Emotion vs Emotion

You know when you’re angry and someone or something makes you laugh – and you no longer feel angry anymore? This is the psychological phenomenon known as reciprocal inhibition.

In essence, it is impossible for a human to feel two opposing emotions at the same time. For example, we can’t feel admiration and disgust at the same time; or compassion and hostility; or interest and boredom. In each of these cases, one emotion dominates and, in doing so, represses the other.

This is, in part, why Dr Kerry Howells‘ work on gratitude in education is so important. When we cultivate a deep sense of gratitude, it forces us out of our own heads. When we feel gratitude, we experience a world that is not ‘about me’ but rather, about the gifts we receive from others. And so – instead of being affected by our own fear or guilt or grudges or worries – gratitude opens our hearts and minds – it allows us to transcend ourselves.

Gratitude isn’t just a nice emotion we feel on a ‘good’ day – it’s a strategy that causes us to educate differently. And because we all have so much to be thankful for, gratitude is a choice…even on a ‘bad’ day.

…especially on a ‘bad’ day.

Published by

David Bott

Bestselling Author: 10 Things Schools Get Wrong | Co-Founder & Chief of Educational Content at Vidaly | Dubai Future Council for Education | Expert in Applied Wellbeing Science

2 thoughts on “Emotion vs Emotion”

  1. This is EXACTLY why I keep a gratitude journal. I will post the link for you! It’s very cool!
    I’m following you please follow me as well. Comments please!!!
    Follow my blog 💙💚
    💚My blog website :

    Gratitude is a Simple, Personal and Private Journal. I use it and simply love the reminders to write down the things I’m grateful for that day. It has made me more humble and appreciative of my blessings and the people behind them. By writing down those my grateful thoughts and penal journey moments it just to be able to open up somewhere, it also keeps me in peace even thru the storms. It’s a process to really know and get understand yourself and this helps bring that desire to life. Check it out👍


    1. Hi Michelle. Thanks very much for your comment and links. I too find gratitude journalling really valuable. It changed my daily perspective significantly.

      As my site is linked to my professional profile, I am sorry that I am unable to follow other personal blogs. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for the writing you are doing too.

      Best wishes, David.


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