Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you.

23 11 2007


Fret not, stress a lot

DO worry, be happy? That’s oversimplifying things, maybe, but psychologist Amr Barrada believes Americans worry too much about worrying.

By Gail Rosenblum

I like to think embracing all emotions will make every good one that much better. if you are sad, embrace it so that you will know happiness.

“At least, Amr Barrada thinks so. Barrada, 69, grew up in Cairo, Egypt, the middle of six children of a physician father and homemaker mother. He earned three advanced degrees in English and taught at Williams College in Massachusetts before making an abrupt career shift to psychology, earning a doctorate from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif. He has worked in hospital settings and private practice for nearly 30 years, specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. Barrada, who is divorced and lives in Eden Prairie, is co-author with Judy Bemis of “Embracing the Fear,” and has just completed his second book, about making peace with anxiety and depression.

Q One of your most intriguing observations about Americans is that we don’t allow ourselves to worry enough. Are you sure about that?

A Yes. So many efforts are spent trying to analyze emotions, to think rationally, to think positively, to relax, all in futile attempts to bring your emotions under control. It’s like being on a wild goose chase. People are desperately seeking to control things that are not controllable and, if left alone, would not trouble you. I often use the metaphor of quicksand with my clients. The harder you try to control your negative thoughts and emotions, the deeper you’ll sink into the emotional quicksand. On the other hand are chronic worriers who worry too much. Neither extreme is healthy. People should allow themselves to worry naturally, without trying to control it.

Q So, you see positive attributes in negative emotions?…”

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