Strong Emotions and Strong Thinking Don’t Mix

People tend to use the tools that have been proven to be the most beneficial to them to solve problems. When people are really good at analyzing, they tend to think their way through problems. This ability works great when people are calm.

When people are feeling anxious and their body is in a fight, fight, or freeze state (sympathetic nervous system state), their thinking can become muddied. They feel a sense of urgency. This urgency often leads to impulsive behavior. It creates a feeling that a problem has to solved, now!

People with strong emotions have a very difficult time in the fight/fight state. First of all, they are feeling the panic/anxiety at a very heightened state. This state can become so heightened that it can feel physically painful. Secondly, their mind is apt to kick in and try to problem solve in order to attempt to make the panicked state to subside. When a person tries to problem solve, while in a panicked state, greater panic often ensues.

The problem is that the sympathetic state is a survival state. The body performs that function to try to keep the person alive. When a problem is being pictured in the mind, the body will turn on the survival state and the body will increase its adrenalin and other survival functions.

People with strong emotions benefit from getting into the habit of teaching their body to turn off the sympathetic nervous system state before they problem solve. In the beginning, this can be a very difficult and time consuming process. It is akin to getting into a car wreck and learning to walk again. It takes a lot of practice to learn to stop the mind from thinking until the body is calm. Fortunately, there are a lot of meditation YouTube videos and apps that have been built to help coach a person through the process of gaining control over the theoretical muscle in their mind that tells their brain to stop thinking.