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

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

The gifts of joy: Radiance and splendor

Welcoming Joy! After learning about each of the emotions one by one (you can find the list of emotions on my Start Here page), we arrive today at the final emotion in the happiness group: joy! Joy is different from happiness in that it is deeper and larger somehow. It is closer in its essence to contentment, but instead of coming forth after an achievement (as healthy … Read More

The gifts of contentment: Appreciation and recognition

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!

We arrive at happiness! Happiness helps 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 identify in … Read More

Grief: The deep river of the soul

Grief is a beautiful, languid, and powerful emotion that is very different from sadness. Sadness 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 the death of important attachments, ideas, or relationships. Grief does not simply … Read More

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