What’s more important, thoughts or feelings?

Kristin van Ogtrop Did I Say That Out Loud

I thought this was a very interesting question: we think and feel pretty much our entire waking day. You could argue that our dreams continue this process. Lots of thoughts. Lots of feelings. But is there a pecking order?

How do thoughts and feelings differ?

I am having trouble deciphering this- you can have a thought, you can feel something, and sometimes they can overlap. Let’s play my brand new, made up game called Thoughts or Feelings. I am going to report what my thoughts and feelings are at 7:33 am Sunday, when I’m writing this post:


  1. How am I going to get my thoughts across
  2. Do I know what my thoughts are
  3. Should I do the elliptical or should I take a rest day- must look at calendar to see what the week looks like
  4. Must look at daughter’s paper because she wants to know if she organized it properly,
  5. dishwasher needs to be unloaded
  6. the words to Feelings the song
  7. Need to write holiday cards


  1. My back is a little twingy
  2. I’m lazy at this particular moment
  3. mildly runny nose is annoying
  4. had decent night sleep so feeling relatively awake
  5. worry about my Mother in laws partner who seems to have taken a turn this week
  6. worry about my neighbors Father who took a fall and seems to not be doing great
  7. worry about my sister who seems to be having a tough parenting week
  8. worry about my niece who seems to have self esteem issues
  9. worry about my friends two kids who are also have esteem issues

Which are more important? Or are they all equally important?

If you worry about something, is it both a thought and a feeling?

Are some thoughts more fleeting than others?

Are some feelings tougher to get over?

What’s the difference between a physical feeling, like my twingy back determining if I should work out today, or a worry feeling, like those for the people in my circle? is one more or less important, or are they entirely different?

How do you thoughts influence your feelings?

BTW- I’m feeling very Chekovain today asking all of the questions…

What do you think about the questions I posed today? What answers do you have? Or have I just made you think of more questions?


34 thoughts on “Thought vs Feelings

  1. They both are part of being human. Where I see people get into trouble is making life choices that flow out of feelings rather than thinking through the long term implications if they were to decide to act out of a feeling. Feelings are a fickle thing, just like the weather.

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  2. Challenge the thought, accept the feeling. Both are important but ultimately our feelings dictate what we do. Often our mind writes a narrative over the top of feelings to justify our actions. Mindfulness helps in this regard. Trying to be aware of what feelings trigger what thoughts and vice versa. Often the best thing is acknowledge and be sympathetic to your feelings – but then take action based on what you believe is the right thing to do – regardless as to how it makes you feel.

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  3. Too many questions LA, too much overthinking on this one! Yes, there are actual body feelings- reactions to pain for example. But aren’t feelings also very often reactions to thoughts? Especially if those thoughts bring angst? If they go hand in hand then how (or should) you qualify them in terms of importance? My thought for today: LA’s brain is on overdrive. My feeling reaction to that: I feel rather overwhelmed confronting this at 630AM.

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  4. Feelings, and thoughts. I know the difference but I never stop to break them apart. In fact it seems harder to identify feelings that thoughts to me. A “V” of geese just flew down the valley in front of me. I was thinking how cool nature is or did I feel that?

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  5. Thoughts and feelings are intertwined as are our bodies and minds. What affects one, affects the other. I immediately think of Star Trek’s “Data” and of The Wizard of Oz’s Tinman. Thoughts without feelings and lacking in what it takes to be human.

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  6. One of my favorite questions used to be “What am I feeling and how do I know?” It encourages going deep. We can’t believe everything we think or feel. Getting curious and observing the subtleties is powerful.

    On the subject of love — I don’t mind being sloppy with the word because abstract words are intrinsically inadequate. That’s why the great rule of writing is, “Show, don’t tell!”

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  7. Feelings are more important because they give weight to the thought. Without feelings, your thoughts would mean nothing.

    This reminds me of something I heard which said feelings and emotions are different.

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  8. I think they all fall under the category of thoughts. I posted about managing thoughts in July this year and linked to your blog. Something you wrote in July had me thinking about thoughts. We get bombarded with 55,000 thoughts per day. Some dwell in the past, some the future. The trick is to stay in the now.

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  9. You sound pretty normal to me. It’s good to be concerned about family, worried about health and such. I think we that we think, which means we care which means we have feelings. Hard to think or feel about something we don’t care about.

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  10. I really think that thoughts are great influencers of feelings. The more you park on a particular thought, the more likely you’ll start to believe it and therefore, be impacted by a feeling. You could think nothing of something a friend said but then suddenly you start mulling it over in your mind. You begin to question the intent and now become convinced it was meant as a slight. This can lead to you now feeling angry at your friend. I’m often guilty of doing this…thinking too much about something and then allowing those thoughts to develop into feelings.

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  11. The conscious brain only controls about 5%, so there’s a huge amount going on in the subconscious. I’ve been doing a lot of work on the subconscious and unpicking the messages there which have been holding me back. Starting first with the physical feeling, then identifying what emotion is attached, and recording the thoughts which spring from it (before addressing them). I’m so impressed with the process that I’ve started to try in it myself.

    Another great question LA!

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  12. I don’t believe one can separate the two. Thinking objectively all the time without emotion makes one a robot. Letting feelings/emotions dictate actions can be disastrous as emotions wax and wane like the moon. Both are needed to be fully human.

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