Are you hooked on your emotions?

Weekly Radish 31

The three stages to getting caught up in emotional overwhelm

In this week’s video I explain how our emotions hook us and why we can feel so powerless when they hook us.  I reference the work of Susan David PhD, author of ‘Emotional Agility’ in this video.  A great book with valuable tips and insight into becoming more agile in handling our emotions.  View on Amazon. For me, it's a book that is readable and not academically dense as so man can be. (Note: since publishing this blog originally, Susan and her work has become very popular across the world and she has her own TED talk too - check it out here)

Add you thoughts to the comments below.  I'm interested to know whether you are more likely to get swept away with your emotions, or are you more likely to bottle them up.  Either way it can be destructive. Emotions are not meant to be ignored. That's why they are so powerful at a physical and psychological level.  They serve a purpose in keeping us safe.  But, in today's world, we need to manage them more effectively. And it can be done. There are strategies and techniques that, with practice can lead you to feel more able to handle those strong and overwhelming emotions.  In the next weekly radish I'll share some tips and you may want to check out my other videos on eh subject - search for 'emotional coping'

Keep an eye out for the next blog. Transcript for video below.

Dave Algeo

Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health. 

Feeling lost, trapped or crushed by life? Here's a short video with three tips to help you get back a sense of hope and direction.


- Getting hooked by your emotions.

(bubbling sound)

(guitar strumming)

Welcome to the Weekly Radish.

Building on last week's radish

where we explored emotional coping

and I want to just touch
on how we get hooked

by our emotions.

How they hook us in negatively.

And I'm gonna use as reference

work by Susan David Ph.D

who is the author of the
fantastic book called

Emotional Agility.

And if you're interested in the subject

this is one of the few accessible books

readable books around emotional coping.

It's got a positive slant

it's very down to earth

and it's relatable.

Let's get into how we
get emotionally hooked

and Susan talks about three stages to this

and the build up so if you can imagine

that it's not just

we get caught up
immediately by our emotions

it starts small.

It starts with internal chatter.

(noisy chatter)

Now if you can recognise that
we all have an inner voice

an inner dialogue, an inner narrative

whatever you want to call it.

When stress and emotions start to build

that inner voice starts
to transform into chatter.

So to give you an example:

some of you know I've got an 18-month old

little daughter Rosie who is lovely.

But my God if we had a
job on trying to teach her

how to brush her teeth

and even get her toothbrush
in her mouth for starters

and it can be frustrating
as any parent knows

when you're on a deadline

when you gotta get her out the door

because you gotta get to work

or get her to the childminder
for a certain time.

That brushing the teeth

when she doesn't want to have them brushed

starts to allow the stress to mount.

And that internal voice who seem

you need to get your teeth done

we need to just get through
this starts to go to;

common we're in a hurry,
common we need to ...

And it's not, not just what you see

it's going on here

oh my God, we're on a deadline,
I've gotta get to work

the childminder is gonna be sitting there

gotta clock she gotta drop
somebody off at school.

And you always have this problem;

why is it I'm useless?

So you start to get this
narrative turning to chatter

which is lots of things
that nip away at you.

That increases the stress
and the emotional charge

which brings in the second stage

that Susan David talks about

which is Technicolour Thought Blending.

(hypnotic sound)

By that term she's talking about is

how we start to pulling evidence

and comments from all different areas.

So past


other experiences

other values and opinions about ourselves

that may not be relevant in the situation

but suddenly it gets
drawn in like a magnet.

It's all drawn in there.

And suddenly I'm starting
to think to me self;

God, I don't remember
having the same problem

with me other kids.

Oh God, I must be a useless dumb ...

I'm rubbish at this

I'm never gonna get this right

oh, my God, I've got so
many things to do ...

And I start to bring in
all the evidence to justify

how bad the situation is

and how rubbish I am.

So my emotional level rises.

And that brings in the
final bit - the stage three

which is the Emotional Punch!

(boxing bell)

And that is when we
really get stuck in there

with some real self-criticisms

some real beating ourselves up.

And that's when the judgements come in

with a good emotional
punch so I start to say;

oh God, I'm useless at this

I'm ne ... I'm just a

hopeless dad and I'll never get this right

I'm just a waste of space.

And if you've ever been in a situation

where you found yourself
getting caught aware

and end up getting hooked and starting

really beat yourself up
you might see those stages.

The internal chatter starts to move

in a technicolour thought blending

and then moves into

that emotional punch

and that's when we have less

rational control of over our responses.

So for this week

we gonna look at a few tips next week

for this week I want you to reflect on how

you handle your emotions

how and when in previous situations

have you found yourself getting
hooked by your emotions.

And going forward

just notice how you respond

emotionally in circumstances
and situations.

I'm not suggesting you
start labelling each a ...

oh this is the internal
chatter happening now

and this is the technicolour
thought blending or not.

You're not gonna do that when
you're in the midst of it

but it's useful to have
bit of an awareness

of how it happens.

It's not just you being
useless and rubbish

it is a natural process that happens

when emotions get the grip of us.

So we're gonna look at some tips

on more positive coping next week.

If you find that you do struggle

to cope more positively with your emotions

then you might find the resource
at the end of this video

and at this link useful and valuable.

Keep watching this Weekly Radishes

particularly next week
where I'll share a few tips.

(guitar strumming)