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Reframing Our Emotions

Emotions can get a pretty bad rap--and understandably so. We can suffer greatly when we experience emotion. Intense anxiety, anger, sadness, and grief can become overwhelming and interfere greatly in our daily lives. When emotions become out of control, it's common to feel we are slaves (or minions) to our emotions. Given this, it's understandable that many seek therapy in order to make the emotions "go away."

I want to take pause to reframe some of the conversation on emotion (and in doing so steal a little bit from the workbook Carolyn Daitch and I have just written). It's not emotions that are the problem--modulating emotions is where the difficulty comes in. As we write in The Road to Calm Workbook, the ability to experience emotion is fundamental to our functioning adaptively in the world (I'll elaborate more in on this in some upcoming posts). Learning to modulate emotions, however, can make all the difference in the world. This is the key ingredient that allows emotions to become assets rather than liabilities.

While gaining the tools to modulate difficult emotions is essential, this reframe is, I believe, the foundation upon which this process can begin.

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