As more and more people are getting vaccinated against COVID, you may be experiencing anxiety as you begin to imagine returning to your social life that existed prior to the pandemic. It may seem challenging to return to life and feel safe and secure in doing so. One way to make sound daily decisions is to utilize a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy technique called wise mind which incorporates emotional and reasonable minded parts of your brain to make a wise mind decision. Below are descriptions of reasonable mind, emotional mind and wise mind.
- Reasonable Mind- A person makes decisions in a reasonable mind when they utilize facts and logic. Examples of reasonable minded decisions are waking up and doing your daily routine like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, or driving to work. Also, making a pros/cons list before a decision is an example of using reasonable mind to logically see all the sides of a situation before acting. Emotion Mind- A person making a decision in an emotional mind is reacting to a situation and responding based off of emotions alone. An example of an emotional mind reaction may be when you are so angry when driving in traffic that you yell in your car or if you are feeling sad you purchase something impulsively to boost your mood. When you make a decision in your emotional mind, feelings control your thoughts and behaviors.
- Wise Mind- When making a decision in wise mind, a person takes into account reasonable mind and emotional mind information before making a choice. An example of this is before making a purchase you take time to sit with your emotions and intuition to identify how you are feeling and also could create a pros/cons list or give yourself time to ensure you are not acting impulsively. In this space, you are balancing emotion and a reasonable mind to come to a conclusion and make a well informed decision.
So how can you utilize a wise mind to make a decision on who to see or where to go like seeing friends and family for the first time after a year or going to a restaurant or on a vacation? First make a list of the facts of the situation. List as many facts as you know including: who, what, where, when and how. Once you have the facts of the situation, give yourself time before making a decision. In this space, sit with yourself and identify how you feel if you attend the event or go on the trip. Identify if anything comes up in different parts of your body and if something feels off trust your intuition. Then you can mindfully figure out what part of the situation is bothersome and collect more information before deciding what to do. Lastly, it can be beneficial to talk about your decisions with trusted, nonjudgmental friends and family. If you are needing additional support you can reach out to a licensed therapist at The Behavioral Wellness Group to discuss transitioning back into your life as things open up throughout the state and you begin to return to a sense of normalcy. To set up an appointment with a licensed therapist, please contact our front office line at 440-392-2222.
Stephanie Cerula, LPCC
Clinical Counselor, The Behavioral Wellness Group