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The freeway of logic and emotion.

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

I often talk to my clients about the idea that emotions and logic can be similar to a freeway.

On a freeway (at least where I am from in Perth), you go in one direction and the opposite direction is on a completely separate road next to you. You may be able to see the other side of the freeway and even see what types of cars are on there, but you can't easily get over to the other side sometimes. To get over to the other side, you have to pay attention, find the next exit, go off the ramp, over a bridge, and back on the next side.

There are usually signs saying the exit is coming up, but if you are going fast, you may miss them and miss the exit. Or, if you aren't paying any attention at all you might not even notice you are going the wrong way!

This is similar to emotions and logic. Clients often say to me "I know this is stupid but I can't help but feel it". They get stuck on the emotion side. They can see the logic, maybe even recognise what it is, but they cannot get their mind onto the logic side of the freeway.

So, I help them recognise some exit signs. When you feel your shoulders slowly moving toward your ears, maybe you are getting anxious and it's a sign to check in if you are going in the right direction. Maybe you are problem solving and your friend looks at you frustrated because they need some empathy. Ask yourself, do I need to change over to the other side? Will going this way get me to where I need to go?

Emotions and logic both serve a purpose, we need both. Sometimes we need to go one way and sometimes we need to go the other. What becomes a problem, is not having enough, or not noticing enough, of the exits when we need them.

Try looking out your window for a day. Try noticing what side of the freeway you're on and question whether it's going to get you where you need to go. Try figuring out what your exit signs say and how you can take that off ramp to swap over.

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