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Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them

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"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.

296 pages, Paperback

First published May 13, 2014

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Tina Gilbertson

2 books13 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 40 reviews
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,917 reviews35.3k followers
November 20, 2020
I debated on posting that I even read this book.
It was honestly too elementary for me. Not a long book though - could be read pretty quickly.
I passed the authors tests about ‘feelings’ in flying colors .... but felt the - crafting - styling - T R U T H writing was gimmicky.

Perhaps people much younger with little knowledge about feelings — ( of course it’s ok to feel anger) - would find this book valuable.

This was the authors first book.
I gave her 2nd book 5 stars ... a
a topic about estrangement from adult children — ( it was as insightful as this one wasn’t).

enough said!

Profile Image for Lisa Gray.
Author 1 book1 follower
May 6, 2014
I got this copy from Library Things Early Reviewer program. I have a couple of critiques about it, but since Goodreads doesn't believe in half stars, I'll go ahead and give it 5. It's too good for a 4.

I am a licensed therapist and I use a method called ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This book fits nicely with my way of thinking. Which is to say, accept all of your feelings and feel them fully - then behave according to your values and not necessarily your feelings. This seems simple but it's pretty much NOT very simple! We have all kinds of ways of critiquing, judging and minimizing our feelings. Ms. Gilbertson brings tons of new metaphors, stories and techniques to the table that really help in this endeavor. I've already passed along the book to a client and I plan to buy 20 copies and give them to everyone I meet! Good stuff.

A couple of minor complaints: Ms. Gilbertson does not allow for any exceptions. If you fully feel your feelings without criticism, you WILL feel better. She even says that antidepressants blunt feelings (and I assume, are therefore no good and should never be used..? That was my impression). While I DO believe that feeling your feelings fully & without judgement USUALLY leads to feeling better, I resist having that be the goal. In ACT, you feel your feelings fully and without judgement because you commit to being fully human. Feeling better is often a happy result. But there IS such a real thing as chemically imbalanced individuals, there can be lots more going on. And I've seen antidepressants save lives at times. I agree it's over prescribed, but to use her own logic, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Profile Image for Heather.
282 reviews6 followers
May 23, 2014
"When I invite people to explore their more difficult feelings, they often start by saying, "I don't want to be a baby about it." You'd think being a baby was the worst thing in the world. The International Association for the Advancement of Babies (IAAB) is more than a little annoyed about this, by the way."

In her debut book, Tina Gilbertson brings her gentle caring and self-advocacy to the page, along with the understated humor that I've been reading over the past few years on her blog, Tina's Tidbits. In Constructive Wallowing, Tina discusses various situations that might leave people feeling torn up inside, and how one's acceptance of their own feelings (without self-criticism) can make an enormous difference in how someone copes with life. She points out that we all have feelings all the time—attempting to deny them is what leads to problems. In subsequent chapters, she leads readers through activities designed to help loosen up those feelings that might be bottled up. When the feelings are accepted (or "(w)allowed"), they dissipate, and life is a little easier. She points out the difference between having/accepting feelings and acting on them, addresses common fears that she has frequently heard about allowing one's feelings, and spends a very short time discussing what non-constructive wallowing looks like.

Reading this book was a great refresher for me. It's nice to have a little crash course on these things in my pocket and ready to review any time at all. Truth be told, I've had a pretty crummy last few months and in the last two weeks I've felt like having the reminder was just enough of a reminder. I shut myself off in my rabbit hole and focused on how I'd been feeling. I'd forgotten rabbit hole time is necessary in my process—hopefully moving forward I will manage to make it happen on a more regular basis.

Given that this book was published by an imprint I'd never heard of, it has been given the red carpet treatment. The design of the book is gorgeous—simple, with a natural palette and illustrations alluding to natural occurrences. Like feelings, Tina would say. Unlike books I've read released by bigger publishers, I don't recall having seen a single typo. The type design is lovely too. I've also noticed that Tina is doing a fairly extensive book tour! She has appeared as a radio guest in multiple countries already. Clearly the publisher has some faith in this book..and I'm glad. : )

Profile Image for Sarina M.
342 reviews23 followers
September 28, 2021
2.5 I was so excited about this one, but it turned out to be rehashed ideas I was already exposed to from books like Self Compassion and Radical Acceptance, therapy, and just noodling on stuff on my own.

A lot of what was in here I agreed with, but there were pieces I disagreed with (which I will admit were partially about semantics). Many books like this choose words and twist their definition, then condemn others for generally disparaging their idea (which is different from the generally accepted meaning). This is how I felt about 'wallowing', to her wallowing is giving yourself time to feel your emotions while also giving yourself self compassion, which is all well and good but that is not the generally accepted usage/meaning. When I hear "wallowing" I think of someone obsessing and self pitying. She could have used her coined phrase "Constructive Wallowing" for referencing her own system, but throughout the the book she just says "wallowing".

I agree that you shouldn't push your emotions away, and doing this will not protect you from bad feelings, but will exacerbate them, and cause suffering. No good will come of judging yourself for the emotions you have. Saying that you are a shitty person because you are angry about something is like saying "I am a bad person because this shirt feels scratchy to me". Feelings are neither right/wrong, they are alarm systems that help us protect ourselves, navigate through the world, interpret our options, motivate us, etc., but they are such a good alarm system that they wont go away until we recognize the alarm. Repressing emotions is like walking around your house when a fire alarm is going off and pretending you don't hear it. Maybe you know it is only going off because you burnt toast, so it isn't a really productive alarm, but you should still push the button saying that you are aware of it. When you ignore a feeling, it tends to make itself heard eventually, so take it in and feel it, and then it will go away because it has given its two cents on whatever thing sparked the feeling.

Where I disagree is with how extreme Gilbertson goes on with her 'all feelings are right', and 'trying to have a positive outlook / being grateful is pointless because you feel how you feel' philosophy. Especially for someone with depression, this extreme "wallowing" probably isn't best system. Feel your feelings and self compassion yes, but I have had problems of slipping underneath the wave of terrible feelings and building a cabin there, and just feeling continually resentful and self pitying. Some people not only feel their feelings but perpetuate them, until the alarm is going off all the time. A huge game changer for me was gratitude, and it is completely possible to feel feelings of sadness, but feel gratitude too, particularly if your sadness is coming from depression, rather than something more external. I was eventually able to change my perspective, which made my life much better. There was even a grieving process when I let go of some of the regrets I had held onto for so long, but after that I was able to focus on the present. The view that your feelings are always right leaves little room for actual self reflection, and exacerbates the idea that the world owes you something. Just as there are plenty of stupid questions, there are plenty of stupid feelings, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask/feel them respectively, because only after you do so can you move on. Again, I think this is probably more about semantics, I know what she is trying to say, and generally agree with it, but the way she said it rubbed me the wrong way.

She also said blatantly false things like...
"Will he feel regret again? Certainly. Will he ever feel this particular wave of regret again? No way. This one has left the building."
"it’s impossible to feel anxious in a relaxed body."

Saying that guilt and anxiety aren't emotions. Lady, you can't just exclude some emotions from your framework because they don't fit in with your concept.

Also Giblertson just annoyed me; she came off condescending and single minded. A lot of self help books are kind of like this, where they say they have found the one key to a better life, and it is whatever they are plugging. There was a lot of 'I know you feel this way about this, but not only are you wrong, but I will convince you just how wrong you are and you'll see things my way later'. This was particularly frustrating because overall I felt I have somewhat similar beliefs to those she is expressing, but she keeps telling me I'm wrong, which made me FEEL defensive. It felt like this book is directed at an audience who have a less than average level of intelligence. For example there was a long section on the differences between thoughts and feelings, spelling out (literally) that her acronym T-R-U-T-H spelt "truth", a section on how to embrace negative emotions if you're already a believer in The Secret's Law of Attraction, and basically her whole tone was patronizing.

To give her credit, a lot of the ideas in here are beneficial, and I think there are people who would benefit from reading it (particularly people who are new to this idea, and who are generally emotionally repressed). Definitely would not recommend to anyone with depression.
Profile Image for Michael Percy.
Author 5 books8 followers
December 6, 2017
This book is written in large print with large line-spacing and uses graphics to fill the pages. The result is a large book that would otherwise be rather small. It is more of a manual with tests and activities. I learnt a good deal from this book about having one's emotions, and it supplements Stoic philosophy neatly in that it provides a way to "have" one's emotions without necessarily acting on them. For the Stoics, we have our emotions but it is our behaviour that is good or bad, rather than the external event. I have found Stoic philosophy useful in that through daily practice and reflection, one can learn to accept what one can and cannot control, and be "indifferent" to external events. But to be Stoic is different from being stoic, yet there is little to address the emotions that one inevitably "has", other than to choose how one reacts to one's emotions. Gilbertson's approach is like a Stoicism for the emotions. Through daily practice, one can learn to experience one's emotions through (w)allowing. An interesting approach to understanding emotions is to exchange the words think and feel in a sentence. If the words are not interchangeable, then it is a feeling. For example, "I feel angry" does not work as "I think angry". Whereas "I think I have been treated unjustly" and "I feel I have been treated unjustly" are interchangeable, hence the former is an emotion but the latter is not. Recognising and giving names to one's emotions is one approach to let emotions happen (as opposed to acting on them). Keeping a three-times daily journal to record how one feels over a two-week period is an interesting way to recognise emotional patterns and to practice recognising, naming, and experiencing one's emotions. I must admit that most of the book made me cringe a little, and I found myself unable to read it in public - the thought of someone seeing me reading this book probably explains why I scored a 14 on the test, and therefore I probably need to (w)allow in private! Like Stoic journalling, I can see the point in (w)allowing, and the drip, drip, drip of experience and reflection working to improve oneself. The final straw was on reflecting on how I feel/think, I stumbled upon "I feel guilty/I think guilty" - here I am naming my emotion. But no, there is a section devoted to guilty - being guilty is a fact, not an emotion. Obviously I have much to learn and while I still cringe at this book, I will be adding some of Gilbertson's activities to my daily journalling ritual, which at present includes James Allen (referred to by Gilbertson), La Rochefoucauld, and The Daily Stoic, and I will see what happens. I found Gilbertson's work via my subscription to Psychology Today, and I have since read many of her articles which are available online.
Profile Image for Brenna.
234 reviews1 follower
April 26, 2021
While I am skeptical of self help books in general, this one was indeed helpful. The most salient point was that we were made to feel our emotions and when we try to ignore or repress them, they often stick around and cause trouble. We generally don’t try to hold onto or repress feelings like joy, and that’s why they seem to flow in and out of our lives much easier.

The author gives the example of a toddler. They feel MANY emotions and might have a tantrum one minute, then take a nap and be totally fine soon after. While adults can’t always let their feelings turn into actions (e.g throwing stuff at work when you’re angry), it would be healthy if we allowed the feelings we have to flow through us like children. Acknowledge that you’re feeling frustrated will help you to process the emotion instead of feeling wound up all day after an event and trying to pretend like you’re ok.

The other big piece is about self compassion. Feelings aren’t good or bad, yet we are often judgmental of ourselves for having emotions. Unless they lead to poor actions, which are different than the feelings themselves, we have no reason to be upset about them.

The author asks a question that I’ve been using to try to foster more self-compassion: why would a good person feel this way? While I’m not sure “good” language is always helpful, this question has given me a little space from my emotions. Why would a good person be anxious about a work project? Why would a good person feel anger at a family member or friend in a certain situation? Why would a good person feel sad when reading the news? Usually I go into a spiral thinking how I’m not doing enough to address the needs of the world, but this question helps me see that a “good person” might be sad and feel helpless when reading the news because they care about other people and their well-being. That’s a much more motivating place to be than the automatic self-criticical voice I often hear that says, “You’re not doing enough.” Leading with self-compassion is quite a bit more motivating for me.

Highly recommend, and while I’m trying to get rid of books I own after I read them, I’m going to hang onto this one because I think it still has more lessons to share through the methods, meditations, and journaling activities provided with it.
Profile Image for Beatriz.
312 reviews83 followers
December 29, 2018
Pessoalmente, isto é uma lição que me estava a fazer falta ouvir, ou ler. Eu chafurdo, mas não costumo fazer de propósito para sentir toda a carga emocional que se quer soltar. Fico-me pelo suficiente. "Vá, agora já chega, que tenho de me levantar da cama/ir trabalhar/ir ao ginásio/ler/estudar!" Quem nunca disse isto a si próprio atire a primeira pedra. Então, por vezes sinto que enterro os problemas lá no fundinho, para lidar com eles mais tarde, preferencialmente nunca!


Em suma, o livro é muito bom, há imensa informação útil a retirar, mas a segunda parte já me pareceu demasiado lenta, uma repetição alongada da primeira e perdi mais o ritmo de leitura. Se se quiserem aventurar no Constructive Wallowing, façam-no tendo em vista uma leitura descontraída, pouco exigente e, obviamente, construtiva. Até podem passar algumas partes menos interessantes à frente ou apenas ler alguns capítulos (vejam o índice!).

Muito ainda poderia ser escrito sobre este livro, mas o texto já vai longo e daqui a nada perco a vossa atenção. Resta-me apenas deixar a recomendação deste livro para quem esteja à procura de melhores formas de levar a cabo a auto-reflexão e introspecção, para quem quer uma leitura menos pesada ou para quem gostaria de fazer terapia/ir ao psicólogo, mas não sabe o que esperar dessa experiência.

Opinião completa em: https://fuiprocrastinar.blogs.sapo.pt...
Profile Image for Daniel Taylor.
Author 4 books82 followers
March 25, 2020
The book I read before this one was The Happiness Trap How to Stop Struggling and Start Living A Guide to ACT by Russ Harris . Both books teach you to allow your emotions without judging them, but 'The Happiness Trap' is more comprehensive and has a slightly different focus. Gilbertson teaches that you can feel things without taking action on those feelings. Harris teaches you to make room for your feelings and then take a values-based action.
Profile Image for Dee Eisel.
208 reviews4 followers
December 28, 2014
I enjoyed this book. Some of the concepts seem somewhat obvious when she writes them, but when I honestly interrogated my actions I realized I wasn't doing it.
It's made a bit of a difference with my PMDD, so for someone who wasn't hampered by that disease I can imagine it would be very useful indeed! It's definitely worth the read for anyone considering their emotional reactions to events.
Profile Image for Sahar Sabati.
Author 22 books24 followers
September 21, 2014
One’s conception of life is of big importance as to how we deal with mistakes. If life on Earth is but one chance to do everything we have to do before disappearing for good, then of course mistakes are unacceptable. But if one understands life on Earth as the beginning of an eternal path on which we hone our virtues to perfection, then mistakes become a great learning tool.

Even with such an attitude, there are some mistakes that really get us down, sometimes for years, if not for a lifetime. These are the mistakes author Tina Gilbertson helps us face in her book, Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them, in which she questions the common belief that wallowing is a bad thing. Instead, she encourages us to not shut out negative emotions, but acknowledge and deal with them. Gilbertson believes that if we learn to identify our negative feelings through the exercises presented in this book, we will understand where they come from, and develop the skills to learn from them and move past them.

The book is very well written, combining serious discussions with just enough wit to make one smile without getting detracted from the goal. Furthermore, the chapters are structured in a way that allows the reader to easily follow the author’s line of thought. Another aspect that helps the reader easily follow the sometimes quite complex line of thought is that Gilbertson does not go off on tangents; rather, she points them out and refers us to future chapters where they will be discussed.

Just like with any self-improvement book, this one has to be read with a grain of salt. It is so important for the reader of any such book to remember that the author, even the most qualified, is not perfect; one must analyse the concepts within the book and measure them against the concepts that guides one’s life. In my case, I found that the idea of self-compassion that Gilbertson suggests in this book is a double edged sword.

On the one hand, I agree with it, as we all have a shadow of the child we once used to be hidden behind the façade of the adult we have become. When children are hurt, what do we do? We hug them, kiss them, pat them on the back, and, when the tears have stopped, reflect with them on what happened and they learn how to deal with the situation a bit better in the future. But when the child inside of us is hurt, we can be quite cruel, telling it to be quiet and stop making a fuss, sometimes locking it away in the deep recesses of our heart and mind. If we instead learn to take care of the child within us in the same way we treat children around us, no doubt we will not only suffer less, but we will ultimately learn a lot more.

On the other hand, we do live in a world that strongly encourages individualism and strokes the ego. Consequently, we have to be careful that we do not mistake taking care of the child within with stroking the ego. I did not feel that the author was at all encouraging such an attitude; but I do think the book would have benefited from some thorough comments on the matter.

There is also the concept of dwelling. It could be a matter of semantics, but I do not agree with the importance the author places on dwelling. While wallowing, as defined by Gilbertson (allowing ourselves to feel our emotions) does seem healthy, the reason for it should not be dwelling. Quite the contrary; dwelling can bring us into a very dark place, perhaps the very place we try to avoid when we refuse to look at our negative emotions in the first place.

And so, while I do think that we should accept how we feel, I feel that it should not be for the sake of dwelling on it. Rather, it should be for the sake of reflecting on why we feel that way, make a plan of action based on how we would like to feel instead, and then stop dwelling. Just like with a child: once the child has been comforted and a lesson has been learned, there is no purpose in reminding the child constantly about what happened that made him/her cry in the first place! This is all the more important for those who believe that the purpose of life is personal spiritual development: wallowing allows us to figure out where we are, reflecting allows us to figure it out where we want to be, and action, not dwelling, brings us closer to our goal.

Gilbertson also discusses how we should never think that we should not have a certain feeling. In a conception of life on Earth as an opportunity to learn how to transcend our lower nature – the one guided by earthly, material, and physical passions – there are certain emotions we should learn to move beyond. Of course, to learn to move beyond, say, anger, we have to acknowledge that we are angry and take the time to deal with it, there is no doubt about that. And some of the practical ways Gilbertson shares in her book are indeed quite useful to do so.

However, it does not mean that we should accept the negative emotions as a normal part of life. Instead: “We ought to show something greater than forgiveness in meeting the cruelties and stricture in our lives. To be hurt and to forgive is saintly, but far beyond this is the power to comprehend and not be hurt. (…) It is not that we make the best of things, but that we may find in everything, even in calamity itself, the germ of enduring wisdom…” It is a delicate balance between accepting that we feel a negative emotion without a shred of guilt, and working to become the kind of person that doesn’t feel these negative emotions. And while this balance is very difficult to achieve, every step towards it brings one great inner peace.

Tina Gilbertson’s Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them is a great tool to help you think about how to deal with those emotions that can negatively affect your life. What I appreciate the most about this book is the clarity of thought the author demonstrates, reflected in the clarity of writing, which allows for readers to consider the advice given within the framework by which they live their lives.

First published at http://blogcritics.org/book-review-co... and at http://www.saharsreviews.com/book-rev....
Profile Image for Matthew.
88 reviews2 followers
January 6, 2022
A simple but effective handbook for all those who have ever struggled to let yourself have feelings for any reason. Gilbertson's technique is simple: allow yourself to truly sit with your feelings for as long as the feelings need, and as if by magic the feelings will essentially play themselves out.

The practicality of this book is easy to underestimate. Gilbertson's argument is not that we should allow feelings to have their way with us - the end - but rather that giving ourselves to have feelings (especially negative ones) is the only and most effective way to move on past them. She guarantees us that we won't be lost forever in them.

I found her use of examples to be especially effective, while the science behind things could have been a little more frequent. I do however believe that the science completely supports this method. I plan to incorporate what's in this book into my regular daily life as much as possible.
Profile Image for Louisa.
31 reviews1 follower
July 17, 2018
The title of this book really caught my eye and it was for a great price at a bookstore so I couldn’t resist.

I love the idea of constructive wallowing and the TRUTH technique. This book is great for anyone who was told to “get over things” by others. The reader will be inspired to be more compassionate to themselves and feel better by embracing their emotions. I also enjoyed the writer’s humor which did not make this a boring medical self help book.

Only real con is that it took me forever to finish this book because I wasn’t super looking forward to reading it after I started it. I don’t know if that’s because of me or the book but I found it hard to finish and I think it didn’t catch my interest as much as other self-help books. But I did eventually finish this book and found it enjoyable.
Profile Image for Petra.
30 reviews1 follower
February 1, 2022
This book is very basic, but I have no problem with that. In fact I think it is necessary since so many of us obviously lack understanding of our own feelings.

I do feel though that this book could have used a more ruthless editor, killing the darlings (the word game with wallowing and allowing is smart but repeated so many times that it looses its punch). Some chapters are so repetitive that I almost wonder if the label asked for a longer book. I still feel like I gained something, it was easier for me to recognize the moments when I needed some quiet time to address or wallow in my feelings.
Profile Image for Sue Blanch.
Author 1 book1 follower
June 30, 2020
This is a fantastic book about dealing with so-called “bad” feelings. This will give you insightful ways of handling them compassionately when they arise – and in time you may find that these feelings gradually heal. Essential reading for anyone who wants to know how to deal with difficult emotions. I loved it as I was so fed up with people telling me to think positive. It didn't work for me and now I know why. If we suppress our emotions they fester. Simple. Tina explains how to stop this from happenning.
144 reviews
March 26, 2022
I found this book by typing the word "wallowing" into my library's search box, because I felt like I was wallowing in despair at that time. By the time I started to read it, my despair was beginning to lift, but I still read it with interest. It initially seemed somewhat repetitive and redundant, but by the end I realized that I really want to try this deceptively simplistic technique; it makes a great deal of sense. I'm even considering buying the book so I can refer to it frequently; I will do some of the exercises first to see if they really work for me.
Profile Image for Bret Legg.
120 reviews4 followers
September 16, 2018
As a pastoral counselor who works with people who have gone through trauma, I understand the importance of honestly facing and dealing with emotions. This author makes a great case for opening one’s self up to emotions. She also give some good practical advice for how to do that. Though I don’t necessarily agree with her assessment on the relationship of thoughts and emotions, I found this to be a helpful book over all.
198 reviews
March 22, 2020
The essential argument is that allowing yourself to really feel your feelings and not deny them is healthy and will eventually make you happier. It presents several tools for talking yourself into doing so, many of which I found useful.[return][return]Unfortunately, it has the conceit of acting like this is the ONE ANSWER you need to solve all your problems. I found the attitude pretty grating. [return][return]I'm happy to have it as an addition to my toolbox though.
Profile Image for Tanattiya Rungtham.
1 review34 followers
October 29, 2022
This book changed my life.

For years of reading self help books, I was never able to tap into my subconscious anxiety and fear. With the guidance of this book, I started to be able to navigate through my hidden, buried and forgotten feelings. It helps improve my overall emotional health as well as my ability to connect with loved ones without walls and blockage.

Profile Image for Niecie.
71 reviews7 followers
March 22, 2018
Would recommend for emotional regulation, self-criticism/perfectionism, and difficult life transitions. Her writing style is admittedly not for everyone, but her feelings-friendly approach is healthy and helpful in a society that doesn’t value “negative” emotions.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,438 reviews
Shelved as 'dnf'
December 2, 2019
Unfortunately I only made it through the introduction (which seemed longer than necessary, TBH) before this was due back at the library. I am hoping to get a another copy soon because overall I really enjoyed the writing style and the thoughts behind it. I would like to get back at this soon!
10 reviews
March 29, 2021
I’m wallowing in relief

So many contradictory feelings are exposed and in so , understood, it seems I’m not the mess I had convinced my self I am! Tina is an excellent tour guide through this journey of understanding our own self, very much appreciated it.
59 reviews
December 24, 2021
A Definite Learning Experience

A must read and a must to put into practice. This book has helped me tremendously. I plan to read it multiple times.
Profile Image for Eerika.
117 reviews
April 16, 2019
16.4.2019: Works for me! At least I'm better having all feelings when they come instead of denying them and thus storing them in my body. I also have other methods like EFT, Rosen therapy, meditation, yoga and visualizations techniques and some more to clear my mind, body and energies. Its hard to separate what is the benefit of this book's instructions, but I definitely think the advice of this book is good!
Profile Image for Katie.
1,123 reviews18 followers
September 9, 2021
This book on constructive wallowing (actually feeling your feelings) is both readable and easy to apply. The author has many good examples and stories to illustrate her ideas. Her suggestions should be easy for just about anyone to implement. As someone who works in coaching to help others release their old pent-up emotions, I think that this is a message that is important to get out in the world. Also, popular culture is obsessed with the whole "good vibes only" idea which is really not helpful. Ignoring half of your feelings, even if they are the half that aren't nice to feel, is never a good thing.

My first quibble with the book is that it is unnecessarily wordy. An editor could have easily cut out a good chunk of the first half of the book and tightened it up. I have to admit that despite the valuable message, that I was getting bored.

My second quibble is that the author talks down to the reader a bit (which may be why she says things over and OVER). In chapter one the author writes "this piling-up-inside you is just a metaphor to describe a process in the brain that no one fully understands..." Ok, so maybe we don't FULLY understand it, but there is definitely a whole lot of science behind that we DO understand. The author doesn't have to go into detail, but trying to pass it off as a muddy area in science isn't really doing the readers any favors either.

The other thing I have to mention, because it is just too funny, is in chapter five when the author explains her T-R-U-T-H Technique and states, "In case you didn't notice, the parts of the T-R-U-T-H Technique spell out the word 'truth.'" Because of course someone reading this book is likely not know what an acronym is, nor notice that the dashes between the letters could be removed to form a common English word. REALLY!!?!?!

Ok, so I have a few big quibbles. But since I do feel this is good message to get out into the general public, I am giving it four stars anyway. Read this and if you get angry about how you are being talked down to, wallow in that for a moment and then move on!
Profile Image for Sheralyn.
8 reviews6 followers
September 18, 2016
Tried the T-R-U-T-H techniques which I found to be quite useful. I like that Tina written this book with compassion and understanding that I can relate. Learnt quite a lot about feelings and emotions and most importantly, to show compassion to ourselves first to avoid snowballing.
Profile Image for Cissa.
608 reviews11 followers
July 16, 2014
My MIdwestern self learned early to keep a stiff upper lip. I suppose it has its advantages, but it did mean that negative feelings and reactions were suppressed- to the point that I cracked a number of teeth by clenching my teeth so often and hard.

This seems like a better way. It encourages you to really feel your feelings, rather than suppressing them- and I've only been trying to do the exercises a short time, but in that time, I have become more relaxed and happier. Felt and acknowledged, the feelings pass; sat upon- they stick around, to nobody's advantage.

I got this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program, and read it through quickly at first- but it made so much sense that I decided to work through it more carefully, and actually DO the exercises. That was a good choice on my part, because while the theory is good, the practice makes a lot of difference.

I know there are other self-help books around with a similar message. What really makes a difference for me with this one is the use of "wallowing" in the title- it got me over my stiff-upper-lip stubbornness.
Profile Image for Steve Layman.
2 reviews1 follower
February 14, 2017
I'd be lying if I said I didn't narrate most of this book in my head through the voice of Diane Chambers from Cheers.
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