Emotions are good, but that doesn’t mean they’re always true.
This booklet is for you. It's for your friend, your mom, your dad, sister, brother, cousin, andthe stranger that just walked by you.
The mental health crisis in America is at an all time high. Your life matters.
This is a Book of Hope for you to better understand the emotions you were createdcreated with and to learn how to utilize them in this crazy world.
You have a unique purpose, but your broken pieces don't diminish that. In fact, webelieve they illuminate your gift.
Read each emotion as it hits you. Read it all it once. Read, talk, and digest this in whateverfashion you see fit.
Enjoy the hope in your heart.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave manis not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
- Nelson Mandela
It’s not about not being afraid...
but rather what you do despite your fear. Does your fear hinder you or do you accomplishyour goal even in your fear?
In many ways, fear plays an important role in our lives, making sure we stay alive, creatinga healthy “fight or flight” response in our neurological system, and alerting us to danger. This is because our brain wants us to be safe. In order to be safe, we believe we must staythe same and in the exact place we are in life right now. In this state we are not hurting (necessarily) and there is no threat to our lives, so our brain wants us to stay here in thissafe zone. In our daily lives, fear can keep us imagining unrealistic scenarios that leave usfrozen in our lives and actions. And very often it is the fear of what could happen, and notwhat will actually happen if we take action. Fear is there to talk us out of doing anythingthat will push us forward.
Noticing Fear’s Allies
As we check in with our fear, we can observe where the fear is coming from, as well as theother emotions that may be participating in making the fear feel even bigger. Forexample, worry or doubt could be piggybacking on our fear as we try to move throughsomething new in our lives. However, those other emotions may create an irrationalpicture of the original fear, causing the situation to feel more threatening.
Acknowledge any current fears that might have come up. Write it on a piece of paper.Share it with a friend. Then crumple the paper and through it away.
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
- Mark Twain
As humans, we constantly attempt to unravel the unknown: the cause and effect and the “what if’s” of life. It’s hard to let go of the need to know and simply allow ourselves to takelife one minute at a time, finding peace in the knowledge that whatever happens willhappen. It’s not easy to take a deep breath and allow ourselves the freedom to makedecisions, sometimes with no knowledge of the outcome, and move forward withstrength, confidence and positivity. Even so, taking the time to identify your level of worryin the present moment can help you take back control and notice the thoughts that areflooding your focus and tearing down your confidence.
So, how do we process worry in a healthy way? Give your brain a gentle break. Let go oftrying to plan every next step of your life. As Dr. Michael Stein, PsyD at effective therapysolutions. com writes, “The subtle way that most people avoid uncertainty about thefuture is through the process of mental analysis: trying to predict, plan, and solveuncertainties about the future by thinking really hard about them.”
Take Action & Let Go
As you feel anxiety rise at first, it might feel as though it is trying to get you to do something Feel this anxiety, and let it wash over you.
Once the anxiety settles down, your brain will know that you are okay, even in the face ofuncertainty, and even without feverishly creating strategies.
“Anger is like flowing water; there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. . . Allowyourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats offorgiveness. Be human.”
- C. Joybell
Anger is a strong, forceful energy that ignites when we sense an injustice. It helps us facean attacker eye-to-eye, to shout, to flex our fists, or to fight if needed. Our early ancestorsrelied on this important emotion to ensure their survival, ward off intruders, and protecttheir families. However, at times we may perceive a threat when there really is none, andwe may unnecessarily hurt others with our anger. A father might shout at or hit his son fordropping a glass on the floor, or a teen might slash her ex’s tires because he broke upwith her. In both these cases, the anger had no useful effect, other than to scare or hurtanother person.
While overreacting to anger can be hurtful, it can be just as damaging to ignore orsuppress our anger. Since many of us are taught as children not to value anger, we maytell ourselves, “I shouldn’t be angry. I should just put on a happy face and be nice.” Bynot allowing this powerful emotion to pulse through us, we store it in our bodies. Afteryears of anger suppression, we may become depressed, bitter, resentful, or even startgetting chest pain, backaches or headaches. Or we might cry every day for no reason. Orwe might just get crabby and act out on inanimate objects. Anger is considered a surfacelevel emotion. Often times there is something that is underneath the anger... worry, fear,sadness, rejection, hurt feelings....
Next time anger begins to rise up, allow it to come, However, instead of actually acting onit and potentially hurting yourself or another: Pause. Take it to another room and say, "Ifeel anger" out loud. Take a few deep breathes and do your best to relax. Write down yourfeelings or talk it out with a trusted friend.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in ourconsciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
- C.S. Lewis
Pain is relative to our individual experience. It’s totally normal to feel helpless in handlingthe pain that’s pressing for release, and yet we might feel like we’d do anything to make itgo away. For some people, crying hard, talking to friends or journaling brings some relief.For others, especially those who do not have accessible emotional outlets, drugs, bingeeating, or alcohol may seem like the easiest ways to drown out the sadness.
So, how do we process pain and sadness in a healthy way? In his article HealingEmotional Pain: How to Recover When Life Crushes You, author Sean Grover advises usnot to try to give up and move on too quickly when we’re in pain. Instead he offers aprocess of recovery. Here’s a summary of his suggestions:
1. Honor Your Pain - Put aside time where you can feel the pain, and fully grieve. Bepatient with yourself, knowing grief has its own timeline. - it doesn’t know time
2. Reach Out - Surround yourself with people who support you, and who understandyour need to grieve. It may also help to join a support group with others who haveexperienced a similar loss.
3. Take a Break - Just as you give yourself time to grieve, also schedule time to dosomething rejuvenating, like a creative venture or something with movement. You’llneed this balance, and the sadness will still be there when you come back.
4. Learn From It - It has been said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Whathas this experience taught you? Can you channel your pain into energy to supportothers? Although the sadness may never go away, it can become an inspiration foryou to help make the world a better place.
“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed andtherefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failedto do makes us unworthy of connection. ”
- Brene Brown
Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by thinking we did somethingwrong or foolish, or that we failed to reach some ideal state. When feeling shame, wemight blush, slump with our head down, and avert our eyes. Inside, we may wish wecould hide, disappear or even die.
According to Shahram Heshmat, PhD, shame, unlike guilt, “encompasses the entire self.” He explains that guilt is usually a less painful because we are disapproving of a specificbehavior, while shame involves disapproval of our entire self. Contributing factors toshame include high standards, self-blame and low self-esteem. Unlike some otheremotions, shame has a particular holding power—it can remain as a constantundercurrent for many years and can come not only from ourselves but also from a lovedone.
Talking about our shame is often the best and most effective first step. It’s disobeying theprimary urge of shame, which is to hide. When we acknowledge that shame is present,we can begin to move toward forgiveness.
“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
- Mother Teresa
Joy is an emotion full of color, brightness and fullness. Its definitions span a widespectrum from “a sense of well-being, success, or good fortune” to “an attitude ofgratitude.” A broader way to conceptualize joy is as a state of being filled with humility,gratitude, useful service, and a connection to something beyond ourselves. In this realm,joy is pictured as a collective whole, rather than a surface-level personal feeling.
Cultivating a Life of Joy
In a conversation between the Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu, they agreed that the mainsecret to joy was not thinking too much about yourself. Tutu and the Dali Lama alsoarrived at these “8 Pillars of Joy”:
3) Humor & Laughter
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turnsdenial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, ahouse into a home, a stranger into a friend. ”
- Melody Beattie
We often place so much focus on our future, who we want to be, and the things we areworking so hard to have, that we forget to stop each day and have gratitude for all thegoodness that’s present already in our lives. We forget that if we are grateful in ourcurrent circumstances, there will only flow more things to be grateful for.
Choose a time each day when you will sit down and write down three things you aregrateful for. Carry them with you in your mind each day as well. You may find thatfocusing on your gratitude will allow you to let go of negative feelings about things youcan’t control.
"Guilt is the thief of Life."
- Anthony Hopkins
Human beings tend to have a real struggle with this one, and for good reason: we areimperfect! And life is full of rules that we believe we must follow. Guilt comes from notabiding by the rules and the “shoulds” we think we must live by. For example, if we thinkwe shouldn’t be late to work, and then we’re late, we feel guilty. And it’s not just our ownrules. Sometimes we can take on guilt based on the rules or “shoulds” we hear fromothers. If this happened to us often as a child, we may carry old guilt that we can’t evenremember. Other forms of guilt, such as guilt that we ran a stop sign, can serve as healthyreminders not to take a certain action again. As long as these feelings are temporary, theykeep us in integrity
1) Look deeper at the situation -- Ask yourself, what am I feeling guilty about? Why doI feel guilty?
2) Accept that you can’t change the past -- Notice how the guilt feels in your stomach,in your head, and in your chest.
3) Imagine new possibilities -- Ask yourself, What’s positive about the situation? Whatwould it feel like to be free of these guilty feelings?
4) Take control to make things better -- Ask yourself, what in this situation issomewhat in my control? What will I do to potentially improve the situation?
5) Learn from your experience -- Ask yourself, what am I learning from this situation?What could I do differently if I’m in a similar situation again?
6) Release feelings of guilt -- Close your eyes and take a deep breath. As you breatheout, release the guilt from your body. Do this as long as you need to.
"Passion will move men beyond themselves, beyond their shortcomings, beyond theirfailures."
- Joseph Campbell
Passion, simply put, is what drives us. It’s the fuel that inspires us to form intimaterelationships, find work, make friends, or pursue interests. One definition of passion is a “strong liking or desire for, or devotion to, some activity, object, idea, or concept.” Synonyms include; affection, dedication, excitement, zeal, and fervor. Passion can lead usto enter opportunities that may often be hidden by fear and uncertainty.
Many of us have hidden passions that have not gotten their full opportunity to shinethrough us. As you go about your day, pay attention to the moments when you feel thatsurge of passion, and give yourself an extra moment to listen and feel its message.
Not everyone knows what their “passion” really is. If you’ve been wondering, try takingthe time to write a full page on each of the following questions:
1) When in my life did I feel; happy, fulfilled and with a strong sense of purpose? (Asyou reflect on this, try to feel what that passion feels like in your body.)
2) How could I do more of that in my life?
3) Who has a career or lifestyle that I admire/envy/respect? What qualities does thatperson possess that I also have/could learn?
What are you Passionate About? What hidden treasure has been put on your heart?
“Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at theheart of creation.”
- Rabindranath Tagore
What exactly is love? Some would argue that it’s a feeling, and one of the best in theworld: one of connection, gratitude, warmth and bliss. Others might think of love more asan action -- gestures, thoughts or words that expresses care and lift others up. Still othersmay refer to love as the essence of life. Regardless of definitions, it’s clear that withoutlove, our life loses depth, beauty and richness. In order to fully feel love for all that isaround us, we need to also feel love for ourselves.
In his famous book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman explains that all ofus have different ways that we share our love with others, as well as ways that we feelloved by them. And these languages can differ. For example, one person might feel lovedwhen he hears words of affirmation such as, “You look so handsome today,” whileanother person might feel loved when someone takes time to sit with her and stay awakethrough her favorite movie. The five languages he lists are: words of affirmation, qualitytime, physical touch, gifts and acts of service.
Share the Love
Out of the Five Love Languages, which of these feels easiest to give: Affirmation, QualityTime, Physical Touch, Gifts or Acts of Service?
Out of the Five Love Languages, which of these feels easiest to receive: Affirmation,Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts or Acts of Service?
Affirmations aren’t about believing primarily in oneself, but in who you were created to be.
For some, the Affirmation Statement may have been the hardest part of the daily practice.For others, you may continue to find your peace in the gentle yet powerful hold of theAffirmation. Wherever you sit with it, our hope is that you embraced the Affirmation, alongwith the words of those who have walked with, encouraged, and affirmed you. HealingAuthor and The Hays Foundation Founder, Louise Hay, wrote, “An affirmation opens thedoor. It’s a beginning point on the path to change. In essence, you’re saying to yoursubconscious mind: 'I am taking responsibility. I am aware that there is something I cando to change.” When I talk about doing affirmations, I mean consciously choosing wordsthat will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new inyour life.'”
Like gratitude, affirmations are practiced for the present. They help us affirm our truthinternally so we can begin to serve outside of ourselves.
In this moment, what is something that you can embody that is personal, positive, and inthe present tense? Say your statement aloud at least 3 times.