Today I would like to use a fantastic emotional intelligence film to explain the importance of one of the keys to mindfulness and its importance in our lives: acceptance (Hoffman & Asmundson, 2008). As many of you have heard, there are 6 basic emotions (Ekman, 1992). They are joy, sadness, anger, disgust, surprise, fear.
All of these emotions have a major bearing on the development of the story inside the film Inside Out, with the exception of Surprise, which ultimately wasn’t added as a story character. These characters dive into the mental world and give a lively explanation that is quite close to reality, on various aspects studied in psychology. Let us focus, in this article, on the emotional question.
Positive and negative emotions
We tend to view emotions as positive or negative depending on the effect it has on us, well-being or discomfort. In this way, we tend to ignore negative emotions and constantly seek positive emotions.
It is something that we can see in our everyday life. With just one click, by touching our cell phone, we enter the world of any social network where everything that appears is perfect. And we started to have this feeling, which is becoming a necessity, of experiencing all the moments that the people around us (or on our follow-up list) have.
In other words, although this has obviously happened before, the need to experience positive emotions that we have in the Western world today is much stronger, you could even say that it is almost a social imposition. of “dry your tears, smile and go out”?
with that I don’t mean to say that making the intention to improve our mood is a negative thing. Quite the contrary, but first we need to give our emotions the space and time they need to express themselves. It is the basis of one of the key principles of mindfulness: acceptance (Hoffman & Asmundson, 2008).
What does mindfulness have to do with the outcome of the film?
The film Inside Out introduces the viewer to the spirit of a baby (Riley). There, we see him as he grows up and faces different situations thanks to the emotions (characters who are responsible for monitoring Riley’s behavior). Over time, Riley goes through certain experiences that influence her mood.
However, Joy, the main character in charge of monitoring control, does not allow Sadness to take control for a moment and ends up isolating her so that she does not influence Riley. The result? A set of events that end up causing Riley to make some impulsive and drastic decisions. however, the key lies, unexpectedly, in reintegrating the sadness into the group, Temporarily take the reins of the command center. In other words, the morality of the film already suggests the importance of uniting the group to stabilize the situation.
The same goes for real life. When we constantly insist on feeling good about a certain situation, we are only isolating our emotion. This has a biological explanation, because living things, we seek survival, for this reason we tend to avoid discomfort in all ways.
however, Mindfulness has a lot to teach us in this regard.. This is a central element added by Hoffman and Asmundson (2008), on which the essence of this new technique revolves: acceptance. However, we must be careful when interpreting this word. Acceptance does not mean resignation, it does not mean that we sit down in front of what is happening. Acceptance involves not judging, seeing things as they are and how they make us feel. It means becoming aware, giving ourselves a space to witness what is happening to us and letting it communicate to us without putting up any resistance. Through this, mindfulness gives us the opportunity to stop to pay attention to what is going on within us and to think about what is happening to us before making a decision and taking action.
So, explained in terms of mindfulness, you could say that when sadness takes central command, when Riley experiences emotions and breaks down in tears, she pays attention to what Sadness was trying to communicate to her. Through this, you get to know a new internal experience and make a new decision.
With this interpretation of the film’s result, I intend to show the importance of all emotions in our lives. While it is true that the whole secret is not hidden by the practice of Mindfulness, its exercises to approach what is happening in the present moment and become aware of it, help a lot in the integration of our emotions. Therefore, mindfulness exercises are integrated into current emotional intelligence programs.
So use the method used, dear reader, don’t forget something, take your time to feel every emotion and don’t judge it, each one has something to tell you. Remember that no one can know what is big without knowing what is small.
- Ekman, P. (1992). An argument for basic emotions. Cognition and emotion, 6 (3-4), 169-200.
- Hoffmann, SG and Asmundson, GJ (2008). Therapy based on acceptance and total attention: new wave or old hat? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 28 (1), 1-16.