How to deal with feeling bad about your feelings

Haijing Wu Hallenbeck, fifth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program in Arts & Sciences


You can probably recall a time when you experienced a meta-emotion, or an emotion that occurred in response to another emotion. Perhaps you teared up while watching a sappy movie with friends, then felt embarrassed about feeling sad. Or perhaps when you were a child, you felt happy your sibling was reprimanded, then felt guilty about feeling happy.

Most people are familiar with meta-emotions, but very little is known about them. So our team at the Emotion and Mental Health Lab at Washington University in St. Louis designed a study to explore people’s meta-emotional experiences in their daily lives. Our hope was that understanding meta-emotions might ultimately help people become better at responding to them in a way that improves well-being.

Read the full piece in Greater Good Magazine.

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