Ingenious stagnation — Understanding depression

Discovering the gifts of depression Situational depression arises when some aspect of your life is unworkable or dysfunctional; this emotion stops you for a vital reason, and there are many ways to support yourself when depression is present. When we looked at the gifts of sadness, I wrote about what I call the fundamental correlation error that I see with many emotions — which is that … Read More

The genius of apathy and boredom

Unmasking the brilliance We’ve looked at anger and shame, and now, we’ll focus on what I call the masking state of apathy (or boredom). Empathically, when I look at behaviors, I seek the emotions that underlie them. In apathy and boredom, I see a state that serves to mask fatigue and depression, certainly, but most of all, I see that apathy and boredom mask anger that … Read More

The ingenuity of confusion

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

The lifesaving ingenuity of panic and terror

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

Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

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

Fear: Intuition, instincts, and awareness

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 helps you orient you to change, novelty, or … Read More

Is it empathy or projection? Ten ways to know.

Can you read the emotions of others, or are you simply projecting your own emotions? The answer to this question isn’t simple, but there are ways to tell the difference, and ways to develop your empathic abilities and accuracy so that you’re not simply projecting your own emotional state at others. Ten possibilities to explore Sometimes, people will tell you that an emotion you sensed isn’t … Read More

Embracing guilt and shame

Befriending all of your emotions! In my post on befriending your anger, I re-framed anger as a necessary emotion that supports you in developing and maintaining your healthy self image. Now, let’s look at the emotion that I call anger’s friend or partner: shame. I envision healthy anger as the sentry that calmly walks the perimeter of your self-image and watches out for any challenges to … Read More

Understanding and befriending anger

Welcoming all of your emotions! Anger can be the most honorable emotion you have, if you know what it is, why it appears, and how to work with it. All of your emotions bring you specific gifts and skills, and we’ll look at all of your emotions — one by one — in terms of how each one works, why it arises, and which actions you … Read More

Learning to embrace your anxiety. Really!

Hello and welcome to the year of Embracing Anxiety! There is a lot going on in our world, but luckily, we have an emotion whose genius can help us envision, plan, and work toward a healthy future: it’s anxiety! Really! Learning how to embrace your anxiety I’m excited to announce my newest book, Embracing Anxiety, which will be released in June. You can preorder now! Many … Read More

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