Keeping with my goal of alternating between fiction and nonfiction, Rising Strong is the second of Brené Brown’s books I have read. I enjoyed The Gifts a little more than this one, but it was still a captivating read. Dr. Brown is a social science researcher and studies some really interesting topics including shame, vulnerability, being brave, and recovering from adversities. I’ve talked before about my struggle with reading “self help” books – but hers are a little easier to swallow since she has a PhD in social work and actually researches to find trends and recurring themes around topics.
Rising Strong discusses the process of dealing with emotions and rising from the pits of life. What hit home for me was the strategy for dealing with and sorting out emotions, as I am, admittedly, not great at doing. And I think a lot of people deal with this.
Newton’s third law of motion states that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I believe this law also applied to our emotional lives. For every emotion we feel, there is a response.
In order to effectively recognize and deal with emotions, we must first recognize the reason we’re feeling that way. For most negative emotions, this involves lies that we are making up/hearing and believing. A current social phenomenon, the ‘fear of missing out’, is a great example of this. It gets the best of us all: pull up Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat on a Friday night and become upset because everyone else is out having fun without you. But is that really true? If you stop your mind from running wild, of course not every friend is out having the night of their life. This is a basic, albeit common, example, but we all subconsciously hear lies every day. Learning to recognize that and traverse those lies will lead to a much happier life. Imagine how much better our relationships would be if everyone followed this practice – not just assuming you know why someone said what they said or their intentions behind doing/not doing something.
Maybe you’re an emotional rock and never lose your cool and if that’s the case, teach me, Yoda. Because this is something I think I will work on the rest of my life. But like all things, it takes practice….yes, even emotions take practice…and practice…and more practice.