“Do you ever look at someone and wonder, what’s going on in their head ??”

Today afternoon was just one of those days when the prodigal son decided that he will make sure I keep every commitment aside and sit with him to watch something of his choice. As always, I happily caved in! 

After scrolling through a couple of his regulars, he pointed out “THIS ONE!”- when we stopped at the animated motion picture INSIDE OUT. Although he had watched this particular one with his father in the distant past, I somehow missed out on it – and what a TERRIBLE regret it would’ve turned out to be if I hadn’t sat down with him this noon to watch something spectacular as this motion picture !

I write this post with the assumption that the majority may have already been part of this delightful depiction of emotions (considering that it released in the early months of 2015). Nevertheless, I am determined to say that this is by far one of THE most enriching and mind stimulating animation movies of its times! A film that shows us how an ordinary event in life can take us through a remarkable emotional journey within ourselves; a motion picture that depicts the significance of the concept of Emotional Intelligence ,with utmost simplicity and brilliance!(especially for someone who takes a keen interest in the subject of psychology & human behavior!!)

Five characters: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust, represent the core human emotions of Riley, an eleven year old girl. Although the film revolves around the basic triggers of emotions and the effects of the same on Riley’s reactions and responses – INSIDE OUT mind-fully addresses the deep impact of positive and negative experiences on an individual’s personality, with a strong emphasis on the sacred nature of childhood experiences.Very subtly yet sharply this motion picture informs us of the variant responsibilities of emotions towards our mental and social well-being:

– JOY of course, takes the front seat in pursuit of constant happiness that drives the majority of us to treat sadness and depression with ignorance and denial.

-We often look down upon FEAR and glorify bravery as a better personality trait. “Be brave”; “You’re so brave!” – are the most commonly used words of inspiration and encouragement that we convey to our children and perhaps subconsciously feed ourselves as well. Little do we comprehend that without FEAR, bravery is a lost cause. FEAR, keeps us cautious and alert in circumstances that call for it and no amount of bravery can match up to the responsibility that the emotion of FEAR holds within itself

-DISGUST, irrespective of how negatively it is perceived to be, protects us from being poisoned “physically and socially.” Not only does it save the tastes in our mouth but also assists us to repel “toxic” social circumstances with reference to those who emotionally tend to pull us down.

-ANGER is a constant in us since birth. A difficult-to-control emotion that in its smallest of forms, helps us vent out our frustrations; and in it extremities, results in damaging decisions.

-SADNESS is however, the winner of this story. The eternally unwanted emotion by one and all, yet –  the one that is beyond our comprehension the true reason for us to be able to experience happiness. The ability of SADNESS to perceive only the negative aspects of our experiences is initially portrayed as an annoying keep-away-from factor in this film, just like each one of us probably tend to react to SADNESS in our daily lives.

In the pursuit of constant consistent and absolute happiness, JOY, at one instant draws a circle around SADNESS, ordering it to stay inside of it and far away from other emotions fearing the contamination of any other aspect of the brain that may intervene in JOY’S master plan for the eternal happiness in Riley’s life. Until the very end of the film, JOY somehow cannot perceive a value for sadness and therefore tries as much as possible to assign SADNESS with no real purpose or responsibility in Riley’s brain.

Isn’t this what most of us do when it comes to our children or even our own selves?? Avoid anything that is even remotely close to threatening our happiness? The movie pushes one to ask one self yet again if we are in any way happier, safer and better human beings when we keep away keep away from sadness and lock all the bad, in hopes of an eternal “JOY”.

The beauty of this motion picture does not only lie in the stimulating questions and thought-provoking depictions of the role of emotion in our lives, but in how miraculously beautiful the paths of our memories are!

Every time that there is a rise in our emotions due to an event, or a circumstance that causes us extreme happiness, sadness, anger or fear, these heightened emotions make their way to our memories, mostly getting stored in our long-term memories. This is perhaps why we tend to remember certain circumstances throughout our lives.

These collective memories, especially the long-term memories determine our mental health and state of mind and in a large manner, determine the kind of people that we are. Those with a lot of positively stored long-term memories are mentally healthy while those contrasting to this, struggle with depression, anxiety and the likes.b5e234a659f53fddd57325be5f5a040f Hence human emotions, especially the ones that emerge within us during early childhood, put together the building blocks to the kind of adults we eventually turn into. (“Children are like wet cement; anything that falls on them makes an impression that hardens with time.” – Dr.Haim Ginott)

Hold that thought.

What re-imbibed within me after watching INSIDE OUT?

– One can never truly comprehend the joys of life, if one hasn’t witnessed the opposite of the same.

-there is nothing extraordinary about a light unless there is darkness to reflect upon the illumination that is given off by it.

– most importantly, the damages that we endure are the ironic source of our growing strength each time.

Why do we fall Bruce? …So we can learn to pick ourselves up!” – Alfred, BATMAN BEGINS.

 

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