The first DBT mindfulness skill is the practice of wise mind. In the view of mindfulness the human mind is composed of three parts. They are:
The Rational Mind
The Emotional Mind
The Wise Mind
The rational mind thinks in terms of long term goals, logic, calculation, and what to do. The emotional mind ‘feels’. This is the part of us that gives us the sense of reality. When we are in emotional mind we are compelled by the force of our emotions.
Both rational mind and emotional mind have their advantages and disadvantages. The upside of the rational mind is that logic is what allows us to connect with other people. Since logic is shared by others, logical thinking allows us to coordinate ourselves with them. The upside of emotional mind is that feelings give us great energy to accomplish beyond whatever our logic tells us what is possible. Logic might tell us that that we some new idea is impractical. Feelings however give us the boost to overcome the heaviness of logic.
Rational mind and emotional mind however also have their downsides. While logic may be a useful way to coordinate with other people, long lasting relationships are formed by emotion. The emotional connection between friends or family members is far stronger than any logic. The principle downside of emotional mind is that feelings can be so strong that they can blind us to everything but the feeling.
Wise mind combines the best aspects of rational mind and emotional mind. With wise mind we can plan and act out of cold logic and bring hot emotion to help us achieve what we put our attention to. Wise mind is therefore the ideal state of mind. The practices of mindfulness will help us get there.
These practices however are unable to help us attain wise mind and all of it’s blessings unless we embrace mental orientations of