Sunday, January 28, 2018

Weekly Inspiration: We Have Some Control Over Our Emotions

First, I apologize for so few blog posts lately. January was a month filled with family obligations, illnesses, and family crises, so I haven't had much time for much else. I'm behind on everything - not just my blogs! - and one of my goals for today is to finally clear out the unread e-mails in my Inbox, which have been ranging from 200-500 all month! In addition, I am devoting some of my limited writing time to working on a book, Effective Treatments for ME/CFS: Our Experiences. I am pulling together all of my blog posts on ME/CFS treatments, plus adding in some new material, into one place. So, I haven't had much time for new blog posts here this month (though while working on the book, I have been updating some of the older, most popular posts on treatment). For a preview of  some of what I will be covering in the book, you can check out my blog post on Effective Treatments for ME/CFS, which includes many links to more information.

So, onto today's Weekly (monthly?) Inspiration!

The title of a TED Talk caught my eye this week - You Aren't at the Mercy of Your Emotions - Your Brain Creates Them - in part because this is something I have been working on. Another thing crammed into this month has been searching for and starting with a new therapist. I sought help from a wonderful psychologist who specialized in chronic illness (her own grown son had ME/CFS) in the early years of my illness, and she helped me immensely. She has since retired, so I went in search of a new counselor. I think I am pretty well-adjusted after 16 years of living with chronic illness - I even try to help other people through this blog & several support groups I run! - but I wanted to finally address an issue that's been eating away at me. I want to learn how to get rid of and move past some resentment and bitterness I still feel over how some members of my extended family have reacted to my illness. I understand they will never change, and I am working hard to accept that, so I want to learn how to control my own emotions and dump some of this old, negative stuff that still lingers. So, this particular TED Talk seemed very relevant.

Here is the 18-minute talk from Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology and acting psychiatrist, all about how we have more control over our emotions than we may think. The first part of her talk focuses on the biology and physiology behind emotions, but at about minute 11, she zeroes in on applying that information to our own emotions:

I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

Are there emotions related to your chronic illness that you struggle with? What has worked for you to help change your emotional reaction to certain things or people? Let me know in the comments below.

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