They would be either confrontational (playing a police officer interrogating a suspect) or collaborative. Before taking part in the role playing, the subjects chose which type of music they preferred to listen to for a given scenario--tunes aimed at making them feel angry, happy, or neutral. There are two levels of controlling emotions - 1. Controlling bigger emotions like jealousy, sadness, anger, excitement, etc. 2. Controlling the hundreds, and possibly thousands, of tiny, and almost undetectable, emotions that are always present - what I'm calling Micro Emotions. (Not to be confused with the exterior Micro Emotions of a person's face) When you have worked out what actions belong to whom, take responsibility for what is yours and give back the responsibility that belongs to other people. Allocate a percentage to each of the people and/or areas you have identified. Below are some useful questions to ask yourself. I feel anxious and responsible because my boss was upset with me or for not arriving on time to a meeting with a client. I explained that I had been held up in traffic but he still feels I let him down' What did you try to do? I tried to ring on my mobile but only got his voicemail. I tried ringing a colleague but she did not answer her mobile. I did get through to the company we were visiting and left a message at reception. What part do you think you played in the situation? I could have left a little more time to get to the venue. Me = thirty per cent What part do other people or circumstances play? My boss did change the time and I had to alter a number of my appointments to fit in. He did not check with me personally but left a message on my voicemail and did not check to see if the change of time was convenient to me. Boss = thirty per cent There was an unexpected problem with an overturned lorry, which slowed the traffic down.

Roadworks = forty per cent I also recall, when working at Massachusetts General Hospital some time ago, a referral from a distinguished primary-care doctor of a married couple, John and Susan Noble, for consultation in my private practice. They were in their forties, and ostensibly Susan was to be the patient. She had seemed "depressed" to this referring primary-care doctor. Her husband came with her to the consultation. She was artistic, but not commercially, and ran their home and social life; he was an accomplished businessman. At our initial meetings, Susan indeed appeared depressed and seemed from her story to have been that way for some time. She was also angry at John, who she asserted drank too heavily and was highly critical and demeaning, but not physically abusive, after a few or more cocktails, which he consumed nightly. He did not deny his alcohol use, though he tended to minimize it, and had his own complaints about his wife, which he acknowledged would surface at home when he drank. Yet he was solicitous of her and wanted to see that she got treatment for her depression. I offered to treat Susan's depression with therapy, seeing her individually as well as periodically with her husband, given their overt dissension, as well as with an antidepressant. She politely declined, saying, "I will manage on my own," and adding that if her husband were more supportive and less disparaging, she would feel a lot better. The consultation ended there, after two ninety-minute sessions. I made it plain that my door was always open for her to return, and I let her primary-care doctor know where matters stood. We don't notice micro emotional chatter constantly happening unless we're self-aware and paying attention. Micro emotions show up when we're just "thinking". They're the tiny emotions in between the bigger emotions. They're the small, energetic thoughts in between the bigger thoughts. When you think about past and future events and get anxiety about them, those are micro emotions. When the alarm goes off and you have that whiny feeling of not wanting to get up, those are micro emotions. When it's time to go to the gym and you get the whiny feelings of not wanting to go, those are micro emotions.

When you're not feeling 100% and you're, internally, complaining, whining, bitching, and feeling self-pity, those are micro emotions. We believe they're just thoughts but we're actually attaching tiny emotions and emotional energy to those thoughts and making them into bigger emotions. Those bigger emotions, needlessly created from emotional thoughts, influence decisions. We're thinking too much, attaching micro emotions to our thoughts, and those thoughts become powerful enough to negatively influence our behavior and habits. The second you detect micro emotions, kill them. Disconnect from them. Get away from them. Don't attach emotion to thoughts. They're keeping from taking action and reaching goals. If allow them to hang around and they start adding up, it becomes a bunch of useless thoughts and emotional chatter. It gets you out of touch with reality. Shut them down. Those who chose to listen to the angry music before getting confrontational--opting for a soundtrack that would help put them in the appropriate mood--were found to have greater levels of life satisfaction and networks of social support compared to those who preferred to feel happy or neutral before the argument. The researchers concluded that those who want to feel unpleasant emotions when they are useful might end up being happier overall. Experiencing a high level of adversity can have many long-term detrimental effects on a person, including lower life satisfaction and post-traumatic stress symptoms. But researchers have also found that some adversity can have lifelong emotional benefits. In a multiyear study, a team of researchers found that people with a history of some adversity actually reported better mental health and well-being than both those with high levels of adversity and those with none at all. The researchers attributed this to the greater levels of resilience built up by these individuals over time, allowing them to be less affected by more recent adverse events. For you to enjoy the many benefits of happiness--or for your happiness to make a positive impact on others--the happiness must be genuine. Researchers have found that feigned happiness (specifically, a fake smile) creates fewer positive impressions on those viewing it than authentic happiness.

In an experiment from the University of California, San Francisco, a group of subjects was shown videos of people making real smiles and others making posed ones. There is a particular muscle movement surrounding the eye that can indicate that a smile is authentic (famously isolated by French anatomist G. B. Duchenne de Boulogne), and that is accepted as a measurement tool in determining whether a smile is real or fake. Subjects who watched the videos could distinguish between the two types of smiles in as many as 81 percent of the cases. "A person is seen as more positive when they display an enjoyment smile compared with when they display a nonenjoyment smile," the researchers concluded, adding that those genuine smiles "were more accurately distinguished" from fake smiles and created greater positive impressions on observers. As Naipaul's example suggests - and as we will see throughout this book - many famous people who have achieved important things in the world have grappled with anxiety and its associated disorders. There is nothing "bad" or strange about you for going through the same, and it is not your fault that you are experiencing this form of mental illness. You are simply experiencing the same anxiety symptoms that people have dealt with throughout history. This is because a great deal of anticipatory anxiety is related to an exhausting sense of needing to make a decision all the time (a sensation linked to the natural hormonal "fight or flight response," discussed below). People with anxiety often spend enormous mental energy, trying to figure out how to avoid the situations they fear. Some describe this as a constant sense of trying to figure out their "escape route." In situations in which these decisions are out of their hands, and in which they must simply trust the pilot and crew of the plane they are flying, many people report feeling a sudden sense of calm. They are able to let go of the need to make decisions - which is another way of saying, they are able to abandon the quest for control over a situation. Once they do so, their fight or flight response diminishes. Moreover, while it can be very disconcerting to find that you feel "incapable" of doing things that used to come easily to you in your past - because you feel blocked by your anxiety - you can also use those memories to remind yourself that it is possible to live without anxiety. You used to do things without being blocked by anxiety, and you can do so again, you just need a little help. We have a tendency to see people who use negative language as smarter than those who use positive language. To investigate this, Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile wrote two identical reviews for a nonexistent book, making changes in ten places where either negative or positive words were inserted. Subjects believed that the negative reviewers had more literary expertise than the positive reviewers. If you're generally a happy person, when writing or making an argument, slip in a bit of negativity to make an impression of more astuteness.

For better or worse, negative life events make a stronger impact on us than positive events. Researchers have found that individuals with high levels of positive emotion tend to neglect important threats and dangers. In their article titled (naturally) "Bad Is Stronger Than Good," researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Free University of Amsterdam) looked at why, with "hardly any exceptions," bad tends to trump good in our lives. They pointed out that bad parents, bad experiences, and bad meals all leave a greater impact on our lives than good ones. Losing money has been found to cause more distress than gaining money causes joy. We even make stronger facial expressions when reacting to an unpleasant odor than to a pleasant one. The researchers suggested that being sensitive to bad things serves evolutionary purposes: making us avoid dangers, identify threats, and adapt and improve. While bad outcomes alert us that things need to change, good ones indicate that they do not. Our survival instinct leads us to worry about potentially negative outcomes rather than consider the potential greatness of positive outcomes. So, if you take one message away from this post, know that even bad things can help you be happier in the long run. The first step is simply to reduce the feeling of mystery and stigma around the disorder itself. Familiarizing yourself with the typical symptoms can help you recognize and treat your anxiety for what it is. It is helpful to consider this distinction because it can enable us to understand the way anxiety disorders operate. As we will discuss more fully below, anxiety disorders often function through anticipatory fears that prevent us from putting ourselves in situations where we feel me may be at risk. Many people who have overcome anxiety disorders describe a realization after doing so that they often experience far less fear - maybe even no fear at all - in the moment of facing what they feared, than they did during the period when they were anticipating, waiting for, and dreading that fear (see the section on the "Samuel Butler principle" above). In the case of people who overcome a fear of flying, for example, many states that the hardest part of the process was convincing themselves to get on the plane. Once they were aboard and their seatbelts were fastened, their fear largely abated. This can be hard for many people with anxiety to believe until they experience it directly. The sense of being "past the point of no return" and of having "no way out," is often precisely the thing that people with anxiety fear the most. Yet once the doors of a plane are closed, and there is truly no turning back, people surprisingly relax.