How to (Kind of) Master Your Neuroticism
New York Magazine - 11/11/2016
Internally, having a fine-grained understanding of your emotional states can be liberating. Since the 1990s, Northeastern University psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett has developed the concept of “emotional granularity.”Her and others’ experiments indicate that when people can describe their emotional states with complexity — not just “feeling bad” about what’s going on with the water in Flint, Michigan, but experiencing “righteous indignation” — they experience all sorts benefits, like less alcoholism oraggression and more “emotion regulation,” or being able to keep your psychological footing when things get bumpy. Greater granularity allows you to live more “precisely,” she wrote in the New York Times earlier this year, since being able to clearly behold an emotion suggests an action in kind. If you’re righteously indignant about Flint, she argues, you’ll respond by looking up ways to protect your family from lead poisoning or get the ear of your congressperson.