How do I make difficult emotional decisions?

What you will get from this article:

  • Understand the relationship between emotions and decision-making
  • Discover the heart’s role in emotional regulation
  • Learn practical strategies to bring your physiology, thoughts and feelings into balance
  • Develop an action plan for cultivating emotional intelligence and decision-making strategies


Is there something in your life that needs to be dealt with, but, because it involves emotions and decision-making, you’ve been putting it off? Maybe a current problem or ongoing situation, something frustrating, hurtful or sad? Perhaps there’s a decision that you need to make, but you’ve not made it. So how can you take action?

Here we’ll cover the concept of heart breathing, a technique that helps you find focus and clarity to handle these tough situations and emotional decisions. We’ll cover the scientific findings about the relationship between your brain and your heart, then explain the technique for you to try out yourself. As people attending Tony’s Date with Destiny and other seminars have learned, you’ll be able to change your emotional state and find the solutions you need, even for the most emotional decisions.

Ready to take control of every decision you make?

Download The Four Rules of Decision Making Audio

The physiological relationship between your heart and brain

Research shows that you have 60 times the energy coming out of the heart as you do the brain. No wonder your heart’s state dramatically impacts how your brain works. You can see the connection here looking at these brain and heart monitor readings of someone under stress:

Both the EEG (measuring brain waves) and the EKG (measuring heart activity) are completely jagged. Suffering makes both sets of waves go sharply up and down; they’re also not at all aligned.

Now look at these readings for someone whose heart and brain are aligned:

Here the cycles of electricity in the brain and heart match. This effect happens when you breathe with your heart for two minutes. Everything literally synchronizes; the mind and heart are no longer separate.

What does this mean for us here? That if you can channel the power of your heart, you can take back control of the mind and end your frustration and suffering. When your heart and mind are aligned, you will know what to do. Suddenly emotional decision-making feels less fraught because your entire being has focused on finding the right solution.

Emotional decision making: Why you need to get out of your head

Tony says “get in your head, you’re dead.” When you’re in your head, you’re more likely to be stressed, angry or fearful. But when you’re grateful, you can’t be angry or afraid. It’s impossible. Just try it right now.

One of the quickest ways to change your state of mind is to change your physiology. As we can clearly see, when you focus on the heart instead of the mind, everything becomes calm and regular. But stay in your head – as we do when we’re stressed–and your heart and mind are at odds. That’s the reason heart breathing uses gratitude as a focal point; it interrupts that negative state and harnesses your heart’s energy.

Clearly, the heart does more than just keep you alive. Tony talks about the heart as the central intelligence of the human spirit. It’s autonomous from anything else. Where better to find the answers you’re seeking? Think about it: When we go to therapy or talk with others trying to solve our problems, their outside perspective helps them see possible solutions. Because the heart is also autonomous from the other systems at work in your body, it can perform a similar function when you slow down and take the time to listen. By practicing heart breathing,  you can bring your emotional intelligence and decision-making into harmony.

Another benefit to harnessing your heart is its literal power. Remember, it’s got 60 times the energy of your brain. Instead of trying to process your problems with your brain alone, add the heart and you can figure anything out. It’s like swapping a bicycle for a rocket. Those emotional decisions you’ve been debating for weeks? That problem at work that’s making everything challenging? By breathing in your heart for two minutes you’ll find the answer you need. It’s already there. And with some practice, emotional decision-making will become less and less daunting.

Emotional intelligence and decision-making: Limiting beliefs

When managing your emotions and decision-making becomes challenging, it’s easy to view your feelings as a problem instead of a source of valuable information. If you engage this belief, you will shut down your emotions, fortify a limiting belief, and deny your innate knowledge. The reality is that learning to synchronize your emotions and your rational decision-making processes is key to achieving true balance bringing your feelings, physiology, strengths and weaknesses into harmony. This way, emotions and decision-making can actually compliment each other. Through this process of self-discovery and emotional mastery, you will be able to deeply connect with your purpose. When you are clear on your purpose in life, your feelings stop being a source of confusion and become a source of wisdom and guidance. Learn to tell yourself a new story and transform your life.

The 6 steps for heart breathing:
A way to find answers in two minutes
  1. First, focus on the problem you’ve resolved to solve.
  2. Take both hands and rub them from the lower part of your navel up your chest toward your head 10 times, feeling the energy. Then place your hands back on your heart. Breathe in your heart; feel its beauty, its strength.
  3. Think of three things or moments you’re grateful for. One by one, feel that moment; breathe it, experience it, and truly own it. Repeat with the other two. Remember: you can’t be angry and grateful simultaneously.
  4. Ask yourself, “All I really need to do/focus on in that situation is what?” Breathe into your heart and you’ll find the answer there, bringing your emotions and decision-making processes into balance.
  5. Remember this: All I need is within me now. Still not sure of your answer? Breathe a little deeper and just pick one of the possibilities you’ve found. Sometimes there isn’t a single right answer; the right one is to do something.
  6. Give thanks to your heart for its gift to you. Touch your heart and say “I love you, thank you.” at least three times with strength and certainty.
Heart Breathing Demonstration

Take complete control of every decision you make

Discover ways to be sure of every emotional decision you make with Tony Robbins’ free audio on the 4 Rules of Decision Making.