“Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?”
Inside Out, a new animated feature by Pixar, gives you a glimpse of what might be happening inside peoples’ heads. The movie revolves around a happy 11 year old girl, Riley, who moves from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. However, instead of telling the story from Riley’s perspective, the story is told from the perspective of Riley’s dominant emotion, Joy.
Together with Joy, Riley’s other emotions of Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear influence how Riley acts and help her cope with the new environment.Advertising
It’s interesting to watch how these five emotions operate inside Riley’s head, but most importantly, you get to learn lessons about your own emotions from Inside Out.
1. All of your emotions are useful
However insignificant or negative some of your emotions may seem, they all play an important role in your well-being. They help you survive. As mentioned in the movie, fear helps you to stay away from dangerous situation, disgust keeps you from getting poisoned and anger helps to keep things fair. All of them are useful when used in the right context.
2. Emotions are neither good nor bad
Some emotions such as sadness are deemed to be bad or weak by many people. Some adults put on a happy front when times are bad. Some children are reprimanded by their parents for crying. However, there is nothing wrong about being sad. This movie shows you that sometimes sadness can help you get the support you need from others.Advertising
3. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy
You can’t be happy all the time. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy in the long run. Not able to feel your feelings makes you numb or depressed. Plus, if you don’t express or communicate your emotions to people who care about you, how would they know what you are genuinely feeling and when you need support?
4. Emotions come and go
For an emotionally stable and healthy person, emotions don’t stick around for long. They come and go. Feeling emotions and letting them go is so natural to human that we aren’t aware that emotions can be released easily.
When a person is angry, they replay the event that makes them angry in their head and that makes them even angrier. This movie shows that other emotions can easily step in to stop this unhealthy loop.Advertising
5. Listen to emotions that keep showing up
Emotions are good signals for your well-being. If a particular emotion keeps showing up, there must be a reason to it.
When you keep feeling down or angry, it means something isn’t right and you need to address it. It’s time to pay attention to your emotions and listen to what they are telling you. If it’s time to feel sad, feel the sadness. Give it the moment it deserves and then understand why you are feeling these emotions.
6. A memory can have more than one emotion
Inside Out shows you that emotions aren’t as clear cut as you think. A memory can be both happy and sad. Riley’s happy memories that are made in Minnesota can be easily turned into sad memories because she misses her home. It all depends on which emotion is narrating the story inside your head.Advertising
7. Your actions and decisions are influenced by your emotions
Emotions can have a very big influence on your actions and decisions. From what you like or dislike to eat, to what you do when you face a problem; they play a huge part in your decision-making. They give you ideas or directions that help you to make decisions.
8. Your emotions don’t have the final say
Even though emotions can influence you and your actions, they don’t have the final say. Ultimately, you have control and freedom to make your own decisions. Your emotions have no control over you unless you let them be in control.
9. You can be reactive to other people’s emotions
When one person is angry, the other person can get angry easily too. The exchange between Riley and her parents at the dining table shows that your emotions can be just a response to other people’s emotions. Sometimes, you can be so caught with the emotions that you don’t even realize that you are reacting to the other party’s emotion.
10. Embrace all your emotions
Emotions help to communicate your personality. Whether you like the emotions that you are feeling or not, embrace them all. They make your life more colorful and complete.
Featured photo credit: Inside Out / Pixar via youtube.com
Last Updated on August 12, 2020
When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?
Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.
In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.
How to Listen to Your Gut
The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.
Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.
1. Tune Into Your Body
Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.
However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.
Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.
Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.
In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion.
2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision
Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.
There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain, which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel
Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.
As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.
This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.
4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off
As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.
Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!
5. Challenge Your Assumptions
When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.
In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.
A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”
6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias
Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!
There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.
Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.
Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.
Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..
We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.
The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.
We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.
7. Trust Yourself
It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.
Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.
If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.
The Bottom Line
The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!
Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.
More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut
- Should We Trust Our Gut Feeling When Making Decisions?
- How To Trust Your Intuition When You’re Making a Decision
Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com
|||^||Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing|
|||^||Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection|
|||^||Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust|