Sometimes I hear the song "Listen to your Heart" on the radio or other places that have a music system. The heart in this case is fungible with your emotional attachments since it a metaphor. This seems to be the problem….
People confuse emotional attachments with emotions.
While an emotional attachment may cause a broad variety of emotions to be felt by a person, emotions do not necessarily cause an emotional attachment to be formed. Positive emotions can enhance a bond between a person and whatever caused the emotion, but negative emotions break and disintegrate the emotional attachment that person has with whatever caused them to feel that emotion. So, although emotions can make or break emotional attachments, once an emotional attachment is already formed, it can cause more than a few emotions.
It is understandable that people confuse emotional attachments with emotions because they are consistently intertwined and shape each other as time progresses forward.
Emotions can heighten our senses and encode our memories to be more vivid, and emotional attachments can give our lives purpose, meaning, and understanding. Most importantly, emotions act as signals to let us know that an emotional attachment is formed. Both emotions and emotional attachments can be intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding, but when they are misunderstood and considered fungible with gratification, they can be a negative influence. Emotions are not the only element needed to make an emotional attachment; quality time/attention is also a fundamental element for developing an emotional attachment. The more time you spend with someone/something, the greater likelihood that you will be attached to it on an emotional level.
We do not always form emotional attachments to people or hobbies or habits that are good for us, and that is because our attention towards something and our positive emotions develop these emotional attachments. This can be unhealthy for people because if they are constantly "following their hearts," they are following whatever they pay the most attention to and receive possibly just the most gratification from. It can be too simple to confuse gratification with positive emotions like happiness.
"Following your heart" should be about following what could mean the most to you, but what means the most could be an emotional attachment that was developed out of fear or spite or confusion. Emotional attachments are made as a sense of grounding and purpose, and sometimes people make them intentionally so that they feel like they are not lacking grounding and purpose.
Let me give a personal example: once upon a time, I became emotionally attached to my roommate's cat. I first made the decision to not be affectionate with the cat because I knew I would not always be living with my roommate. After a whole year and during a pandemic, I became affectionate with the little sweetheart. She was well-mannered, she did not ruin my furniture, and she acted like she loved me. I began to hug that cat. When the lease expired, I knew I had to part ways with this sweet little perfection. I cried. According to some people, if I had followed my heart, I would have followed the cat. The answer was not to follow the cat, the answer was to let it go.
I think the most classic example, however, is the stereotype that women always try to date at least one bad boy. The bad boy always ends up breaking the girl's heart, and she cries and acts like she did not know what was going to happen. Obviously, the boy did not respect her. According to the mantra "listen to your heart," because the girl developed an emotional attachment to a boy that did not respect her, she should continue to love him even though the love is unrequited. Her heart was attached.
Listening to your heart is just unhealthy, I am sorry.
Instead, listen to your stomach. Does a situation make you feel uneasy? Maybe that is an instinct letting you know that something is not right. Sometimes the body will cause a craving when it needs a specific nutrient. Even more magical, the body will alter the taste buds to appreciate certain foods and drinks when they are in need by the body and be disgusted by the foods/drinks that would not have what the body is needing. Your stomach will not lie to you. Your stomach will tell you what it needs, when it needs it. When you like someone or are nervous, your stomach will get fluttery. Some emotions are physiological, and your stomach demonstrates those physiological symptoms.
You can rely on your stomach to be honest with you, but not your heart. Your heart can be manipulated. Fear can heighten your heart rate, and make you too scared to talk to the people that you care about. You can accidentally start spending quality time with someone, develop an emotional attachment, and then have the predicament of being attached to someone because of that time and not necessarily because there is any chemistry between the two or any commonalities that would support a good friendship or relationship. Proximity is the most powerful deception that can cause an emotional attachment even when it is unhealthy.
Listen to your stomach. No one can manipulate your stomach. Even all food poisoning can do is make you stay at home for a few days at most. Listen to your stomach.