Actions Speak Louder Than Feelings
Getting past your feelings is the first step to overcoming life’s problems. Wallowing in your emotions only holds you back.
Your feelings are bulls**t. So says father-daughter authors Dr. Michael Bennett and Sarah Bennett of the book, F*ck Feelings, which purports to be a self-help guide for people who want to “put aside their unrealistic wishes.” In this 416-page profanity-laden tome, the psychiatrist-comedian duo explain that getting past your feelings is the first step to overcoming life’s problems. Wallowing in your emotions only holds you back.
In an interview, Dr. Bennett claims that the philosophy that he and his daughter espouse is nothing new — Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism have been making their point for centuries — which is essentially “being able to laugh at how much life sucks” and “not take it personally.” Even Jesus, knowing full well what he was sent to earth to do, asked God why he’d forsaken him in his final breath.
A neuroscientist will say that feelings emerge from our brain’s limbic system, while a doctor trained in Chinese medicine will insist different emotions emanate from specific organs.
This advice sounds all well and good, except there is no clear consensus on the origins of our emotions. A neuroscientist will say that feelings emerge from our brain’s limbic system, while a doctor trained in Chinese medicine will insist different emotions emanate from specific organs. None of the science is conclusive, and there is evidence for integrating both approaches to tackle mental health.
Regardless of medical tradition, recognizing that we are not our emotions is certainly empowering.
Regardless of medical tradition, recognizing that we are not our emotions is certainly empowering. And being able to circumvent negative or harmful actions is ultimately the goal. As Sarah Bennett puts it, if you can learn to rein them in, “You deserve to give yourself a pat on the back for living a normal life in adverse circumstances.”
As a start, you could follow the advice of famed psychologist Paul Ekman who suggests you can alter your feelings by simply changing your facial expressions.
* * *
Daphne Muller is a New York City-based writer who has written for Salon, Ms. Magazine, The Huffington Post, and reviewed books for ELLE and Publishers Weekly. Most recently, she completed a novel and screenplay. You can follow her on Instagram @daphonay and on Twitter @DaphneEMuller.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.