positive or negative), check in with your emotions as well as your logic – you’ll be better off for it.
If you’re curious about your Emotional Intelligence, visit testyourself.psychtests.com to take the quiz and review your results.
About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the Internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff comprises a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).