Wise Mind refers to a state of being where you are balancing both logic and emotions which increases the ability to make effective decisions. First, let’s begin by describing two other mind states: emotion mind and reasonable mind.
Emotion Mind refers to the state where your emotions control your thoughts, urges, and behaviors. You are ruled by your feelings, regardless of your long-term goals. As an example, think about a time when you were extremely angry. In that moment, you weren’t necessarily thinking about whether it was a good idea to act out on your anger and maybe yell at someone, you just did it.
Reasonable Mind refers to the state where reason and logic control your thoughts, urges, and behaviors. You are ruled by facts, and logic; values and feelings are not considered or important. We think of this as almost a robotic state of mind, where perhaps someone is driven by excel spreadsheets and thinking about what looks good on paper, but not considering their own emotions or desires.
Wise Mind represents the integration of emotion and reasonable mind. It is knowing the facts and logic as well as tuning into values and emotions. Wise mind is a “dialectical” balance between these two opposing forces. Finding your wise mind can take a lot of practice and once mastered, it can be an effective tool. It is not the goal to expect anyone to be in wise mind all of the time, but rather to be able to activate or enter into this state of mind when it would be
Mindfulness is like a muscle that you build over time.
Wise Mind Practice
Let’s practice finding your wise mind.
Walking the Middle Path
One of the goals of DBT is to “walk the middle path.”
Emotion regulation skills focus on understanding emotions, building resilience, and decreasing both vulnerability and suffering through skill use.
Not only do our relationships impact our emotions, our emotions impact our relationships.