I had an interesting conversation recently about the movie Inside Out (side note: one of the unintended side effects of parenthood is most of my film viewing is family films; thank god for Pixar…)
The person I was talking to hated the message the film gives to kids. “It doesn’t tell children they can choose how they feel,” she said. “And I just couldn’t stand the way Sadness was always moping.”
Conversely, I had liked the message the film may have been imparting to my kids; namely, that we all have a range of emotions and we can share these, rather than trying to pretend they aren’t there, can’t lighten the burden.
As an adult, this is something I continue to deal with – how to respond to negative emotions. Do you wallow in the negative emotion? Or swallow it, suppressing it until you no longer feel it? Or can you allow the emotion to exist without taking over?
This exercise can be hugely revealing when you find yourself responding emotionally to a trigger, but are left not sure where to go next. Or if your emotional response is powerful and leads you to act in ways you don’t like, be it angry, sad, or anxious. Continue reading “Self-coaching exercise: Examining your emotional response to a trigger”