Emotions and emotion regulation


Original PowerPoint to lead class in discussion-based lecture. Students were expected to complete reading prior to class in order to inform educated discussion.

Assigned reading:

1) The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions1.

2) Meditation and positive psychology2.

3) Looking forward, looking back: anticipation is more evocative than retrospection3.

Homework assignment:

Practice mindfulness meditation each day for 15 - 20 minutes. You can begin with 10 minutes and work your way to 20 if you like. The point of this exercise is to simply observe your thoughts and feelings with an open and non-judgmental attitude, not to achieve some specific result. Carefully read the handout for specific instructions4.

Journal prompt:

Before and after each day’s meditation write a few notes about the thoughts, feelings, difficulties, or questions that came to mind before, during and after sitting. At the end of the week review your notes and write a brief description of your mindful practice experience. Does it make sense that the cultivation of mindfulness through mindfulness meditation can lead to enhanced well-being? Discuss and explain your opinion.

Suggested discussion points for small group:

General questions

・ What emotions are you most comfortable feeling? What emotions do you prefer not to feel?

・ Would you say most people are aware of their feelings? Were you aware of them before talking about them today?

・ Why is emotional intelligence important?

・ Is it hard to regulate your emotions? What makes it easier? Harder?

・ Can you be friends with someone who has a hard time regulating emotions? What makes it harder or easier to be friends with them?

・ If you could only feel one emotion what would it be? Why?

The value of positive emotions/broaden and build theory.

・ How do positive emotions build personal resources? Example?

・ Can you think of a counter-example to this theory? That is, a negative effect of a positive emotion?

・ How is this apparent in your lives?