I saw it last night and loved it.
And it’s another tool to help us notice when we’re being run by our emotions. The ever fantabulous Amy Poehler was especially terrifying as Joy when she was trying to hijack the other emotions, especially poor old Sadness (Phyllis Smith embodied her voice beautifully).
While they were the main characters (Joy suddenly finds herself not the main emotion in little Riley’s life after an unexpected move away from all her friends and hobbies), Disgust (Mindy Kaling – can’t wait for her new book to arrive), Fear and Anger were also essential.
Claudia Hammond wrote a gorgeous book some years back called Emotional Rollercoaster: A journey through the science of feelings. Inside Out made me want to dig it out and reread it.
This film felt (to me) like an emotional rollercoaster – I nearly made it through without crying although they’d been some near misses but, well, no. In my defense, I wasn’t the only one. And the tears felt good!
When you think of the Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust in your own head, which are you most aware of?
Which do you try to repress? (Remember poor old Sadness being instructed to stay in her teeny tiny circle?)
Has repressing your emotions ever worked?
It may seem silly now, considering the work I do, but when I first saw a counsellor in my early 20s, she asked me how I was feeling and although I was clearly being run by my emotions, I simply couldn’t tell her, or myself. Her simple ‘How does that feel?’ may as well have been in Russian (which I sadly cannot speak or understand).
Just checking in with yourself, a few times a day and wondering, which are you most conscious of, can help you better understand the language of your own feelings. There’s no need to try to change anything, simply give yourself permission to feel it.
This won’t, as Fear might have you believe, leave you completely hijacked by your Anger or Sadness. Instead, those feelings will pass more freely and easily leaving you less likely to act out on them.
You might also want to think about ways in which you can express your Joy more freely? What naturally sparks Joy for you?
What helps you deal with Sadness? How might you allow yourself to feel some of that pain, loss and grief and let it go more naturally? (A good cry at a fab film can help! I recommend this one).
What about Anger? We (especially women, in whom, even in 2015 it’s still less socially acceptable than in men) definitely don’t want to suppress this.
Look at how Anger at injustice has changed the world for the better when expressed lovingly by people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Scilla Elworthy, Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler – the list is endless.
What makes you angry? How can you channel that perfectly legitimate emotion into action you feel good about?
And, awww, Disgust. I failed to hold back a judgmental and disgusted, ‘Oh dear God’ as a small child spat (maybe he thought he was a professional footballer, whatever – eeeww) on the floor very near me yesterday. I’ve been known to turn this Disgust against myself for feeling it but, hopefully, with Mindy Kaling’s help (she embraced it fully), I’ll come to accept my own squeamishness more.
Are you easily disgusted? How might you express it in as healthy a way as possible?
Just noticing our usual default emotions in different situations can help us being to gain more freedom as we’re guided rather than hijacked by our feelings.
What might you choose to do differently to better express all of your emotions from today?
Feel free to answer below in the comments!