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Heart vs brain

Starting to explore the principles of psychological flexibility
Section 1 - A heart and a brain standing together in a field in front of a rainbow. The heart says 'Things are great'. In the next frames, the weather worsens and a fire erupts. The brain tells the heart to turn around and the heart refuses.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

This heart vs brain cartoon reflects just one of the ways we attempt to change, avoid or remove undesirable thoughts, emotions or physical sensations.

Developing emotional intelligence means becoming more open to and aware of these processes so we can develop ourselves and our practice.

We can see exactly why the heart wants to avoid the heat!

However, learning why we avoid things we don’t want to face is one of the first principles of ‘psychological flexibility’ (Hayes et al. 2006: 7), which we will explore in more depth in the next step.


Hayes, S. C., Luoma, J. B., Bond, F. W., Masuda, A., and Lillis, J. (2006) ‘Acceptance and Commitment Theory: Model, Processes and Outcomes’. Behaviour Research and Therapy 44, 1-25

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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