Article 1

One of my tasks when faced with a distressed person, unsure of how they feel emotionally , is to provide them with an’ emotional menu.’ I ask them to write down the following list of typical unhealthy and healthy negative emotions.

Unhealthy negative emotions may include:

Anxiety

Depression

Hurt

Anger

Shame

Guilt

Frustration

Healthy negative emotions may include:

Concern

Sadness

Remorse

Regret

Disappointment

Annoyance

Article 2

I ask them to choose the relevant ones underlying their distress at that moment. This can be a life-changing experience . For the first time in their lives , they identify and name specific emotions relevant to them . They can then focus on their unhealthy negative emotions, which I suggest they list in order of importance. I explain in them that emotions are the signpost to our innere world can greatly assist in explaining our thoughts and behaviours. Learning how to create such a menu is the first step towards acquiring emotional resilience .

The emotional menu exercise

At this stage , I would like to ask , the reader , to carry out the following exercise , where you learn how to create your own emotional menu:

1- For the next four weeks I want you to carry a notebook and whenever something distresses you, write down the triggering event.

2- Then use the menu laid out above as a guide to explore which emotions were triggered . Are you feeling anxious , depressed , hurt, frustrated or simply sad or annoyed?

I will complete in article 3 soon.

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