“Constructive wallowing” seems like an oxymoron. Constructive is a good thing, but wallowing is bad. Right? But wait a minute; is it really so terrible to give ourselves a time-out to feel our feelings? Or is it possible that wallowing is an act of loving kindness, right when we need it most? Just about everyone loves the idea of self-compassion -- the notion that maybe in spite of our messy emotions and questionable behavior, we really aren’t all that bad. In recent years there’s been an explosion of books that encourage readers to stop beating themselves up for being human, which is terrific. Unfortunately, readers who aren’t interested in Buddhism or meditation have been left out in the cold. Self-compassion is an everyday habit that everyone can learn, even if they a) aren't particularly spiritual, b) find most books about self-compassion too serious, or else c) have already overdosed on meditation. Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them is the first book to cut right to the chase, bypassing descriptions of Eastern philosophy and meditation techniques to teach readers exactly how to accept and feel their feelings with self-compassion for greater emotional health and well-being … while making them laugh from time to time. It seems that the wisdom of “keeping your friends close and your enemies closer” applies to emotions as well as people. It’s tempting to turn away from menacing, uncomfortable feelings like anger, grief or regret and treat them like unwanted guests; however, ignoring them just seems to make them stick around. They lurk in the background like punks with switchblades, waiting to pounce as soon as they see an opening. By learning to accept and embrace, rather than suppress, difficult feelings, people can keep their sense of personal power and, better yet, gain greater understanding and ultimately esteem for themselves. Feeling bad can actually lead to feeling better, faster!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
We all have our bad days, right? I had three just this week which is why I bought this book. I sort of wish Tina Gilbertson was my therapist but her excellent suggestions, ideas and practices in this book are very therapeutic. I love that it is a quirky and funny book that delivers a serious message.I plan on giving this to a couple of friends who seem like they could use a good wallow.
I have had read this remarkable book several times, its clear message is one which is a real gift to humanity in our uncertain times, offering the key to our moving forward in our lives, by accepting all of our emotions, making none of them wrong and giving ourselves permission to feel them. It is this acceptance rather than resistance to them which helps us to move through to a place which feels better and more empowering. Ms Gilbertson presents this message in a clear, engaging way, which reveals her heart and compassion and yet demonstrates a profound wisdom. For me the practices are particularly useful, which can be carried out easily and are fun. I have recommended this book to several friends, who have found it as helpful as I have. I am looking forward to further publications from Tina Gilbertson.
I got this copy from Library Things Early Reviewer program. I have a couple of critiques about it, but since Amazon doesn't believe in half stars, I'll go ahead and give it 5. It's too good for a 4.
I am a licensed therapist and I use a method called ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This book fits nicely with my way of thinking. Which is to say, accept all of your feelings and feel them fully - then behave according to your values and not necessarily your feelings. This seems simple but it's pretty much NOT very simple! We have all kinds of ways of critiquing, judging and minimizing our feelings. Ms. Gilbertson brings tons of new metaphors, stories and techniques to the table that really help in this endeavor. I've already passed along the book to a client and I plan to buy 20 copies and give them to everyone I meet! Good stuff.
A couple of minor complaints: Ms. Gilbertson does not allow for any exceptions. If you fully feel your feelings without...
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