In this episode we discuss emotional agility and how you can cultivate it, discover that beneath your difficult emotions are the signposts to the things you value most, learn how to make space for emotions and embrace a willingness to experience difficult emotions, talk about why its vital to understand the distinction that emotions are meaningful but not always correct, how you can “piggyback” your habits to create very powerful strategies to live more aligned with your values and more with Dr. Susan David.
Dr. Susan David is an award winning Psychologist at Harvard Medical School, co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, and CEO of Evidence Based Psychology. She is the author of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Emotional Agility and has had her work featured in several publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and TIME magazine. Susan’s work and research have led to her consulting and working with several top organizations including the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum, and much more!
How Susan’s experience growing up in apartheid South Africa led her down the path of studying emotional resilience and agility
The tyranny of positivity and how it can actually harm us
How focusing too much on your happiness can make you less happy over time
How surpassing your emotions increases depression and anxiety and decreases your chance at achieving your goals
Beneath your difficult emotions are signposts to the things we value most
Research psychology reveals the power of the “amplification effect” when we push our thoughts and emotions aside
Emotional contagion and how the behavior of others - even people you’ve never met and who are far removed from your life, can have a huge impact on your behavior and your life
If someone in your social network - even if you don’t know them - puts on weight or gets divorced, you are more likely to do those things!
Between stimulus and response, there is a space, in that space is our opportunity for agency
What happens when you bottle and brood on your emotions
Who’s in charge, the thinker or the thought? Who’s in charge, the emotion or the person feeling them? This story, or you the person who can experience many stories?
What is emotional agility? How can we cultivate it?
How to make space for emotions and embrace a willingness to experience difficult emotions
Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility
Our emotions are not good are bad, they just “are”
Strategies for developing self compassion
Imagine yourself as a child approaching yourself as an adult - how would you treat that 3-4 year old who has failed, been rejected, struggled, etc?
We are all trying to do the best we can with the resources we have in an imperfect world - expecting perfection from yourself when the world itself is imperfect is unrealistic
Emotions are meaningful, but not RIGHT (emotions are DATA not direction)
Its critical to cultivate space between stimulus and response
Emotions are important but they aren’t necessarily correct - tap into the wisdom they offer us, but don’t necessarily go in the direction they want us to go in
The vital importance of cultivating an “observer” view of our emotions to help us step out from our emotional reactions and create space between stimulus and response
Why you should use language like “I am noticing that I am feeling X” and “I am noticing the emotion of fear”
Accurately labeling your emotions, digging in beyond just the surface, taps into and helps deal with negative emotions - the field of emotional differentiation
If I was asking the wisest person on the world for their advice on this issue - what would they say?
Every day we get to make a choice - do we move towards our values or away from our values?
Values are qualities of action and they protect us from social contagion
How do we discover our values?
“What did I do that was worthwhile?”
How you can “piggyback” your habits to create very powerful strategies to live more aligned with your values
Root out and destroy “Have To” language in your life
4 Simple strategies you can use right away to become emotionally agile