become more rational by writing down your thoughts

How to Become More Rational with Mark Bell

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“…a big problem we’re faced with is reacting with our feelings.” 

I’ve been following Mark Bell’s podcast and vlogs for several years now. Initially learnt about him from the world of powerlifting. He is a wealth of concrete advice and I feel he is the most genuine person in the powerlifting space. He isn’t afraid to talk about mental health and emotions – and approaches these conversations in a very practical, ‘off-the-cuff’ manner.

Mark Bell is someone I admire on many levels. He is a great communicator, inventor, and all-round incredible  individual. He has plenty of accomplishments inside and outside of the gym, with so much knowledge and life lessons to share. 

In this video he details a specific method for creating some distance from strong emotions and how to think about the situation in a rational way and to edit out/through the emotions – which would otherwise lead to bad decisions. 

I recommend listening to his video in full to understand what he is saying in the context (and – the way he explains, you can’t not love it). He calls the method ‘editing yourself’.

( I’ve tried to quote as accurately as I could, all errors are my own.)

“In this second half of my life…I’m working on lifting people up rather than just lifting weights. And one of the ways I’m going to lift people is to teach people how they can become more rational.” 

Feelings and emotion can lead to irrational thoughts and behaviours, and sometimes you need to sort through them or weed them out – to solve a situation rationally. 

How to become more rational by editing yourself

Step 1 – write it out or do a voice note. (be explicit don’t hold back go ham)

“Use as much description as you can and I want you to let out whatever expletives might follow.”

Step 2 – cross out some of the extreme words and expletives. 

“Moments like, ‘that’s it, this isn’t right. I’m going to go in there and tell them that this is fucking right. That this is bullshit, I can’t believe I’m being treated this way. I  am absolutely furious, I’m not taking this anymore’. You can go over all these things, once you done that I would like you to go back – cross out those extreme words – cross out some of those expletives, I’d like you to get rid of some of those feelings.” 

Step 3 – Look at what you have written. 

“If what you wrote doesn’t make sense replace the feeling words and expletives with factual descriptions.”

This is to help you recognise what you are feeling – when something is upsetting you and recognise that it is an emotion. Most of the time we don’t realise even what emotion we are reacting to and short circuit straight out a response – before putting any analysis or thought into it. Whether it’s worth our time or not, whether it’s true or not etc. 

“Think about your thoughts, thinking about your feelings. And before your thoughts and feelings turn into a reaction you can do something about it no matter how wild and crazy it is. You have control over it, you have control over how you frame, and even reframe, some of the things you once thought.” 

“You can take any situation no matter how horrific – and you can try to apply some logic to it.”

This has been helpful for me in my own life and I hope you find it useful too. Mark is regularly putting out actionable, simple and effective ways to deal with different issues in your life, from loss and self-worth to heath and business. He teaches you how to think clearly and develop healthy habits. I definitely recommend following him and listening to his podcast.

Mark Bell’s Power Project

Mark Bell – Super Training Gym

Mark Smelly Bell