What to do with emotions

What to do with emotions

When you feel a strong, tough emotion, don’t run away from it. Understand why you have this emotion and be open to it.

What is the emotion telling you? Notice the emotion for what it is. Be with your emotions with curiosity, compassion and courage. 

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Self Improvement

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False positivity

We are caught up in a rigid culture that values positivity.

However, when we put aside our difficult emotions in order to embrace dishonest positivity, we fail to discover skills that can help us to deal with our problems.

How we deal with our emotions affects how we love, how we live, how we parent and how we lead.

We should not view our emotions as good or bad, positive or negative. We need our emotions for real resilience.

Moving Beyond Emotional Rigidity

When we go through tough situations, we cannot ignore our negative emotions with the hope that they don't matter.

Write down what you are truly feeling in a personal notebook. Move beyond the rigidity of denial.

Don't consider what you think you should feel. Open your heart to what you do feel, even the difficult emotions. It could involve pain, regret, grief or loss. 

When we name our emotions accurately, we are able to find the cause of our feelings. For example, there is a big difference between "I'm stressed", and "I'm in the wrong career."

Emotions are not directives. We can label our emotions for their values without listening to them.

We own our emotions, they don't own us.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • We need to be compassionate and kind with the way we handle our difficult emotions, starting with accepting them.
  • We then need to be curious and mindful about the emotion, asking ourselves if this emotion is owning us or we are in command.
  • We need to be courageous with our self-understanding so that we can move forward in the direction of our values.

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IDEAS

Susan David
“Being positive has become a new form of moral correctness.”
Spontaneity could explain low-level sadness

An often overlooked but essential ingredient in a good life is spontaneity. Without it, we may suffer from an excess of orderliness, caution and rigidity. We haven't danced in a long while.

A more spontaneous life means that we will be more impulsive in expressing emotion and thoughts. In our work, we might embark on a potentially life-changing initiative sooner than we imagined. In our leisure time, we might start to write a collection of recipes or poems.

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