The gifts of contentment: Appreciation and recognition

posted in: Emotions | 8

Welcoming contentment! We just looked at happiness as a wonderful emotion that looks outward, or forward to the future, with hope and delight, and now we come to our friend contentment, which is a form of happiness and pleasure that turns inward, toward you, and says, “Hey, good job!” (Excerpt from The Language of Emotions): Happiness tends to anticipate a bright future, while contentment tends to … Read More

The gifts of happiness!

posted in: Emotions | 3

We arrive at happiness! Happiness arises to help you look outward (or forward to the future) with hope and delight! As I’ve been posting about the emotions one by one, you may have noticed that when I talk about emotions, I almost never start with the happiness-based emotions. It’s not that I don’t like happiness; I do! It’s that the three different types of happiness I … Read More

Ingenious stagnation — Understanding depression

posted in: Emotions | 20

Discovering the gifts of depression Situational depression arises when some aspect of your life is already unworkable or dysfunctional; depression stops you for a vital reason. When we looked at the gifts of sadness, I talked about what I call the fundamental correlation error that I see with many emotions — which is that people blame emotions for making them feel bad, rather than understanding that … Read More

Grief: The deep river of the soul

posted in: Emotions | 16

The Gifts of Grief Grief is a beautiful, languid, and powerful emotion that is very different from sadness. Sadness, which we looked at last week, arises when you’re holding on to something that isn’t working anyway; sadness arises to help you relax and let go. Grief is different: it arises when something is lost irretrievably, or when a death occurs – be it actual death, or … Read More

Welcoming the gifts of sadness

posted in: Emotions | 5

SADNESS: The Water Bearer ACTION REQUIRED: Sadness arises when it’s time to let go of something that isn’t working anyway. If you can truly let go, relaxation and rejuvenation will follow. GIFTS: Release ~ Fluidity ~ Grounding ~ Relaxation ~ Rejuvenation THE INTERNAL QUESTIONS: What must be released? What must be rejuvenated? Sadness is a wonderful emotion that arises when something needs to be released. This … Read More

The lifesaving ingenuity of panic and terror

posted in: Emotions | 4

Welcoming and understanding panic and terror As we travel through the emotional realm, we’ve looked at anger, guilt & shame, apathy, hatred, fear, confusion, anxiety, and jealousy & envy, and we’ve found the gifts in each one. Every emotion carries gifts, and every emotion evolved over millions of years to help us survive and thrive as social primates. Panic and terror are no different (from now … Read More

The social genius of jealousy and envy

posted in: Emotions | 14

Welcoming jealousy and envy! Jealousy and envy need a hearty welcome, because they are perhaps two of the most hated (and valenced) emotions in the entire emotional realm. This is a tragedy, because jealousy and envy are actually essential for your social survival — you really need them! Luckily for us, we can work with jealousy and envy empathically and shield ourselves from the deeply unfortunate … Read More

Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

posted in: Emotions | 8

There are gifts in anxiety? Yes! People are often very surprised to learn that anxiety contains specific gifts, because anxiety is usually described only in terms of disorder or disease. However, at its most subtle level, anxiety (which is related to fear) helps you plan for the future and complete important tasks. Really! When I look at the problem of nuance, I see that so many … Read More

The ingenuity of confusion

posted in: Emotions | 20

Welcoming and understanding confusion! In my empathic approach to emotions, I’ve separated emotions into seventeen categories that are based on the unique actions each emotion requires. When I created these categories, I wasn’t trying to erase emotional nuance; I did it so that you could get a handle on your emotions and develop a working emotional vocabulary. I identified two states that I call masking states: … Read More

Fear: Intuition, instincts, and awareness

posted in: Emotions | 10

Welcoming the gifts of fear! As we take an empathic tour through the emotional realm, we’ve started with the emotions that help you set boundaries: Anger, guilt and shame, the masking state of apathy, and hatred. Today, we’ll look at an intuitive emotion that helps you orient yourself, connect with your instincts, and keep yourself safe: fear. Fear arises to orient you to change, novelty, or … Read More

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