Ep #27: Breaking Down Emotional Responsibility

Our thoughts trigger physical reactions in our body, known as emotions. They are a reality of life, but do you know who is responsible for those emotions? You are!

The most important lesson you can implement to improve your everyday life is to recognize that your emotions cannot hurt you. Emotions can trick you into a response that is not in your body’s best interest. Instead of trying to drown out the emotional response with food or alcohol, focus on addressing the thoughts that are triggering you.

Often, your emotions and thoughts are on autopilot. You will see it more easily in others, but the magic happens when you can start to identify this in yourself. Metacognition, or thinking about our thinking, will help you unlock your power to control your reactions and maintain inner peace.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The definition of emotions and emotional responsibility.
  • Why it is a mistake to dampen your emotions with food or alcohol.
  • How choosing a new way to think about your day will alter your emotional responses.
  • That many emotional reactions are subconscious and hard to change.
  • Why the blame game is a pointless endeavor.
  • Ways that emotional childhood expresses itself in behavior.

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Showing 4 comments
  • LNO

    Excellent, hard hitting podcast. I struggle with how to teach this to my 5 yo and how to enact this in my relationship with my husband. What I don’t understand is how to do this and not become some hybrid of an emotionally detached robot and a zen master? Example: husband chooses not to put away laundry and take out trash like he promised for the tenth time. I’m very irritated. Yes, I would like to not be irritated anymore, but what are the correct thoughts about this situation? What I do is take out the trash and put the laundry away for myself because I want these things done. Where this leads is me doing far more of my share of the house tasks. Do I choose to think that I don’t care anymore? To not expect this of my husband and just do it myself? Then I end up doing *everything*. How do you practically deal with people who regularly “let you down” and not get emotional about that? For me to not have strong feeling about these things, I feel like I would completely not have to care about what anyone else does (as long as not harmful) and then what kind of relationship is that anyway? For my son, how do you teach children to experience their emotions and feelings while also being responsible for them. I think it is normal to feel hurt when someone does something mean and unkind on purpose. Appreciate any feedback.

  • Jennifer Greer, M.D.

    While I was listening to this episode, the thought crossed my mind that being responsible for my own emotions almost seems like I’m giving other people carte blanche to treat me poorly, as how I react to it is up to me and not dependent on their behavior. I’m sure this isn’t true, and that setting boundaries regarding the way you allow people to treat you is a healthy thing to do. But how do you reconcile these two ideas? I love the podcasts, by the way. I’ve binge-listened to all of them over the past two weeks, and can’t wait for your new MD group to start. Thank you for the information you share!

  • Maria

    This episode is so great! I realize that I am super guilty of this. I grow up hearing about how everyone hurt my mother’s feelings and how others hurt my feeling. This thought process of taking emotional responsibility is so empowering. Thank you

  • Maria Bernier, MD

    I wanted to share with you how this episode has actually helped my 9 year old daughter. She was having difficulty with some anxiety and had a fear of the dark. After listening to this episode, I told her what you said, “circumstances lead to thoughts and our thoughts lead to our feelings.” I told her if she is having a negative emotion such as fear, then she needs to change her thoughts. I emphasized how she is in control of her thoughts and that if she is thinking of Anabelle for instance, then she needs to shift her thoughts towards something that she loves like Disney World. The first night she did this, she actually slept better and told me thank you. She learned that she really is in control of her thoughts and that she feels so much better knowing that she is in charge of her life. What a powerful lesson for her to learn so young. Most of my adult life I have spent being the “victim” wherein everyone else is responsible for how I feel. Now at almost 43 years old I realize that I was the one in charge of my emotions and because of my thinking I was allowing others to take on that responsibility for me. I find this idea of emotional responsibility so liberating and powerful and I am so grateful to have listened to your podcast. I belong to a physician mother weight loss Facebook page and let me tell you, a lot of us are listening to you and you are helping so many women with your words. Thank you for your podcast. Please keep on doing what you are doing.

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