emotional check in questions and actions emotional equilibrium

Calm the Active Mind — The Emotional Check in Questions and Actions

Maintaining control of our emotions is essential. It’s critical when challenging your own beliefs.  Learn how to use this simple tool of emotional check in questions and actions to improve your state of mind and research results.

The Emotional Check Process

To conduct accurate research, you must be open-minded and unbiased. It’s not easy, but it can be done.  Adding this checking method into your research process will yield more accurate results and make the research less stressful.

Emotional checks are an essential quality assurance technique, especially when dealing with issues that involve your core beliefs.   It will ensure you base your decisions on evidence rather than emotions.

The process is made for research, but many people use this tactic when they view social media.  That’s because social media often contains divisive and inaccurate propaganda.  So, you are likely to run into conflicting ideas, opinions, and facts.  An emotional check process ensures you make better decisions.

Challenging our Beliefs

When we encounter ideas which conflict with our paradigm, it creates tension.  There is a dilemma which also creates the opportunity for change.  However, this conflict may trigger our “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction instinct, and this is bad for research.

When we cannot resolve the difference between our beliefs and new data that can cause a pain response, it will manifest as physical or mental pain, or both.  It causes headaches, back, and muscle pain, to severe anxiety and anger.  It causes the psychological condition of cognitive dissonance.

To minimize this situation, we use an emotion check process.  It’s a short break, and it saves time in the long run. Checking our emotions ensures we stay on track and can use common sense to guide our thinking.  We know we conflicts of this sort are bound to arise, so we use this process to minimize emotional interference.

These conflicts are actually opportunities for personal growth. They help us find out if we are wrong about something. It’s the opportunity to face any fears we have about our sacred ground, and we know fears and phobias are limits and boundaries that imprison us.

Calm The Active Mind

This kind of emotional check process is a time-tested process to help regain and maintain your emotional equilibrium.  It helps reduce the effects that our emotions have on our ability to assess and analyze data.  Stopping regularly to evaluate our feelings ensures that we minimize internal bias. It’s easy to do, makes your research more accurate, and saves you time in the long run.

Sometimes it only takes a few long breaths to regain control.  Other times, you need to take a few extra steps to stop negative feelings from interfering with your reasoning.  Everyone and every situation is different.

When you threaten the sacred ground of your belief system, it can trigger your fight, flight, or freeze instincts.  When this happens, it releases hormones like adrenaline to power our muscles.  The primitive mind takes over. So, this is why an emotional check process is essential to gaining composure.  We need to calm the active mind and regain “emotional equilibrium.”

During this emergency crisis, the chemicals released by the body are harmful to our cortex’s higher thinking processes.  Our brain has a built-in failsafe, it blocks blood flow when this emergency system is engaged, and we cannot engage the higher thinking centers needed for analytical processing.  We do not make the best rational decisions in this state. Here’s how we can learn to control this triggering system.

Emotional Check in Questions and Actions

emotional check process to calm the active mind

Step One — Keep  the Active Mind Calm

Before you start asking yourself questions, stop to assess your emotional equilibrium.  The first step is the most important.  Learn to pause every 15 to 20 minutes.  Three or four times an hour seems like a lot of time, but once you get into the rhythm, it does not become intrusive .

Doing these breaks gives you time to summarize what you’ve just learned. Plus the space assess how the new data affects your emotional state.  If you do this, you’ll never lose control.

Regular emotional checks are a worthwhile preventive measure, and they ensure you are thinking clearly. It will save you time in the long run.

Whenever you engage in research involving your worldview, you will be grateful for these breaks. Sometimes we aren’t aware we are getting upset until it is too late. It’s better to stop and assess.

Step two — Time for Emotional Check-in Questions

If you stop to assess things and feel anxious, upset, or afraid, it’s time to dig deeper. Similarly, whenever you feel anxious, angry, or fearful, stop.  If you feel physical pain, stop! Don’t ignore the signs of mental or physical discomfort.  Pain is how your body tells you something important that needs your attention.  The effects of cognitive dissonance are real.

  • Ask yourself, how do I feel?
  • What’s the label for my feelings?
  • Where is this feeling originate?
  • Is this feeling related to other issues?
  • Is it dissipating or the same?

You can have adverse reactions whenever running into something which challenges your beliefs.  So, when you become angry or fearful, stop.  Otherwise, your research will not give you accurate results.

It’s important to remember everyone is susceptible to the effects of cultural programming. That’s why we take steps to control our feelings.  When we are anxious, angry, or fearful, it will affect our thinking.  So, it will distort our conclusions.

How long should you wait?  Wait until you are reasonably calm.  Everyone is different.  It depends upon your reaction to the stimulus.  If you run across something that tramples upon your sacred ground, then it could take an hour or more to calm the active mind.  Some people need to take a break for a few days or even weeks.

Step Three — Time for Action, Write About It

Write about both the facts and your feelings.  Use a spiritual journal to record your thoughts, then ask yourself some questions about your reaction.  It’s helpful to keep a record of your responses to help you spot any trends.  “Emotional check in questions” will often bring up the same issue and same emotional chain.

Then write about the answers you find when asking yourself questions.  What you discover about your reaction is as important as the data.  What patterns do you see?

Putting your emotions on paper can help clarify the issues.  It also gives you a safe outlet to express your feelings. It’s an excellent way to sort out the facts from your feelings. It’s an excellent tactic to regain emotional equilibrium and calm the active mind.

Step Four — Contemplate without Attachment

While you are waiting and writing, see if you can contemplate the issue without emotional attachment. It’s a way of asking questions about the new information while remaining calm. If you can’t think about something without becoming upset, then skip it.  Do something else, think of something else.

Again, we use the tactic of putting our thoughts on paper.  What does this new idea mean? Don’t immediately reject unfamiliar data.  Think about it.  Some people are better at this than others. If you can’t separate your feelings from the data, skip this.

Learning to separate your feelings from the issue is essential.  One goal of the emotional check in questions and actions is to develop the skill of self-observation.

For some people, this strategy helps lessen the emotional impact of data that challenges their beliefs.  If you need to write about your feelings and facts, go back to step two.

When Waiting Isn’t Enough

If you continue to have physical pain or anxiousness, it means you are suffering from cognitive dissonance.  So, time away from the stimulus may not be enough to calm your active mind. You are wrestling with something that conflicts with your beliefs. Emotional checks won’t be enough to change the programming of your beliefs.  However, it will show you where you should make changes.

If you are stuck in this situation, find out if you are still exposing yourself to negative social programming. It will reinforce your current beliefs and increase the effects of cognitive dissonance.

Second, realize the programming of opinions based on mythology and superstition is hard to break.  When we accept superstition as part of our worldview, it can also impact our identity. It’s hard to change something that becomes a part of your self-identity. Here’s what you can do.

1. Talk to Someone

Find someone unbiased you can talk with about your dilemma.  Above all, don’t seek support from someone likely to reinforce your current beliefs.  It will only lead you back into groupthink manipulation tactics of self-hypnosis and group hypnosis.  The person doing it may not realize they are a tool of the brainwashing cycle.

2. Reduce The Source

Eliminate or reduce the sources which reinforce your current beliefs.  It is often the hardest step, that’s because group hypnosis manipulation tactics they use are addictive.  The most common sources which support our worldview come from religion.  Minimizing exposure becomes more difficult if religion dominates your life.

Take a break from the source, the research, or social media.  Give yourself some time to process the information.  One thing that always helps is to stop watching and listening to religious TV and radio programs.  It’s a simple way to get immediate relief.

Realize religious propaganda is will always exacerbate emotional issues rather than make them better.   Recognizing and eliminating the source of your conflict is an essential aspect of the emotional check process. Don’t overlook it.  Minimizing your exposure to negative cultural programming is vital.

3. Travel

Take a trip and get out of your comfort zone. If you can’t travel, watch TV shows about traveling the world.  The goal is to remove yourself from the influence of the cultural narrative.  See how people live differently.  See how they value things differently.   New surroundings are an antidote for the effects of cultural programming.  It will not only reduce exposure, but it gives you a fresh perspective.

4. Self-Care

Engage in proper self-careCreate space to regain emotional equilibrium.  It takes your active mind off the issues and gives you a chance to gain composure.  Sometimes focusing on something else is exactly what you need to sort things out.

5. Don’t Give Up

Continue to use steps two and three of the process above.  If you are doing research, you are also engaging in inner work, which is exposing our sacred ground.

The Importance of the Emotional Check Process

With the world changing so rapidly, we can get caught up in our emotions.  Learning to pause and regain control of our emotions is essential to our everyday lives. It’s a process you can use anywhere and anytime.

Using this process will make your research more accurate.  It will save you time in the long term and reduce the stress of investigating challenging ideas.  These brief breaks are the researcher’s quality check.  They help to keep you on track.

Facing the data that conflicts with closely held beliefs is serious inner work.  This kind of research often brings up powerful feelings that trigger our “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction.  So, we need to control this reaction.

When our primitive instincts are engaging, we must take steps to regain emotional equilibrium. When you learn how to calm the active mind, you will find other uses for this method.  You can use it effectively during meetings.  So, emotional checks are a necessity for everyone on the spiritual journey. (1)


(1) Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces

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