Former Psychotherapist and social worker now author, Erika Hunter’s “The Little Book of BIG Emotions: How Five Feelings Affect Everything You Do (and Don’t Do)” is well-written, easy-to-follow, and full of helpful exercises and wisdom!
In short, it is a very helpful guide to emotional freedom!
It can be easy to dismiss the challenging work of understanding our feelings and managing them as unnecessary or too wishy-washy for clinicians.
Yet as many people who have done this work before in therapy or on their own can attest (myself included), it is life-changing! For us in nursing, the self-awareness and respect for our feelings that Hunter’s book teaches are fundamental to such communication challenges as; setting limits, giving and receiving constructive feedback, delegating tasks, asking for help, and managing conflict.
The author focuses on the 5 primary feelings of human existence:
Hunter has chapters on each of these and educates while engaging us with personal stories and stories from her work. She creates a safe environment for readers with her own learning and vulnerability. And she has very practical exercises designed to help us grow.
I was reading the book following my mom’s death in February and even though I teach and write about emotional intelligence, I learned a lot from her book. Of course, I was having lots of feelings, sadness was easy to identify and I still feel some. Yet, in grieving I’m also allowing myself space to feel many of these other feelings. And in feeling them, there truly is freedom from getting stuck!