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Brené Brown helps us to understand our feelings in her latest book Atlas of the Heart

‘What happens when we don’t have a vocabulary that’s as expansive as the human experience?’

When Dr Brené Brown shared her decades of work in several best-selling books and a TEDx Talk that has been viewed more than 50 million times, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon were among those hailing her ability to help people understand and process their emotions.

Now Dr Brown has just released her latest book, Atlas of the Heart, which reveals that we experience more emotions than we realise.

Watch Brené Brown on The Morning Show in the video player above

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She joined The Morning Show from her home in Texas, where she began by revealing how she enjoyed playing herself in a cameo role alongside comic actors Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph in the 2019 film, Wine Country.

“Oh my god, you have no idea how hard it was to keep a straight face because I’m not an actor, I was just like, ‘these are the funniest women in the world, like what’s happening?’” she recalled.

Brown then spoke about how her new book explains that most people have as many as 87 emotions, most of which are not being regularly tapping into.

“I was so shocked with this research. Six or seven years ago we surveyed people, ‘how many emotions can you identify in yourself as you’re experiencing them?’

“My guess was seven or eight, it turned out to be three - happy, sad and angry.

“And so I thought to myself, what happens when we don’t have a vocabulary that’s as expansive as the human experience. We end up shoving nuanced experiences like disappointment, resentment, awe, wonder, surprise, anxiety into big buckets.

“What research shows us is the more granular we are in the ability to name and label emotions, the better we can manage them, the better we can move through them, heal from them if they’re difficult emotions. Or replicate them if they are positive emotions that we want more of in our lives.

“This idea of emotional granularity is vitally important to wellbeing,” she explained.

Brown has spoken with a number of celebrities as the host of her own podcast and revealed what message she has taken away from those chats.

“Probably something that I’ve been thinking about a lot which is, our power comes from our wholeness.

“So often we compartmentalise ourselves. Our work selves, our parent selves, our partner selves, our this selve.

“But our power comes from our wholeness and we can’t orphan parts of ourselves out of the fear that they don’t belong, and that people will say, ‘don’t be a mum around here you’re at work’ or ‘don’t be a boss around here’.

“No, this is me, all me, lots of different pieces and I’m keeping it whole,” she explained.

Brené Brown’s latest book Atlas of the Heart is available here

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