A small but very important multipurpose tool from my toolbox which I find extraordinarily useful to use with my clients, as well as with myself, is remembering to keep our Emotional Reasoning in check.

Emotional Reasoning is a cognitive distortion that many of us employ quite regularly – sometimes without even knowing it. It’s the inaccurate belief that how we feel is how things really are, without question. If I feel stupid, I must be stupid. If I feel angry, I must be crazy and out of control. If I feel like I never do anything right, I must be a loser. If I don’t feel like getting exercise, it must not be a good time to do it and I better put it off.

We assume these unhelpful emotions are a sign of the way things are, and we draw unchallenged conclusions based on how we’re feeling in the moment: “I feel it, therefore it must be true!”

The truth is: it’s not really true – at least not totally true all of the time. Often there is more of an objective reality outside of our feelings. Sometimes we can just feel a certain way and that’s it. Just a feeling. And it too shall pass.