The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
The eBook copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
Constructive wallowing” seems like an oxymoron. Constructive is a good thing, but wallowing is bad. Right?
But wait a minute; is it really so terrible to give ourselves a time-out to feel our feelings? Or is it possible that wallowing is an act of loving kindness, right when we need it most?
Almost everyone loves the idea of self-compassion the notion that maybe in spite of our messy emotions and questionable behavior, we really aren’t all that bad. In recent years there’s been an explosion of books that encourage readers to stop beating themselves up for being human, which is terrific. Unfortunately, readers who aren’t interested in Buddhism or meditation have been left out in the cold.
Constructive Wallowing is the first book to cut right to the chase, bypassing descriptions of Eastern philosophy and meditation techniques to teach readers how to accept and feel their feelings with self-compassion for greater emotional health.
It’s tempting to turn away from menacing, uncomfortable feelings like anger, grief, or regret; however, ignoring them just seems to make them stick around. By learning to accept and embrace, difficult feelings, readers keep their sense of personal power and gain greater understanding and ultimately esteem for themselves.
Tina Gilbertson is a successful therapist, workshop leader and blogger living in Portland, OR.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Wonderful World of Wallowing
What Would You Do If You Lost Everything?
What If You Have Everything and Still Aren’t Happy?
Sidebar: Be Where You Are
What Does Wallowing Look Like?
How to Use This Book
Part I. DIP YOUR TOE IN THE WATER
Chapter 1: Wallowing is Mostly Allowing
How You Cope With Anything Is How You Cope With Everything
You Can’t Wallow Unless You ALLOW
Sidebar: On Becoming Whole
The Benefits of Wallowing
The Escalation Cycle
Figure 1 The Escalation Cycle
Figure 2 The Constructive Wallowing Cycle
Finding Time to Wallow
Chapter 2: The Accidental Wallower: My Story
Getting Over a Happy Childhood
Sidebar: Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks
Ditch That Backlog!
Chapter 3: Emotions: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Feelings vs. Emotions
Sidebar: Every Feeling Has Value
Having Feelings in Public
Wallowing Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
Table 1. Some Ways to Deal with Feelings
Name That Feeling!
Feelings vs. Thoughts
The Substitution Test
Table 2. Some Feeling Words
Feelings vs. Behavior
Good People Have Bad Feelings Too
How Hurting Heals
The Life Cycle of a Feeling
How to Let Painful Feelings Go
You Can’t Choose Your Feelings
Part II. DIVE IN!
Chapter 4: 11 Good Reasons to Wallow
Reason #1: You have no choice
Reason #2: It may be good for your health
Reason #3: Get your energy back
Reason #4: If you can’t feel bad, you won’t feel good
Sidebar: If You’re Not Wallowing, You’re Not Living
Reason #5: You’re never more alone than when you abandon yourself
Reason #6: What we don’t acknowledge, controls us
Reason #7: You'll feel better sooner
Reason #8: It’s natural
Reason #9: We all have something that needs healing
Reason #10: What doesn’t kill you makes you confident!
Reason #11: Improve your relationships
Chapter 5: The T-R-U-T-H Technique
Self-Criticism: As Effective as it is Enjoyable
The Antidote: Self-Compassion
Change Your Life From the Inside Out
The T-R-U-T-H Technique
T: Tell yourself the situation
R: Realize what you’re feeling
U: Uncover self-criticism
T: Try to understand yourself
Sidebar: Constructive Surrender
H: Have the feeling
Make it Work for You
Tips for Dealing with Sadness, Anger or Fear
The Secret to Your Success
Chapter 6: Constructive Wallowing in Action
The Inconsiderate Neighbor
A Disappointing Vacation
A Loved One With a Scary Diagnosis
I Can’t Get Over What Happened”
Sidebar: To Know You is to Love You
The T-R-U-T-H Technique Worksheet
Part III. FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY
Chapter 7: The Daunting Dozen: Top 12 Wallowing Worries
Worry #1: My feelings might be wrong
Worry #2: I don’t want to be negative
Worry #3: It’s no use dwelling on the past
Worry #4: If I feel it, I have to do something about it
Worry #5: I’m being self-indulgent
Worry #6: I’m just making myself feel bad
Worry #7: I should be grateful it’s not worse
Worry #8: My feelings are draining and/or toxic
Worry #9: I don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life
Worry #10: I should try to forgive, not hold on to my anger
Worry #11: I don’t want to cry
Worry #12: What if I can’t stop the feelings once they start?
Chapter 8: Your Wallowing Workout: 10 Activities for Heart and Mind
Nature or Nurture?
Activity 1: Feelings History
Table 2. Some Feeling Words
Activity 2: Practice Loving Yourself
Activity 3: Letter of Forgiveness to Yourself
Activity 4: Letter of Apology to Yourself
Getting in Touch With Feelings
Activity 5: Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Activity 6. Art Project
Activity 7. Listen to Your Heart
Sidebar: Trust Your Heart
How to Connect With Your Heart
Daily & Weekly Exercises
Activity 8. Know Yourself
Activity 9. Talk About Feelings
Activity 10. Weekly Feelings Chart
How to Use the Chart
Table 3. Weekly Feelings Chart
The Quiz, Take Two!
Chapter 9: Wallowing Questions & Answers
1. Is there such a thing as NON-constructive wallowing?
2. What if I can’t cry?
3. Should I really wallow in GUILT?
4. What about anxiety? Should I wallow in that?
5. I believe in The Law of Attraction. How can I wallow in negative feelings without attracting negativity?
6. Will wallowing help me feel better about a situation I can’t change?
7. What if I always have the same feelings in every relationship I’m in?
8. If feelings are never wrong, why do they sometimes change when we get new information?
9. Why can’t I just change my feelings by changing my thoughts?
10. Why do some feelings seem to last so long?
Figure 1. Perceived feeling duration
Figure 2. Actual feeling duration
11. How do I cultivate compassion for myself without feeling phony?