Acceptance can be both liberating and confusing. To accept that you may not be a professional baseball playing astronaut who marries a supermodel and lives in a mansion overlooking the beach can in one sense be the end of a dream (OK, a pretty far fetched dream, to be fair). Often our brains are afraid of accepting our current situation because we fear that with acceptance comes apathy. More often, however, acceptance can be empowering. Accepting that you are a human, full of emotion, thoughts, frustrations, fears, and more, actually allows you to move forward without the feeling of shame. For many people, that movement can be the first step toward an incredibly rewarding, sometimes frustrating, sometimes exhilarating life. Tony also refers to the article What Are Primary Emotions? Learn To Understand Your Instincts https://blog.mindvalley.com/primary-emotions/-Sign up at http://tonyoverbay.com to learn more about Tony’s upcoming “Magnetic Marriage” program!-
This episode of The Virtual Couch is sponsored by http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch With the continuing “sheltering” rules that are spreading across the country PLEASE do not think that you can’t continue or begin therapy now. http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your own mental health a priority, http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.
Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript click here https://descript.com?lmref=v95myQ
Please subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVirtualCouchPodcast/ and sign up at http://tonyoverbay.comto learn more about Tony’s upcoming “Magnetic Marriage” program!
Tony's FREE parenting course, “Tips For Parenting Positively Even In the Not So Positive Times” is available NOW. Just go to https://www.tonyoverbay.com/courses-2/ and sign up today. This course will help you understand why it can be so difficult to communicate with and understand your children. You’ll learn how to keep your buttons hidden, how to genuinely give praise that will truly build inner wealth in your child, teen, or even in your adult children, and you’ll learn how to move from being “the punisher” to being someone your children will want to go to when they need help.
Tony's new best-selling book "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" is now available on Kindle. https://amzn.to/38mauBo
Tony Overbay, is the co-author of "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" now available on Amazon https://amzn.to/33fk0U4. The book debuted in the number 1 spot in the Sexual Health Recovery category and remains there as the time of this record. The book has received numerous positive reviews from professionals in the mental health and recovery fields.
You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program The Path Back by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs, and podcasts.-
Tony also mentioned his appearances this week on two podcasts, The Betrayed, The Addicted and The Expert with hosts Ashlyn and Coby, and Virtual Couch former guest Brannon Patrick where we discuss narcissism in detail and the challenges people face in relationships with narcissistic individuals https://www.betrayedaddictedexpert.com/podcast/episode/25d19bf1/is-narcissism-nature-or-nurture and The Millennial Member Podcast hosted by Emily Ensign where we discuss the topic of pornography, what helps with recovery, and what doesn’t https://www.buzzsprout.com/1072564/6209683-tony-overbay-pornography-and-recovery
Are you afraid of rejection? Do you have a fear that if people truly knew who you were, your core, that they would reject you or if they really knew who you were, if you really dug deep into all of your thoughts and your fears and your hopes and dreams, is there almost this fear of acceptance that if people truly knew who you were and they did accept you, then what?
[00:00:21] They might move on? But we're going deep today. We're going to talk about radical acceptance, primary, secondary emotions, all of these and so much more coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch.
[00:00:43] Welcome to episode two hundred and thirty eight of the virtual couch, I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist. A certified mine will have a coach, a writer, a speaker, a husband, a father of four, an ultramarathon runner and a creator of the Path Back, which is an online pornography recovery program. It's changing lives truly. Go check it out. Path back recovery. Dotcom, at the very least, go download the short ebook that is there that talks about five myths that people fall prey to when trying to stop. No out stop turn into pornography is a coping mechanism for not feeling as connected to their spouses, to their kids, their health, their faith, their career, their life. And head over to Tony Overbay Dotcom and sign up to find out more about some upcoming programs, including a very exciting release of my magnetic marriage course coming in February. If you didn't listen to last week's episode about the consequences of a lack of a connected conversation, please go check it out. That's one of those episodes that I put a lot of thought and effort into. And it's getting passed around a lot for sure. The download numbers are wonderful and amazing. And in that episode, I unveil my four pillars for a connected conversation, and they are game changers for communicating more effectively, whether it's with your spouse or your kids or your extended family or anybody seriously. And I have received a lot of wonderful feedback this week of people simply wanting a worksheet of the four pillars so they can live happily ever after. And that gets me excited. But honestly, and yes, this is going to sound like a sales pitch, the pillars work.
[00:02:09] They truly do work. But in my marriage course, we're going to get into the nitty gritty of how they work in the land mines to avoid and how to have empathy and empathetic statements and how to avoid, again, these landmines that lead to conversations that just go south or don't go anywhere. And I could go on and on. But listen to that episode. And also, if you get a second, go to Instagram, @virtualcouch, there's a lot more content getting put up there by some wonderful people that are helping me behind the scenes. So today we are talking about acceptance. So what does that even mean? And I have been thinking about this one so much lately. So let me let me give you a couple of examples. So when I am working with people who are struggling with any type of an addiction and it doesn't even have to be an addiction, but honestly, let's even go with the big ones, pornography or alcohol or sexual impulse. um, let's even just talk about junk food, any any kind of just turning to some sort of behavior that you don't want to. Here's what acceptance looks like. So let's say hypothetically that you go to the store last Saturday to buy some things that you actually do need and then you impulsively purchase very thin Oreos. Now we're talking purely hypothetical and remember that an impulse is not premeditated compulsion. That one's premeditated. So sometimes we fall prey to impulse. If I were telling a true story about last Saturday, I might say that Friday night my wife and I went on a run and we worked out.
[00:03:31] And Saturday morning we went on a run and we worked out. So in theory, by the time I ran to the store, hypothetically speaking, and I was really, really hungry. And there's actually this clever acronym called Halt HALT, which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. And these are key triggers that can lead to all kinds of types of impulsive behavior. So I was hungry straight up. So in hindsight, noticing that trigger, if I would have acknowledged it ahead of time, it would have been really helpful for me to make my intentions known that I would not be impulsively purchasing junk food. I could have written out a list that could affect the list. I could have called my wife. I could have mindfully breathed through my desire to get these said thin Oreos. But I didn't. Or hypothetically speaking, I didn't. And I impulsively purchase the Oreos. So I get home and I make my standard joke that look what they threw in my bag. It must have been running a special buy a bunch of healthy food and they throw Oreos in for free, to which my wife assumes her part of the bit and says is on the receipt or I'll run out next door. I'm sure the neighbors would want them to, which I ripped the bag open, shove a few of my mouth and say, oh no. They fell open and fell into my mouth and hilarity ensues and you get the point. But here's where acceptance comes into play. So we fear that if we accept something that the final version of the story is written.
[00:04:44] And in this case, it would be that if I accepted that I want to eat junk food, that then you may as well back up the the Keebler truck or whoever makes Oreos. I'm kind of drawn a blank to my back door and then just run a tiny conveyor belt from the back of said truck directly into my mouth until I get so large that I pop. So we fight it. And I hear this in sessions a lot. I was going to say all the time, but that's an all or nothing statement, where people will say something to this effect. You know, I don't even really like Oreos, so I don't know why I keep buying them. I don't even know what's wrong with me. And so do you feel that energy or that vibe? Here's what acceptance would look like. Oh, I really like Oreos. They are amazing. They're not good for me, period. So if somebody says and this is real, this stuff happens often. If somebody then says, I didn't think that you ate things like that. So prior to acceptance, I would have said, I know, I know. You're right. It's I mean, it's not like I like them. I just eat them when they're in the house. And then I would constantly have this Love hate relationship going on with Oreo's of what's wrong with me, you know, sometimes I can't even stop myself. So when I get a bag, then I go, I go all ham, as the kids say, and I just devour them.
[00:05:54] But no, here's acceptance, radical acceptance. So in a radical acceptance form, the person says, man, I didn't think you ate things like that. To which my response now, honestly, would be OK. But I actually love them. I think they're amazing. I can literally feel their creamy goodness running through my veins after I eat a lot of them. I don't like the way I feel after eating a ton of them. I don't feel so pretty. But no, I dig them and I really like them and they taste, they taste wonderful. So with acceptance and this is the case literally right now, hypothetically, you know, I ate a few and I haven't gone back there because with the acceptance, yes, they taste good. Yes, I can have them if I want. And no, that doesn't mean that that's all I'm going to eat until the bag is gone. If you own it, remember, you are the only version of you. You like Oreos. Some people like other things. Last week I was in a conversation with somebody where they discovered that I'm not a fan of older cars now. Sounds very benign, right? But they went on to tell me how much they loved old cars and the simplicity and the smells and the sounds. And I'm listening and I'm asking questions and and they say, see, now that you think about it, don't you just love them? And I said, Oh, no, I don't. But I love your passion around them. Acceptance. I mean, there's no part of me that then feels less than or like something is wrong with me.
[00:07:09] It's actually that lack of acceptance that leads people to the what's wrong with me story. And any virtual couch longtime listener knows that I am no fan of the What's Wrong with me story because we need to shift that mindset. I mean, you think and you feel and you behave and you believe the way you do because of all of your experiences that lead you to this very moment in time. I have experiences or I have a lack of experiences that caused me to like or dislike certain things. And I have a nature, a nurture, some DNA that causes me to like the taste of certain things or certain experiences. And with that, we need to operate from a place of acceptance. Another story comes to mind. A good friend of mine, I remember and I maybe I think I told this maybe it was on someone else's podcast. But I remember I was going I love competing. I love racing. I love marathons and ultramarathons and five k's and ten k's. And I love growing up with my kids. And we would do family, family races, family, five k, family, ten k's. And I've run races with my kids and half marathons and and my wife has been there to pace me the last twenty and twenty or more miles of all my 100 mile races that I've run. I love that stuff. And I was at a a triathlon and I can't swim and I'm owning it, on my own. And that one I have tried to paid for lessons.
[00:08:25] I've literally been given a refund on lessons where someone said, you know, maybe you just aren't meant to swim and we even have a pool. So I own it. I really do. But I was at a triathlon with my wife and she does triathlons and she's an Ironman and she's amazing. And she swam from Alcatraz and she can swim. She can swim so well. And I'm at one of these events and I just feel the energy there. And I'm by my friend and I say to him, I turned to him and I just said, doesn't this make you want to just just do it? It doesn't make you want to just jump on a bike and and run and try to get in the water and do a triathlon. And I remember he just looked at me and said, oh, no, I don't want to do it all. He was there watching his wife. And I just remember at that time, well, well, earlier pre therapy, I think I was in my computer software days and I just remember thinking, how could he not like this? How could he not just want to do this? And then fast forward many, many years later and we're at some activity at his house and he's he's showing some guns that he has and shooting things, I think some skeet or trapper. I don't even really know the difference. And then he said, don't you just love this? Doesn't this make you just want to just shoot things and and do gun things?
[00:09:35] And I said, well played, sir, because I didn't necessarily have that deep desire, just like he didn't have that desire to to compete or run a race or a marathon or triathlon or that sort of thing. So acceptance there are certain things, again, about all of us that cause us to feel, think and behave the way we do. And so we come to operate from a place of acceptance.
[00:10:00] I like certain types of music and I don't like other types of music. I like certain genres of books and movies and certain sports and not others. You know, after my senior year of high school, I was literally run over by a twenty eight foot dual prop ski boat down at Lake Powell. And I carry the scars on my legs to show to show for it some thirty three years later. And I haven't been a huge boat guy after. Imagine that. And I used to feel pretty bad about that, you know, like, man, why, why, why can't they just get over this? But now there's acceptance. And here's the funny thing with acceptance. That was when I became more likely to actually get on a boat and then eventually try some water skiing later in life. But for years, though, what's wrong with me? Why can't I just get over it? Story. Kinda Tortured me like I was letting somebody down. I recently spoke with a friend who had studied for a year for a particular career, and then once he entered the job market of said career, he quickly realized that this was not what he truly wanted. And actually, let me let me call an audible here. Let me let me change this up. Let me change the careers of everything.
[00:11:00] Let me let me give you a very tangible example so I have a better example. A real example. This is another friend, not any client. And this was long ago. So I once had a running buddy and this who was many, many years my junior, meaning he was much younger than me. And he moved into my neighborhood house, sit with his wife for his grandmother and and her husband while they served a service mission in another country. So I was in my running marathons phase. This was before the ultra marathon phase and I was chasing down a Boston Marathon qualifier. You needed to run very, very fast to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And I had already missed the qualifying time by, I think, three or four minutes in Back-To-Back marathons. So I enlisted the help of this this young person, this young in shape guy, not a distance runner at that time, but a speedster. And we ran together often and we had a thing where at one point, a couple of miles out, he would turn around and head home and I would go up a bit further and then I would turn around and I would try to catch him. And it helped my speed a lot. And then I eventually qualified and ran the Boston Marathon.
[00:11:58] And it was wonderful and amazing. But during this time we talked a ton and he had knocked on doors through college selling anything alarms, pest control, you name it. And he was a personable guy and he did extremely well financially doing that, doing the knocking doors. I remember that was the first time I realized that people could make a lot of money doing that. But he was going to school to be an engineer. That was what he had had thought he wanted to do for a long time. So he got his degree. And at that time that we were running together, he took a job with an engineering firm. And he was he was pretty miserable. He didn't like going to work. And he missed a lot of things about sales. He missed going out there and contacting people and and just and I know for many people hearing this and even me, I can't imagine doing that the door to door stuff. But he missed that. So he started knocking on doors on Saturdays just to kind of raise his emotional baseline and maybe to make some extra money. And then that one day on a Saturday, he was able to essentially make as much money as he was doing his engineering job.
[00:12:55] So he'd gone to school for engineering and he struggled for a bit with fighting that, wanting to be an engineer. And he worried that if he accepted that he didn't want to be an engineer, then he'd find himself rudderless and I don't know, maybe knocking doors the rest of his life and as if that were a bad thing. But in come's acceptance, first acceptance that he had gone to school and got the degree done. Yes. Yes, he did. And I feel like a lot of times people say, OK, but here's all these things that I've done in the past. And so acceptance and saying, OK, yeah, that's that's what I did. You know, I remember and this is a bit of a tangent as well. I didn't get my ADD diagnosis till I was in my mid forties, and I can't tell you how often I have my mind just likes to drift. It goes back to what life was like before I got that diagnosis, before I did the research on what that consisted of, before I knew how important things like structure were before I became medicated. And I look back on that and I think, man, I wish I would have gotten this figured out a long time ago.
[00:13:51] I could have been so much more productive and yeah, I could have. acceptance. noted. But now I'm right here right now. So, so back to my friend. So acceptance.
[00:14:02] He had gone to school and got the degree. Absolutely he did. He went to school. He got the degree. Then his brain says he should be using that degree. So first up, of course, shoulding nobody likes to be should on second says who that he needed to be using that degree. Next up, our brain wants to say that if we accept, then that's the end of the story. But it is the opposite. And this is so key with acceptance. We can move from point A on the story, where we previously thought we already knew what point Z was. Point Z was thirty five years later retiring from an engineering firm for him and I mean for me. I remember when I sold when I was doing computer software for ten years, I thought, this is what I'll be doing for the next 30 years and then I will retire because we see that model from a lot of people and it's worked for them. But for me, man, I was miserable day to day. I was just miserable. And so from here, he moved now to point B, so from an engineering firm to knocking doors because that and this is key. That is where the confidence kicks in. The confidence kicks in thanks to acceptance, not in spite of acceptance, because once we accept who we are and where we're at in life and what we enjoy and what our hopes are and what our dreams are and the things that we've been through, what our own story is, the baggage we bring into any situation.
[00:15:19] Once we have that acceptance, then we can move forward with a higher emotional baseline. Then we can move forward owning our own parts of that story and acceptance and commitment therapy, which is my my therapy model of choice. In his book, A Liberated Mind, Dr. Steven Hayes talks about what is, again, one of these true game changers. For me, it's a term called a socially compliant goal. so in his book, The Liberated Mind Doctor, he says that values require pivoting from socially compliant goals to chosen values, and he says that that redirects the hearing for self direction and purpose. People often attempt to achieve goals. And this is so good, people often achieve attempt to achieve goals because they feel that they have to. Otherwise, people that we care about or whose views we care about will be displeased or that they'll be disappointed in themselves. But research shows that such socially compliant goals give rise to motivation that is weak and ineffective. We may try to drive our own behavior with such external goals, but we also secretly resent them because they undermine our own process of unfolding. This yearning for self direction and purpose cannot be fully met by goal achievement, since that is always either in the future, meaning I haven't met my goal yet or the past.
[00:16:34] I met my goal and then now I know we got to live by our own values.
[00:16:39] And Dr. Hayes says values are chosen qualities of being and doing, such as being a caring parent, being a dependable friend, being socially aware or being loyal, honest, courageous, living in accordance with their values is something then that is never finished. It's a lifelong journey, and it provides a way to create enduring sources of motivation based on meaning. Ultimately, what your values are is up to you. Your values come from your nature, your nurture, your birth order, your DNA, your abandonment, your rejection. All of those individual things make up your values. They are a matter between you and, as Dr. Hayes says, the person in the mirror. So one of the key things is to recognize what your value is, because too often we're going to school to study something that we're doing because we think that we should or that we're supposed to or that we have to or OK, maybe it will make us some money. But if it goes against our own values, are chosen qualities of being and doing so in the situation of my friend, if he has this core value of just of just being out in nature, of adventure, of connection with other people, then that that goal of getting out there and doing the sales routine is going to be in line with his values. So it's going to be something that he he wants to do. And it totally lines up with what he feels is important to him if he gets the engineering degree and goes to work at an engineering firm, because that's something that maybe his his parents had instilled in him, that that would be a good job that that worked for your dad or you knew somebody that made a lot of money being an engineer or being an attorney or being a CPA or any of those things.
[00:18:15] Then a lot of times we think, OK, I want that. I want I want that money. I want that stability. And so then we jump into those opportunities and then find out that they really go against our core sense of self or they go against our core values. And so once they do, then your motivation is weak and ineffective because it goes against your sense of self. So in comes that radical acceptance accepting what is important to you. In the book, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, which again, one of my favorites, Paech, says that life is difficult. This is a great truth. It's one of the greatest truths and it's a great truth because once we truly see this truth, then we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult. Once we truly understand and accept it, there we go and accept it, then life's no longer difficult because once it's accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. Once we can have this acceptance that life is going to be difficult and once we have this acceptance that people will be disappointed in us, and once we have this acceptance that we are going to do things that will let other people down, then the fact that we're going to do that, in essence, doesn't matter anymore.
[00:19:20] I mean, it can still we're still going to feel it, but that shouldn't be that's a positive way to show it on ourselves, I guess. But then it shouldn't then determine the direction that we go in our own lives because we worry that we're going to let somebody else down, because that that that lack of acceptance, that working under somebody else's construct when we are playing off of these socially compliant goals and our motivation is weak and ineffective because it goes against our own process of unfolding. When that happens, Dr. Haze talks about a concept called experiential avoidance. Then at that point, when we don't feel connected to our job or we don't feel connected to the way that we're parenting, we don't feel connected to the way that we communicate with our spouse. When those are these socially compliant goals, then we have this thing called experiential avoidance. And what that means is we're looking for anything we can just kick the can down the road. You know, I'll do better tomorrow or I'll start over on Monday. I remember in my computer software world, it was just man, make it to 5:00 on the clock. And tomorrow, tomorrow I will really be invested and I will try my best. But I'm telling you, as a therapist, as a writer, as a speaker, as a podcastor, as somebody who creates programs to help others, I can't wait to do the things that I do because there's this it goes it is in line with my core values of connection, of helping, of being authentic. One of my
[00:20:41] Biggest core values, so when when we when we seek to avoid this is back to the book, The Road Less Traveled, Peck says, whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But he said this means that we give away our power to that entity. So when we say, well, my spouse said that that's what they expected of me, or when we say, well, my parents always said that I would let them down if I wasn't an engineer, then we're giving our power away to that entity and bless that Entities hearts I really do feel like most people mean well, that that goes against our our own sense of self. And so it goes on to say, problems don't go away. They have to be worked through or else they remain forever and they can become forever a barrier to growth and development and growth in development of the spirit. And so the quickest way to get to that growth and development of the spirit, in my opinion, is acceptance of this is where I am. This is these are the things that I've been through. These are my thoughts and beliefs and actions. And I need to accept it. I need to not avoid that responsibility of my own behavior. I need to own it, because I don't want to hand over that power to somebody else. That's a waste of time. I need to be able to understand that life is going to be difficult. So a great truth.
[00:21:51] And once it's it's once it's accepted, then I can transcend it again.
[00:21:56] Once I understand and accept that, that yeah, I'm not a tall man, I would love to be tall or I wasn't born with privilege. That would have been great. Or I mean all of those things.
[00:22:05] Once I accept that then OK, it doesn't matter then that's where you know I can't believe you like Oreos. Think OK, acceptance. There is such a I don't mean to sound like I don't care but again, I don't, if somebody is like I didn't think you ate those things, it's like, oh, I eat them. I put them right in my mouth and I devour them sometimes lots of them. And so now next the next point, next point in life, next question, acceptance.
[00:22:31] So Peck goes on to say that, you know this again, this this inclination to ignore problems is once again a simple manifestation of an unwillingness to delay gratification. He says confronting problems is, as he has said, painful to willingly confront a problem early before we're forced to confront it by its circumstances. How deep is that? means to put aside something pleasant or less painful for something more painful? So he said it's choosing to suffer now in the hope of future gratification, then choosing to continue present gratification in the hopes that future suffering will not be necessary. There's the game changer. It is suffering is going to happen. That's what life is about. But if you own it, if you own your part of that, then you you get to the gratification sooner.
[00:23:12] You're not delaying that. I mean, yes, you're delaying some gratification right now to work through an issue. But then that is where would that acceptance comes, an even stronger sense of self and more appreciation for the things that you've been through.
[00:23:24] And because sometimes people behave as it's almost like they think that if they by not accepting something that that is going to change the situation. It's that thing where I'm going to wait until something happens to me. I'm going to be more reactive, and I want you to shift that mindset and be more proactive, get in front of a situation, own a situation, own you're part of it. Accept your role and your thoughts and your feelings and your emotions. So people want to think that it's like accepting painful situations or our emotions is as if it's passive or or like you're giving in to something that is not it. I mean, it's kind of just noting that this is where I'm at right now or and here's one that's so key. And I'm going to wrap this up pretty quickly here. But people don't want to feel pain. That's OK. We're human. Yeah. We don't want to. There are many situations in life that are not in our control and they can be painful. But the goal is not to avoid that pain, but we can control how much we may suffer over a particular experience because that that suffering is the part that we can control. We can't avoid the pain. We're going to have reactions and feelings and emotions because we're human, but we can control that part of the suffering.
[00:24:30] So let me kind of wrap things up with this concept of primary and secondary emotions. I love this concept. I've done an episode or two where I mention this in the past because, again, we don't like feeling that pain, but we can't avoid that pain. But but let me tell you how we can control how we can control how much we suffer through that experience. Again, with the concept of acceptance, which is pretty darn amazing, we can actually get to more control of the situation. So I pulled up an article and it's this is from a it's called "What are Primary Emotions? I learn to understand your instincts" and I'll put a link to this. It's from mind valid dotcom. It's a really good article and it just says it's by Mind Valley. And so, you know, emotions are what keep us alive. It goes on to say that emotions protect us from danger. They promise to respond to events around us. They enable us to develop meaningful relationships. And the article goes on to say, Have you ever felt an emotion so strong that your entire body and mind were taken over by it?
[00:25:29] At two, OK, minus the Erbe, these are known as primary emotions, and understanding why they arise is essential to having some sort of control over them. And additionally, we have these secondary emotions. There are secondary emotions that are directly connected to one of the primary emotions, and they can be quite complex to understand and deconstruct. But we are going to do that right now. Thank you. Mind Valley's article. What are primary emotions? Learning to understand your instincts. So what are primary and secondary emotions? The psychology recognizes two different kinds of emotions. Primary and secondary are primary emotions are a direct result of experience. They're powerful and overwhelming, but they don't often last very long. Secondary emotions, on the other hand, are more subtle and complex.
[00:26:13] So a lot of people like to believe that there are, in essence, eight primary emotions from which secondary emotions are derived. The primary emotions can be anger, fear, happiness, surprise, sadness, disgust, interest and shame. And I'll I'll point you to this article and you can go into it goes into the definitions of anger. It can go into the definitions of fear, happiness, surprise. But in hopes of keeping this episode a little bit shorter, then once we have the acceptance around these emotions, you know, as the article says is in the case of most things in life, the key to emotional well-being is balance. So embracing positive emotions, but not trying to push away the negative emotions. So the key to this emotional balance is learning to be aware of what you feel and in developing effective coping mechanisms. So while primary emotions are easy to understand, the secondary emotions are what are complex. So in essence, a secondary emotion is a blend of two or more of these primary emotions. And they may not be as strong, but they will tend to last much longer than primary emotions. And they can have a bigger impact on your wellbeing. So a secondary emotion can be something like anger, it can be something like anxiety. So and I often give the example that when I was when my kids were young and they would scare me, I would come around a corner and they would scare me. I would react and I would get I mean, I don't I'd like to think that maybe I didn't do this, but I remember one time in particular kind of, hey, come on, guys, like, stop scaring me.
[00:27:34] And that's a secondary emotion. The anger is a secondary emotion because what's my primary emotion? My immediate reaction was embarrassment. These little kids were able to rattle me and get under my skin and cause them to fight or flight response to kick in. So that's a primary emotion. But then the secondary emotion was that anger and anxiety not only is anxiety a secondary emotion, but the article says it's among the most common. In essence, it has the role of masking other emotions that people aren't able to understand or express. Now, some anxiety is completely normal, and it's even it can be attributable to the stress of modern life. I really do believe that a lot of anxiety is there is a warning, but if anxiety is not dealt with, it can turn into, you know, kind of article says, to a disorder that might negatively affect your quality of life in the long run. So the most effective way of dealing with anxiety is by letting the underlying emotions surface. Now, easier said than done, but with the help of a trained professional such as myself or another therapist or therapist, that maybe the likes of betterhealth.com/virtual couch where you can get 10 percent off your first month services.
[00:28:34] And that is what over one. I wasn't even doing an ad right now, but go to a better help dotcom slash virtual couch, check it out. There are people that can deal with anxiety there from the comfort of your own home through tele therapy, through email therapy, through texting, therapy and betterhelp.com/Virtual couch. You have a licensed professional counselor right on the other side of the of the line. But but letting those underlying emotions surface, then those are the way that you can combat anxiety and learn to process their underlying emotions with the greater skill and care. So I really feel like the concept of radical acceptance is so important on moving forward that, again, it's not the end of the story. It's getting you from point A to point B and from B, you go to C, C to D, and it is an amazing journey where you clarify your values and your direction and you live a more purpose driven life where you feel it's more full of meaning. Yes, it'll have the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows, but you experience every bit of it and you're going to experience much more of it coming from a place of radical acceptance and a place of these value driven goals, staying away from these socially compliant goals which lead to this whole concept of experiential avoidance. But I could go on. I appreciate your time. Thank you for joining me.
[00:29:48] This on this episode of The Virtual Couch, I hope that you can start to dig a little bit deeper and take a look at what would be something you can do this week to just own it, to accept it, and to just watch the power and the energy that comes from saying, you bet, I dig those Oreos. All right. I will see you next time on the couch.