Karla McLaren is a social science researcher and award-winning author of Embracing Anxiety: How to Access the Genius of This Vital Emotion and The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You. Karla is a pioneer in the study of empathy whose trailblazing approaches and unifying theory of emotions – including the Dynamic Emotional Integration and Six Essential Aspects of Empathy – open new pathways to self-awareness, communication, and empathy. In addition to her research on empathy, Karla is also the CEO and Founder of Emotion Dynamics and developer of the Empathy Academy online learning community.
Karla joins me today to discuss the genius that comes with emotions, the lessons they try to teach us, and how to work with them. She explores how we can embrace anxiety and illustrates how we can treat it as our friend instead of a problem. She discusses the 17 emotions and the four families they belong to and explains how the belief that there are positive and negative emotions impact our emotional skills. She also shares mindfulness practices to work with emotions, such as conscious complaining and resourcing, and describes society’s tendency to “veilance” emotions.
“Anxiety is the emotion that helps you complete your tasks and get things done. It has a lot of energy and a lot of work to do.” – Karla McLaren
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