Emotional Decisions and Rational Decisions: Is there a Difference?

Emotional decisions and rational or logical decisions … Is there so much difference between them? Often, we tell ourselves that there are things that it is better to decide with a cold head and not with a heart, thinking that, with it, we will be right in that choice. It is as if we had to deal daily with two mental optics capable of completely mediating our reality.

Somehow it is. No one acts or decides only through their emotions or through the exclusive filter composed of the coldest, objective and reasonable logic . Our brain, in reality, is a hyperconnected organ, where every area and structure has a link with others.

Thus, the prefrontal cortex (linked to the most complex executive functions , based on analysis, attention or reflection) maintains a constant connection with those deeper areas of the brain related to emotions . Therefore, the world of affections and feelings is present in every decision and, in turn, in every thoughtful and reasoned choice is the imprint of emotions.

Now, despite the existence of that bridge where the information between one sphere and another is constant, there is a particularity that we cannot ignore. Emotions always have priority. The human being is, above all, an emotional creature and that puts us at more than a crossroads.

Emotional decisions and rational decisions

Emotional decisions have bad press . It is as if, letting ourselves be carried away by that first impulse, by necessity (supposedly unreasonable) or by intuition , leads us to error. However, and ironic as it may seem, much of the choices we make in our day to day are mediated by them, by those emotions that guide us and almost completely mediate our behavior.

Admit it, acting on them does not necessarily lead us to error. Emotions are catalytic in our relationships, they push us to connect with people and also allow us to make choices in different areas so that tastes, personality and needs are in tune.

Emotions, after all, only want our homeostasis, guarantee our internal balance and of course, our survival .

Moreover, there is already a trend in the academic world that invites us to correct a false idea. That where emotional decisions are related as irrational acts.

Studies, such as those carried out that we should stop conceiving the emotional and the rational separately. In other words, emotions can also be logical and rational .

Now, there are clear and obvious exceptions. There are times when we make decisions based on adverse emotional states . These are the moments when there is no internal homeostasis, but rather an unresolved problem, a need, an unattended lack that leads us to make wrong choices. Let’s go deeper.

Emotional states that will lead you to make decisions that you can regret

We must be clear: the best decisions are made when we combine logic and emotion. Thus, and for that pact between one and the other to be carried out effectively, we need our emotions to be in our favor. But this does not always happen because there are states that cut us, that limit our mental focus. They are the following.

  • The sadness. If you make a decision when you are sad, dull or melancholic, you will be satisfied with the minimum, that you are not demanding of yourself.
  • The Excitement. When we feel injected with joy , overflowing enthusiasm, excited with emotion, we don’t usually make good decisions either. Generally, we get carried away by impulsivity.
  • Anxiety. Anxiety, stress, as well as any mood disorder , hinders our ability to make decisions . Not only do we make decisions that we can later regret, but it is also harder for us to think, value, reflect, etc.

If we understand them, if we manage them, if we face their challenges in those times of discouragement or concern, they will be our best allies.

Decisions are the beats that trace our paths. It is true that some will be more erroneous and others more accurate, but the most important of all is not to act impulsively. It is to tune needs with desires, experience with intuition. Emotion and reason can never go separately, they are the engines that can bring us closer to our happiness.