How to use the Emotional Advantage Book
As you read through the book, you’ll see that it is organized by emotion. Each chapter delves into the science behind the emotion, the messages it offers, and practical time-tested strategies to make the most of each one. Though there are various systems of organizing emotions – ranging from five individual “families” of emotions (enjoyment, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness), to seven, to ten emotions, all the way to the latest research by Dr. Dacher Keltner and Alan Cohen pointing to smooth gradients of twenty-seven emotions. Brené Brown’s research has highlighted thirty emotions. For the purpose of this book, in order to take a deep dive on selected emotions, I have narrowed it down to the ten. Each one is more fascinating than the last. Of course, you will have your favorites:
Desire looks at the nature of desire, how it is different from hope or expectation, the two types of passion to watch out for and what to do if it gets extreme.
Tolerance explores two layers, tolerance for some aspects of ourselves and tolerance for others. We’ll look at the difference between tolerance and acceptance, and how to have more self-acceptance now. You’ll discover how tolerance relates to empathy, and how to use it to deepen every relationship.
Happiness discusses how to change the brain to bring forward the best of ourselves.
We’ll also dive into the 7 Happiness Habits, and how little shifts can change everything. The chapter concludes with a section on PTG – post-traumatic growth, and why some people are so resilient even after tragedy.
Sadness is often confused with depression. In this chapter, we explore the difference. You will also discover the hidden gifts of sadness and why it is an important part of life.
Finally, we look at what it means to architect your life to be free of regrets.
Fear looks at the different types of fear – there are many! You will take a fear quiz and find out what happens when fear is suppressed. You’ll also learn some strategies to make fear your friend.
Anxiety will explain the difference between fear and anxiety. When is anxiety a healthy reaction, and when is it called a disorder? We’ll also look at ways to navigate this much-misunderstood emotion.
Confidence discusses two causes of confidence: it can be the result of inner alignment or externally learning something new. You will learn the different mindsets that will support or sabotage your dreams, and why self-esteem alone is not enough.
Anger will look at the downsides of this emotion, but also at its gifts. How can you harness its power for good? You’ll learn the many faces of anger, and proven strategies that help when anger arises.
Guilt is one of the most potent guides to get you back to what you value most. You’ll look at the difference between guilt and shame. You’ll also explore three types of guilt that can keep you stuck and seven action steps to take you through even the muddiest of waters.
Love introduces you to the 6 types of love, the 3 stages of love, and how the chemicals in your brain move you to love, lust and connection. You’ll also learn what helps love go the distance.
Each chapter will also give you opportunities to tie what you are reading to your personal life. Get yourself a new journal and be ready for reflection questions and challenges to help you discover more about yourself and the insights that are waiting to emerge.
Along this journey, you will receive prompts, such as, “In your journal, jot down the following question…” This is your time to write from the heart – no judgment allowed! This is all about tapping into your inner wisdom, reconnecting with your intuition and uncovering insights that may surprise you. You will learn a lot about yourself, your strengths and your choices as you progress through the chapters.
Before you start, there is something you should know about. Though each emotion has its own characteristics and message, it is fascinating to recognize that there is a progression that helps us understand anger, fear and other challenging feelings. Author Dr. Paul Eckman and contemplative social scientist Dr. Eve Eckman have researched emotions and their stages and point to a timeline that helps us make sense of this sometimes disruptive energy. With emotional episodes (and who doesn’t get them occasionally), it’s good to know that there is a predictable pattern and a way to get to the other side. I like the analogy of a sports game – sometimes it can be relatively smooth, and sometimes it can be unpredictably intense. But if you know the drill and can anticipate what can come up, you’ll have a game plan. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you make it through not only in one piece but with a feeling of exhilaration and discovery. Game on!
About the Author
Randy Taran is the Founder and CEO of the global organization, Project Happiness. With a loyal following of 2.5 million people, she has been covered in O magazine, NPR, and The Huffington Post. As the producer of an award-winning documentary on the nature of happiness, she facilitated interviews with George Lucas, Richard Gere, and neuroscientist Richard Davidson. Her best-selling book on happiness became the basis for curriculum in over 120 countries worldwide. She has worked with First Ladies, Ministers of Education, and major thought leaders, for nearly a decade has served as a board member of the Dalai Lama Foundation and is on the board of the United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Happiness. Randy, a master in NLP, is a sought-after international speaker on the topics of happiness habits, preventative wellness, and emotional resilience. Get my latest book EMOTIONAL ADVANTAGE!