The correlation between thinking, feeling and being

by | Mar 14, 2023 | Mind

How we think, feel, and behave is an interconnected human experience. Our thoughts, feelings, and sense of being are deeply interconnected aspects of our human experience. How we think and our world influences affect our emotions and overall well-being. Our emotional state can shape our perceptions and thoughts about ourselves and our lives. Understanding the interplay between thinking, feeling, and being is essential for cultivating a healthy and fulfilling life. Positive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mindfulness, social cognition, self-awareness, developmental psychology, and mental illness are all fields of study that explore this relationship. Download Joyscore to explore how these research areas shed light on the correlation between thinking, feeling, and being.

Positive Psychology

positive thinking

Positive psychology is a field that focuses on the study of positive emotions, experiences, and traits. According to positive psychology, our thoughts and emotions influence our behavior. Cultivating positive thoughts and emotions can lead to greater well-being. Research in this field suggests that people who engage in positive thinking are more likely to experience positive emotions, and those emotions, in turn, can lead to positive outcomes. For example, a study by Fredrickson and colleagues (2008) found that individuals who practiced loving-kindness meditation experienced increased positive emotions and greater feelings of social connectedness.

Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is another field that sheds light on the connection between thinking, feeling, and being. Research in this area has shown that our thoughts and emotions are closely linked and that our thinking can impact our brain function and structure. For example, studies have found that practicing mindfulness meditation can change the brain regions associated with emotion regulation and attention. Cognitive neuroscience investigates the neural processes involved in various aspects of cognition, such as thinking and emotional experiences. This field suggests that our thoughts and emotions result from neural activity in the brain. Different brain parts are responsible for different types of thinking and feeling. For example, the amygdala is responsible for processing emotions, while the prefrontal cortex is involved in decision-making and problem-solving.


Mindfulness refers to the act of observing the current moment without criticism or evaluation. Research in this area suggests that mindfulness can be an effective tool for managing thoughts and emotions. It can be cultivated through various techniques, including meditation, breathing exercises, and body awareness practices. Research has shown that mindfulness can benefit mental and physical health, including reducing stress, improving emotional regulation, and enhancing overall well-being.

Mindfulness and self awareness

One way mindfulness can impact thinking, feeling, and being is by increasing self-awareness. By engaging in mindfulness, we develop the ability to notice our thoughts and emotions without becoming entangled. This allows us to develop a more objective and non-judgmental relationship with our internal experiences, which can help us better understand our thinking and feeling patterns. For example, a study by Hölzel and colleagues (2011) found that individuals who participated in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program showed increased activation in brain regions associated with attention and emotion regulation.

Through mindfulness, we can also learn to regulate our emotions more effectively. By practicing awareness of our internal experiences, we can develop greater control over how we respond to those experiences. For example, if we notice that we are feeling anxious we can use mindfulness techniques to observe the sensations and thoughts associated with that anxiety and then choose to respond in a more adaptive and constructive way.

Research in mindfulness has also shown that it can enhance social cognition. By cultivating mindfulness, we can develop greater empathy and compassion for others and learn to communicate more effectively. This can have a range of benefits for interpersonal relationships and overall well-being.

Mindfulness can also impact developmental psychology, as it can help to shape our experiences and interactions with the world around us. By practicing mindfulness, we can learn to be more present in our daily lives and to approach each moment with curiosity and openness. This can help us to develop greater resilience in the face of adversity and to navigate challenging situations with greater ease. Mindfulness practice has been beneficial in managing mental illness by supporting emotional regulation, reducing negative self-talk and rumination, while also alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Social Cognition

Social cognition is yet another area of study that explores the relationship between thinking, feeling, and being. This field examines how our social experiences shape our cognitive and emotional processes. This field suggests that our thoughts and emotions are influenced by our social context. Research has shown that social isolation can lead to negative thinking patterns and an increased risk for mental health problems. In social cognition, people’s perceptions of themselves and others can significantly impact their emotions and behavior. For example, Taylor and colleagues (2000) found that individuals who perceived themselves as having social support from others had lower stress levels and better health outcomes.

Self Awareness

Self-awareness is also essential for understanding the connection between thinking, feeling, and being. It is the ability to recognize actions and understand one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Research suggests that self-awareness can help individuals better manage their thoughts and emotions. By cultivating a greater awareness of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, we can learn to manage our internal experiences better and improve our overall well-being. For example, a study by Tang and colleagues (2015) found that individuals who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program showed increased self-awareness and improved emotion regulation.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is another area that sheds light on the connection between thinking, feeling, and being. It is the study of how people change and develop over time. Our experiences in childhood and adolescence shape our thoughts, emotions, and overall sense of self. Research has shown that early attachment experiences can impact our ability to regulate emotions and form healthy relationships later in life. Early childhood experiences can have a major impact on later development. For example, a study by Meaney and colleagues (1996) found that rats that received more maternal care in early life showed greater resilience to stress later in life.

Mental Illness

Mental illness is important to consider when examining the connection between thinking, feeling, and being. Mental health conditions can impact our thoughts, emotions, and sense of self in profound ways. Understanding the underlying cognitive and emotional processes contributing to mental illness is crucial for developing effective treatments and improving overall well-being. Research suggests that mental illness can result from a complex interplay between genetic, environmental, and social factors. For example, a study by Caspi and colleagues (2003) found that individuals with a specific genetic variant were more likely to develop depression in response to stressful life events.

The correlation between thinking, feeling, and being is a complex and multifaceted topic that is explored by a variety of fields of study. Mindfulness is a powerful practice that can impact many aspects of our lives, including our thoughts, feelings, and overall sense of being. By cultivating mindfulness, we can develop self-awareness, emotional regulation, social cognition, and enhance our overall well-being. Positive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, mindfulness, social awareness, self-awareness, developmental psychology, and mental illness are all areas of research that shed light on this relationship.

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Dr. Bob Singhal

Professor Bhupendra 'Bob' Singhal, has taught creativity by joy and right-brain thinking, is a renowned international architect, won major design competitions, has over 70 awards, publications, and media mentions, and served as President of the American Institute of Architects South Bay. In 2011, in his book Joy in Health and Happiness: Your Optimal Path to Success, Professor Singhal wrote about the transformative power of joy and helped readers learn to enhance their daily experience of it.


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