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10 Things About Emotions That You Can Learn From 'Inside Out'

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“Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?”

Inside Out, a new animated feature by Pixar, gives you a glimpse of what might be happening inside peoples’ heads. The movie revolves around a happy 11 year old girl, Riley, who moves from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. However, instead of telling the story from Riley’s perspective, the story is told from the perspective of Riley’s dominant emotion, Joy.

Together with Joy, Riley’s other emotions of Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear influence how Riley acts and help her cope with the new environment.

It’s interesting to watch how these five emotions operate inside Riley’s head, but most importantly, you get to learn lessons about your own emotions from Inside Out.

1. All of your emotions are useful

However insignificant or negative some of your emotions may seem, they all play an important role in your well-being. They help you survive. As mentioned in the movie, fear helps you to stay away from dangerous situation, disgust keeps you from getting poisoned and anger helps to keep things fair. All of them are useful when used in the right context.

2. Emotions are neither good nor bad

Some emotions such as sadness are deemed to be bad or weak by many people. Some adults put on a happy front when times are bad. Some children are reprimanded by their parents for crying. However, there is nothing wrong about being sad. This movie shows you that sometimes sadness can help you get the support you need from others.

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3. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy

You can’t be happy all the time. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy in the long run. Not able to feel your feelings makes you numb or depressed. Plus, if you don’t express or communicate your emotions to people who care about you, how would they know what you are genuinely feeling and when you need support?

4. Emotions come and go

For an emotionally stable and healthy person, emotions don’t stick around for long. They come and go. Feeling emotions and letting them go is so natural to human that we aren’t aware that emotions can be released easily.

When a person is angry, they replay the event that makes them angry in their head and that makes them even angrier. This movie shows that other emotions can easily step in to stop this unhealthy loop.

5. Listen to emotions that keep showing up

Emotions are good signals for your well-being. If a particular emotion keeps showing up, there must be a reason to it.

When you keep feeling down or angry, it means something isn’t right and you need to address it. It’s time to pay attention to your emotions and listen to what they are telling you. If it’s time to feel sad, feel the sadness. Give it the moment it deserves and then understand why you are feeling these emotions.

6. A memory can have more than one emotion

Inside Out shows you that emotions aren’t as clear cut as you think. A memory can be both happy and sad. Riley’s happy memories that are made in Minnesota can be easily turned into sad memories because she misses her home. It all depends on which emotion is narrating the story inside your head.

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7. Your actions and decisions are influenced by your emotions

Emotions can have a very big influence on your actions and decisions. From what you like or dislike to eat, to what you do when you face a problem; they play a huge part in your decision-making. They give you ideas or directions that help you to make decisions.

8. Your emotions don’t have the final say

Even though emotions can influence you and your actions, they don’t have the final say. Ultimately, you have control and freedom to make your own decisions. Your emotions have no control over you unless you let them be in control.

9. You can be reactive to other people’s emotions

When one person is angry, the other person can get angry easily too. The exchange between Riley and her parents at the dining table shows that your emotions can be just a response to other people’s emotions. Sometimes, you can be so caught with the emotions that you don’t even realize that you are reacting to the other party’s emotion.

10. Embrace all your emotions

Emotions help to communicate your personality. Whether you like the emotions that you are feeling or not, embrace them all. They make your life more colorful and complete.

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Featured photo credit: Inside Out / Pixarvia youtube.com

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