How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them
What is Constructive Wallowing?
Why should you wallow when you feel bad? Because your life will be on hold until you do. Constructive Wallowing is a book about becoming happier by letting yourself be sad. It’s counter-intuitive, but it works!
How Does It Work?
It takes energy to fight with your feelings. Whenever you:
- force yourself to stop thinking about something painful…
- try to look on the bright side of a dark situation…
- tell yourself, “Just get over it already” …
You’re using up precious energy that would otherwise go toward pursuing your dreams. And you may be hurting your most important relationships, too.
Sharing emotions with others is how we bond. It’s emotions that make us human, and allow us to form solid relationships.
Are you ready to become emotionally available to the people you care about the most?
Would you like to be someone they can open up to?
The more comfortable you are with your own emotions, the better you’ll be as a companion, parent, or spouse.
T = Tell yourself the situation
R = Realize what you’re feeling
U = Uncover self-criticism
T = Try to understand yourself
H = Have the feeling
The secret ingredient is self-compassion. Details are fleshed out in Chapter 5.
One thoughtful reader posted the following review on Amazon.com:
“The territory Tina Gilbertson covers in this book is relatively small, yet has been of immense importance to my psychological health. In many ways, this is ground covered in a good number of recent books I’ve read, including Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion, Russ Harris’ The Happiness Trap (and, as another reviewer noted, Gilbertson’s work has much in common with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in general), and Buddhist-inspired books like Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance. However, what separates this book from those others is Gilbertson’s deep emotional intelligence expressed in unpretentious, straightforward prose.
“This book has helped me more than any other self-help book I’ve read (and I’ve read dozens of them). In my lifelong struggle with social anxiety and depression, I’ve exhausted every psychological intervention imaginable. Of those I’ve found, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) have been the most useful. And I’ve received a healthy dose of insight from heart-based Buddhist writers like Pema Chodron and Tara Brach. But none of it seemed to get right to the heart of my relationship with my own emotions like Gilbertson’s Constructive Wallowing has. Her approach is so simple, and her style so unassuming, you might mistake it for something far more trifling than it actually is.
“I really enjoyed Gilbertson’s writing style. I feel like she managed to convey what all those other authors were trying to say in much simpler, direct, and down-to-earth language. We are hearing more and more injunction to “treat yourself with compassion” nowadays, but this book actually teaches you how to implement that at the kitchen-sink level. Her prose is breezy, funny, and casual, but has a habit of laying down some life-changing wisdom on you without your even being aware of it. Reading it, I realized that the moments of most concentrated emotional healing I’ve ever had (whether spontaneously on my own or in formal therapy), were moments in which I was “constructively (w)allowing” in my emotions. The actual T-R-U-T-H process she describes is deceptively simple, but it has helped me get some movement in emotional scars that I thought were with me for life. It’s simplicity and pithiness is its chief virtue, because it’s easy to remember and put into practice. I’ve been recommending this nonstop since I’ve read it.”