Question Your Feelings, But Don’t Dismiss Them

Nov 29, 2020Podcast

Question your feelings. This is how we start the exploration of the 2nd Untruth, “always trust your feelings.” We will define affect, the wholeness of our emotional experience, labels as a short-hand for communicating a physiological experience to others, and the important difference between homeostasis and allostasis. Pulling from the works of Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff, and Lisa Feldman-Barrett we uncover the importance and limitations of our emotional experiences and their labels.

Allostasis

“In modern psychological usage, “affect” refers to the mental counterpart of internal bodily representations associated with emotions, actions that involve some degree of motivation, intensity, and force, or even personality dispositions. In the science of emotion, “affect” is a general term that has come to mean anything emotional. A cautious term, it allows reference to something’s effect or someone’s internal state without specifying exactly what kind of an effect or state it is. It allows researchers to talk about emotion in a theory-neutral way.”

“Allostasis: A Model of Predictive Regulation” by Peter Sterling
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Question Your Feelings: The 5 Steps

Step 1: Accept emotional responses as natural and inevitable reactions to things that are important to you

Step 2: Accept that the emotional response itself is outside your control (this is different than the behavioral way you then decide to express and support that reaction)

Step 3: Identify the Value that the emotion is pointing you towards that has been either violated or supported

Step 4: Mindfully bring attention to the Value that matters to you, while continuing to accept the emotional response

Step 5: Explore different ways to express/support that Value which are healthy, goal-oriented and in line with the best version of yourself you know to be

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Resources:

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain – Lisa Feldman Barrett

How Emotions are Made – Lisa Feldman Barrett

Affect as a Psychological Primitive (PDF)

The Coddling of the American Mind – Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt


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