Don’t Believe Everything You Feel by Robert L. Leahy: Book Review

About the book: Don’t Believe Everything You Feel offers a groundbreaking approach blending CBT and emotional schema therapy to help you explore your own deeply held personal beliefs about emotions, determine if these beliefs are helpful or harmful, and find the motivation to adopt alternative, healthier coping strategies. Each chapter contains exercises such as self-assessment, expressive writing, or guided questioning to help you manage your emotions more productively.

My take on it: 4 stars

I was drawn to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT) whilst studying Psychology and my undergraduate lessons were the very best on this. However, over the years, I learned that it’s never about what people want to do but what they are willing to do. And CBT asks that you put in the effort, a step by step approach to get better.

Dr. Leahy shares the Emotional Schema Therapy approach here which he developed years ago to help us cope with our emotions and at the core of it says that:

“it’s a realistic approach that proposes that difficult and pleasant emotions are all part of the experience of a full life. Rather than focus on feeling good, we focus on the capacity to feel everything and grow in the process.”

This is an insightful read one that even those who think they’ve mastered their emotions could learn a thing or two from.

I love the fact that it is very hands on, and is formatted as a workbook meaning that you read and evaluate and reflect on each chapter as you go on.

In it he shares his 5 principles of the Emotional Schema Therapy and goes on to expound on 6 wise strategies for coping with emotions that are positive as they are involving.


Where to get the bookAmazon

 

3 Rings

I had coffee with my emotions today.

This happened some time between 5AM and 6AM…of all the days,

I had to summon my feelings on a Wednesday.

Oh, and how they came…some in caravans, others like thunder, but one…was ever so present, but just unmoved, until I thought of you.

coffee filled white ceramic mug on brown wooden surface
unsplash.com

I had coffee with my emotions today,

I have held onto hurt for eighteen years, not days, years,

And today I let her go,

Watched her slip right through my fingers into the daylight.

You asked me once “why do you smile when you’re hurting?”

I couldn’t speak up, and like you always do, you hugged me and held onto me…you acknowledged the weight of my pain but never tried to take it from me.

I had coffee with my emotions today and when it was time,

I picked up the phone, dialed your number…

And after 3 rings…she picked up…”hello…”

I had coffee with my emotions,

Now…Love, I think I ought to pick up a racket or a baseball bat and tell those emotions what’s up!

Ablaze

I know how to light things up

You know…to blow things out of proportion.

How about that time when those women talked of an ungrateful son, and I thought of a prince and a kingdom?

How about when Grumpy said “okay,” and I thought we were done.

Or when he called twenty times and I did not answer, or apologize?

See, I know how to set emotions ablaze.

pink flowers bloom petals nature

Take a pinch of doubt, sprinkle some unmet expectations, let it simmer in your mind for ten minutes then serve while hot.

Take an ounce of joy, you know the feeling of sheer bliss that emanates from a hug, kiss, or assurance, it often inspires you to sing or continuously update your Facebook status. Take this ounce of joy, let it boil for five minutes by scrolling through your IG feed for #baegoals  and then have it cool…it is a dish best served with either a warm blanket or a box of tissues, you decide.

I know how to light things up, to set the world on fire with these little sets of dynamite called emotions, for once they are summoned, they rarely leave a party.

Darling, before I sat to type all this, I was ablaze, and nothing beats being in a new town- loving the people, the places, the night life but totally missing the weather you used to own as yours.

Greetings from Eldoret!

 

 

Flowers in June

I bought flowers in June. A bouquet of red roses. I had just arrived from Busia that Thursday evening when I walked to the vendor at Mega City and asked for a bouquet. I did not want her to mix them up or wrap them in that colorful clear paper and tie a ribbon. I wanted a dozen roses and I got them.

I thought about this today as I drifted in and out of sleep in a vehicle from Mbita. Everyone was talking about their experience being in Mbita and taking selfies to share on WhatsApp. I was nursing a fever and a constant nausea but my earphones were firmly plugged into my ears, delivering soothing sounds of Alexandra Burke and Muse. Well, Muse can be very soothing when you have a fever. I do not know what prompted the thought of flowers. It could have been the nausea or the fever, or the desire to laugh with others when I was clearly unwell, I cannot place it. I closed my eyes for a nap and treated my eyes to the sight of fresh red roses. It was like a bar of chocolate, holding those roses, like a cold drink away from the sun- and I remember feeling complete even though I had been the one to gift myself that bouquet.

When we arrived in Kisumu all I could think of was getting to the house, taking a cold shower and sleeping, tucked away under a duvet, shaking off a fever or tossing and turning until I beheld another dawn. It was this constant state of darkness that made it harder for me to breathe or cross the road to get home. I wished I had if not one rose but a dozen, something that could take me back to that awesome feeling in June. When I got to the house, my nephew ran up to me ‘Arch! Where have you been? I missed you!’He threw his hands around me and hugged me and I stood for a while torn between telling him I was unwell and basking in all that attention and love. When he stepped back, he shook his head, shrugged his shoulder and asked, ‘Are you okay?’

I put down my bag and said ‘Yes, I am.’ He turned and went into the kitchen. I was dismissed. Later on as I took that shower, I realized that I’ll be on medication for a while and they’ll weigh me down only if I let them- and that sometimes, a hug is better than a dozen red roses (plus it’s free, and has no thorns, it does not wither too)

🙂

Waves

We are like waves; we build up, go deep into the sea, and hit the shore.

We are so powerful that in between the building up and hitting the shore,

We lose ourselves.

We are like waves, we are never the same when we calm down.

He may love you

I know.

He cares.

He may love you.

Really, he probably does.

He probably thinks about you all the time.

He may love you.

It does not matter, or let’s assume that it does,

What is he doing about it?

Nothing.

Wow, he may love you, he is just busy.

What matters is that is he doing nothing and you most certainly should not do a thing.

He may love you.

Really, he probably does.

He does not go out of his way to make it obvious that he does,

So, tell me, what are you doing about it?

He may love you.

He probably thinks about you all the time.

Really, he probably does- and that means…nothing.