• When your emotions are managing you in a way they throw you off, we commonly fight back trying to block them out. That extra glass of wine -maybe a bottle- after a bad day at work? Binge eating, alcohol, drugs, gaming.... you name it. There is a full range of options out there to numb what you feel. To avoid what you feel. But unfortunately, shutting them (momentarily) doesn't make them go away.

    Instead of ignoring them, what about asking yourself... how do you feel? Just notice, be aware. No need to react to it right away. Maybe the secret relies in not denying how you feel but in not identifying with what you feel. Emotions are biological suggestions, not undeniable truths to blindly rely on. 

    Emotions emerge as the result of that permanent never ending inner conversation we have with ourselves. We think we are what we think, what we feel. But we are not.

    As in the practice of meditation, it's not about stopping your thoughts and consequently the emotions derived from that inner chatter, but just to change your relationship with them.


  • We all procrastinate. And we do it especially with the important tasks, or the most difficult and demanding ones. But it’s not because we are lazy or we aren’t motivated enough. If you procrastinate, first, it might be that that particular task, really matters to you. But it’s hard, difficult, requires effort and it can put your performance (and yourself?) into question. Reason why we postpone the pain of a potential failure, “not being good enough”, by the immediate reward of delaying it. Not really a smart move as we end up feeling worse about ourselves

    A potential solution: take a deep breath, embrace what and how you feel, don’t judge yourself, and divide it into small tasks. One step at a time my dear.

    Sam Kemmis explains it much better in his article. My extract of his main ideas below.

  • As humans we feel a wide range of emotions, each of which plays its role in our general well-being. Anxiety may alert us from potential danger; anger is a natural response to injustice or mistreatment and sadness may signal the intensity of a loss and it's necessity to mourn it.

    Toxic positivity imposes positive thinking as the only solution to problems, demanding that a person avoid negative thinking or expressing negative emotions. This is extremely risky because not acknowledging these so-called "negative" emotions means ignoring the action they can inspire.

    Not saying that a general positive outlook is harmful, but when it's the only response to a challenging situation could be even foolish.

    An option to Toxic Positivity could be “Tragic optimism” being defined by the search for meaning during the inevitable tragedies of human existence.

    Or as Hannah Arendt said: "There is a precept that

  • Based on Lisa Feldman Barrett decades' of research, it looks like emotions are not what we thought they were.

    They are not universally expressed and recognized. You might feel that emotions are hardwired brain reactions, that your brain is prewired with mythical emotions circuits that you are born with.

    But you are not.

    Emotions are not built in at birth, they are built. They don't come by default.

    What are they then really? Emotions are guesses that your brain constructs in the moment trying to answer: What's this most likely, based on my past experience?

    Your brain comes prewired with some feelings. Simple feelings that come with the physiology of your body: calm, agitation, comfort, discomfort... but those are not emotions, they are just summaries of what's going on inside your body. Like a barometer.

    The problem is that those physiologically connected sensations are too broad, not detailed enough, and in order to act, you need detail to know what to do next about them.

    How do you get details? With predictions. Using past

  • "Thoughts determine feelings. Remember that. Make a note. Get a tattoo. This powerful idea goes back thousands of years to the Stoics".

    Feelings aren’t truth incarnate.

    Emotions are useful, but they are our biological suggestions, not commandments. Our brain is a pattern-recognition machine. It makes observations and starts forming rules about the world. It’s really good at this. It creates automatic thoughts based on previous experience to simplify our way through life.

    But sometimes our brain makes errors when it’s forming its rules, and the most common error is "better safe than sorry" acting as an overprotective parent.

    So maybe that automatic emotional reaction, that gut feeling isn't really adjusting to reality.

    And so? What to do?


    Eric's Barker approach on states on Aaron's Beck book ...