Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
A book by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy
There are feelings that all of us grapple with. The more negative the feeling, the harder it is to grapple with. Often what makes it harder is that society has taught us that it is wrong to feel that way. Most people would not admit to feeling afraid of something. Even worse if that ‘something’ is only a possibility.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone. The body produces this in situations of stress and hence it is known as the stress hormone. It increases your alertness, suppresses inflammation in the event of injury, regulates blood pressure and increases blood sugar. When you are actually facing danger, the increased blood sugar gives you the energy to act or run; the blood pressure regulation is meant to supply blood and therefore oxygen to any part of the body that may need it.
Here is the problem. We can produce Cortisol in the event of ‘perceived danger’ and so we can psyche ourselves up to producing Cortisol. Your body can behave as if it is in danger because you are playing out such scenarios in your mind, not because it is actually in clear and present danger. The body is dumping sugar into the bloodstream which will not get used up; it is regulating blood pressure while no regulation is required.
Prolonged exposure to such conditions can give you diabetes or worse a heart attack.
All of this not because you were in any kind of danger but because you felt or thought you were.
Many of the feelings that this book deal with are one that we inflict upon ourselves. They may or may not have an external trigger but they all certainly have an internal trigger. Often that trigger can cause a meltdown which can be managed better.
In the book big feelings, the authors talk about 7 big feelings that all of us in the modern world struggle with
Often if you were to acknowledge these feelings to someone else, their response is to ‘get over it’. This usually is easier said than done. The first step is to be able to identify these feelings and acknowledge them to oneself without attempting to just get rid of them. Just saying that I feel despair is the first step.
The authors provide a list of coping mechanisms for each of these big feelings in the book along with examples of people who have had to deal with these challenges and how they learnt to live with them.
Often many of these feelings lie on a continuum and it is not as if you are dealing with anger issues on one day and it is gone another day. It remains, only you are able to identify it better, and deal with and manage it in a far more superior manner.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend the same to everyone.