The Mind is a busy place full of activity and without any effort we jump from thought to thought in a matter of seconds. If our minds become too busy this flow of thinking can become too much for an individual to take and can feel overwhelming.
Different people have different ways of coping with a busy mind for example some people try to relax by watching TV, having a cup of tea or exercising. Although these are all good forms of coping strategies it also important that we take time to be mindful to understand the state of mind we are in to help us make positive decisions.
To do this be need to be aware of our various states of mind and what risks or potential these can have. This understanding can have a great impact on how we deal with different stressors in our lives
Linehan 1993 introduced the theory of “Wise Mind” Which is the part of our mind where our “reasonable mind” and “emotional mind” come together.
Reasonable mind helps us to make logical and rational decisions usually based on facts and evidence. On the other hand emotional mind is controlled by our emotional state where our thoughts can be unhelpful and not logical. Emotional mind is not all negative, and we do need to consider our emotional needs in order to make wise decisions i.e. being in “wise mind”
A third section was then introduced – “risky mind”. This is when we let our emotional mind take over and our actions our dictated solely by our emotions.
When we feel upset or stressed we can react without thinking about the consequences and our behaviours we use to help us cope can often be self-destructive e.g. self harm, over eating, under eating, harm to other etc.
These coping strategies can often be a vicious circle which can be incredibly hard to break as these actions can lead us further into emotional mind and then again onto risky mind.
As health professionals we aim to help our clients/service users to develop more appropriate coping strategies. To do this we are required to help our clients understand the various frame of minds and be able to determine what frame of mind they are in and when they feel they are being controlled by their emotional mind. It important to try and react when clients are in emotional mind and intervene with coping strategies before they enter risky mind – Remember being proactive is more effective than reactive!