Category Archives: Emotions

Anger Management by Crockery

One of the rules that had to be obeyed when I was growing up was: Don't run in the house, because you might break something. Walk instead. Stay calm. Don't get too excited. Getting excited might cause you to hurt yourself, something or someone else. It also seemed to irritate the grown-ups; it seemed that grown-ups just weren't supposed to get excited.

Not when they were happy anyway. The only time grown-ups seemed to get excited was when they were angry; and then there seemed to no limits to how excited they could get. The rest of the time they seemed to be holding their excitement inside; but when they were really angry, they really let loose. I found that terrifying. I got in real trouble when I acted like that, but grown-ups were allowed different rules to me. And so I learned that I wasn't allowed to get … Continue reading…

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Mastering Emotions at Passionately Alive

I often feel that my emotions are running my life. When it comes to happiness, joy, peace and love, that's fine by me; but when it's fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness or depression, that's not so good. We like to think that we're in conscious control of our lives all the time, but the reality is that everything we do is driven by an emotion of one sort or another. We're constantly either seeking the pleasant emotions or avoiding the unpleasant ones. Our emotions exist in our subconscious, so we often aren't consciously aware of them until they pop up strongly enough to interrupt what we're doing and make their presence felt. But they still play their role whether we acknowledge it or not; and if we ignore them, they just get louder and stronger until we start paying attention.

Our society places a premium analytical thinking and often downplays the … Continue reading…

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Feeling Depressed? Try having a Good Cry

I was feeling depressed on Tuesday. I'd been struggling with Chronic Fatigue for over a year, and it was one of the bad days when I woke up feeling like I'd been run over by a bus that just kept backing up and having another go me it over and over. I'd also spent over a year writing and publishing an ebook which wasn't selling. I was having a bad day and felt lousy.

Australian society doesn't do a great job of encouraging us guys to express how we feel, especially when we're down. Our English stiff-upper-lip cultural heritage combined with the rugged blokey mentality tells us that if you're a guy and you cry, there's something wrong with you. Yet crying is our natural way of releasing emotions of sadness or loss. When you have a good cry, it might feel painful and embarrassing at the time, but … Continue reading…

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Whose Life Is It Anyway? by Nina Brown

When to stop Taking Care of Their Feelings & Start Taking Care of Your Own.

This is a great little book aimed at those of us who tend to take on other people's emotions a little more readily than we would like. It's a relatively short and easy read, covering topics relating to emotional boundaries, and how to avoid becoming enmeshed in or manipulated by other people and their emotional states.

The early chapters deal with emotional susceptibility, avoiding taking responsibility for other people's feelings, and allowing other people to experience their own emotional states without negatively impacting on us. Later chapters deal with psychological and emotional strength, creativity, spirituality and improving relationships.

There are lots of exercises in the book similar to those I was doing with my life coach at the time that I read it, so I skimmed over them... but they sounded pretty good and surely … Continue reading…

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The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ Harris

My Life Coach recommended I read this book recently, at a time when I was struggling with some unpleasant feelings which seemed to be getting in the way of me achieving consistent lasting happiness. The book is practical guide to ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) with a subtitle that rang a chord with me: Stop struggling, start living.

The basic premise of The Happiness Trap is summed up when Dr Harris writes: "The more we try to avoid the basic reality that all human life involves pain, the more we are likely to struggle with that pain when it arises, thereby creating even more suffering." We spend a great deal of our lives seeking pleasant feelings and avoiding unpleasant ones, because we think that this is what will make us happy. But herein lies the trap: the techniques we use to avoid unpleasant feelings actually tend to reinforce them, … Continue reading…

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Heart Thoughts

Nicholas de Castella's Heart Thoughts web site offers positive ideas about emotional mastery. I like Nicholas's sensitivity. Real men do have feelings, and it can come as something of a shock when we actually get in touch with them.… Continue reading…

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Chasing Bohemia by Carmen Michael

In this book, subtitled A year of living recklessly in Rio de Janeiro, Carmen recounts her adventures seeking a bohemian existence during her first year in Brazil. I was first attracted to it for two reasons: my own somewhat less adventurous attempts to embrace a bohemian lifestyle of my own, and the fact that it was about Brazil; which I found interesting given that I play in a samba band in my home town of Sydney.

Carmen's accounts of her intrepid adventures in the favelas (slums) of Rio make for interesting reading, and her immersion in the samba culture of the lower classes seemed pretty much complete. At one point she when she ran out of money, she resorted to running tours of the favelas for overly-game tourists, who probably had no idea what they were in for. I'm not sure whether the book has made me more or … Continue reading…

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Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Do you ever get the feeling that you're the only one on the planet with feelings? Does it sometimes seem as though your life is at the mercy of your moods? Does everyone around you seem to be cruising along just fine with their emotional barrier up, making it difficult for you to connect with them, and leaving you feeling like there's something wrong with you? Do you feel out of place because you're a man, and men aren't supposed to have feelings; or do you feel that because you're a woman with feelings, you're playing second fiddle to the cold, hard men that rule the planet?

I can relate to these feelings sometimes, and with this in mind I recently tackled Daniel Goleman's book, Emotional Intelligence. It seemed to me that the message I'd received from my family, my all-boys high school and my society at large while … Continue reading…

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