Constructive Wallowing How to Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-05-13
  • Publisher: Viva Editions
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $15.95 Save up to $3.96
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


“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.

Author Biography

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



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

“Negative” 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



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”

Mid-Life Crisis

Sidebar: To Know You is to Love You

Your Turn

The T-R-U-T-H Technique Worksheet


Chapter 7: The Daunting Dozen: Top 12 Wallowing Worries

Sidebar: Courage

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

Belly Breathing

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?

Sidebar: Compassion Heals

How to Choose a Therapist

What Feelings-Friendly Therapy Looks Like

Where to Find a Therapist

Questions to Ask Before You Begin

Your Journey Begins



Rewards Program

Reviews for Constructive Wallowing How to Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them (9781936740802)