Spending about 55 hours on planes in September meant that I watched my fair share of movies and made my way through some insightful reads.

Inside Out is one of the movies I sat through whilst eating meals on trays.  It’s an animation by Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures that explores human emotions.  It follows five emotions (and characters) – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust – of Riley, an 11 year old girl experiencing stress when her parents decide to move their family to another city.

My primary aim here is to applaud Inside Out and highlight that experiencing a range of emotional experiences is good for us.

Positivity is not always appropriate let alone useful.  Similarly, emotions labelled as ‘negative’ can be very helpful.  Access to a range of emotions is a valuable skill, both for ourselves and the way we interact with others.

Coincidently, this article – Inspiration overload on social media prompts rise of ‘demotivational’ movement – was published the same week that I watched Inside Out.  It made me reflect on how too much positivity can have an unproductive impact on performance in all of life’s performance domains.  Whilst I am an absolute advocate for positive psychology and spent a good part of seven years researching its application in elite sport, I can’t help but think Stark’s article has similar (less subtle) messaging to Inside Out.

Riley’s emotional intelligence developed from Joy and Sadness, with the help of Anger, Fear, and Disgust.

Understanding why you feel the way you do and doing something with that information is much more ‘life changing’ than forcing yourself and everyone around you to always feel positive.  

How do you feel about this?

Andrea Furst PhD | Sport & Exercise Psychologist CPsychol HCPC Registered
Get in contact with Andrea – andrea@mentalnotesconsulting.com.  Andrea is based in London and provides both face-to-face and virtual sport psychology services to athletes worldwide.