Day 2544: Emotional Reasoning

Emotional Reasoning is one of the cognitive distortions in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Emotional Reasoning is defined here as follows:

Emotional Reasoning.
We take our emotions as evidence for the truth. Examples: “I feel inadequate, so there must be something wrong with me.” “I feel overwhelmed and hopeless, therefore the situation must be impossible to change or improve.” (Note that the latter can contribute to procrastination.) While suppressing or judging feelings can be unhelpful, it’s important to recognize the difference between feelings and facts.

My definition of “Emotional Reasoning” does NOT include examples of the negative aspect of that, as in “I do NOT feel that way, therefore it’s not true.” I’m reasoning that I could have written that definition with this example: “I do not feel adequate, so there must be something wrong with me.”

All this came to my emotional mind this morning when I read this news headline:

President Trump: “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached”

To me, it doesn’t really feel like

  • Trump is President,
  • I’m getting married a week from tomorrow, or
  • the human race is going to survive.

That is all emotional reasoning.  I know that two of those statements are true, no matter what I’m feeling.  And I have many emotions about the third statement, so who knows if it’s true?

Do you see emotional reasoning in any of my photos from yesterday?
















Yesterday at work, somebody said that this photo of Harley (taken by my soon-to-be-husband Michael)


… felt like a photo that Ellen DeGeneres might want to include on her show.  That seemed like emotional reasoning to me, but I submitted it anyway.

“Do You Hear What I Hear” feels like a Christmas song, but that’s not how it was written.

Here’s a portion of the story I heard on the radio yesterday:

While artfully couched in the iconography of the Christian nativity, the songwriters were making a political statement: a plea for peace, and a reminder of the ravages of war.

The song opens with the night wind speaking to a lamb, long a literary symbol of peace. Soon we hear the line, “A star, a star, dancing in the sky//With a tail as big as a kite.”

“The star was meant to be a bomb,” said Gabrielle Regney.

Later we hear the lyrics “A child, a child, shivers in the cold,” which Regney said is a reference to the “real children” who inspired the song.

And the line, “Let us bring him silver and gold” was a reference to “poor children,” said Regney — a reminder of the human cost of war.

But no matter how you interpret the song, Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne left no mistake about the central message at the climax of the song.

“The biggest part for them was the ‘pray for peace’ line,” said Regney. “That line, ‘pray for peace,’ was very big for both of them.”

Do you hear what I hear in this emotional rendition of that song?

Feel free to share emotional reasoning in a comment, below.

There are reasons why I end every post with the emotion of gratitude.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Thanksgiving, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 2544: Emotional Reasoning

  1. A doctor told me yesterday that I am allergic to cats, Ann. I emotionally reasoned that this news should make my dog feel pretty good. But I also wondered why this never came up in the many years that I lived in a house with a cat (or cats)!

  2. I think your wedding is a good thing for all of us to think about no matter what kind of reasoning is used, because Michael and you together make light (and the LED tree beautifully symbolizes that).

  3. The kinder in my class emotionally reasoned when asking how someone could be so mean after watching mr. Scrooge in our play

  4. Shakespeare asked, “where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head?” Clearly we need a little of both to have a balanced understanding.

  5. puella33

    I feel that the republicans are being bribed or paid by Trump, and they don’t have a backbone to contradict him.. Whether it’s emotional or not, that’s how I feel.

  6. The song “Do You Hear…” made me very emotional when I was a kid. I did some emotional reasoning about what it meant back then. I didn’t know the facts of its origin until today. Very interesting. And I didn’t know about the Angel City Choir either. (I googled them.) Thanks, Ann!

  7. I did not know about that song’s story. I am glad you’re looking forward to getting married. And that little tree with the lights is very endearing.

  8. Your posts delight and engage me every day, Ann, and I know that for a fact. 💕 Congratulations on your impending nuptials and Merry Christmas!

  9. Pingback: Day 2639: Metaphors | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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