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You May Not Realize it But New Research Shows Most of Your Decisions Are Emotionally Based

A great reason you need to get a better handle on your emotions, specifically the negative ones: Your brain is wired to consider emotional biases before the facts, according to a new study.

British researchers conducted 17-minute brain scans on 20 patients while asked whether or not they should gamble based on the varying odds of "winning" a small jackpot of less than $100. Patients were carefully explained the odds of winning, which were exactly the same whether they lost 60 percent or kept 40 percent of the money if they didn't gamble beforehand.

The difference in brain activity hinges on how the question or inquiry is "framed," researchers said. Both questions elicited a response in the amygdalas of some patients where negative emotions like fear dwell. And even when patients resisted the urge to frame their emotions, in areas of the brain where positive feelings thrive as well as another where decisions are made, those same sectors worked overtime on scans.

So, what makes people rational or not, says one USC professor, doesn't rely on suppressing emotions, but channeling them in positive ways, particularly those that help you live a longer, healthier life. The best means for handling your negative emotions safely to make the right decisions for your health and life doesn't come in a pillbox, however.

Provide your body with natural tools to treat the negative emotions you face every day by learning the how to use the Emotional Freedom Technique, the energy psychology tool used daily in my practice.

Science, Vol. 313, No. 5787, August 4, 2006: 684-687

University College London August 3, 2006

USA Today August 7, 2006

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