Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
An Interview with Judith Orloff, MD on her new book, Emotional Freedom
By Barbara Stahura
Barbara: Why did you write Emotional Freedom?
Judith Orloff M.D. I’m passionate about teaching people to transform negative emotions into positive ones. If you get mired in the muck of negativity, you can’t lead a liberated, happy life. As a physician, I see that most people don’t have the everyday tools to transform frustration, depression, anxiety, worry, and fear into positive emotions. This book is a how-to guide that offers you these tools.
I work in a mainstream medical system that doesn’t generally deal with emotions in an expanded way. As a UCLA psychiatric resident I learned to prescribe medications and use traditional psychotherapy. In this book, I also bring spirituality, subtle energy, and intuition into this equation and offer strategies that go beyond mainstream medicine.
Another powerful reason I wrote this book is that I watched my mother, a physician, literally loose her life to stress and fear. I loved her more than anything, but I didn’t want to do the same thing to myself, as I have similar tendencies.
Barbara: What is emotional freedom, and why is it so important for individuals and our world today?
Judith Orloff MD: Emotional freedom is your ability to love by cultivating positive emotions and being able to compassionately witness and transform negative ones, whether they’re yours or another’s. This skill liberates you from fear and lets you navigate adversity without attacking someone, losing your cool, or being derailed by negativity. With emotional freedom you can choose to react constructively rather than relinquishing command of the situation when your buttons get pushed (This book is unrelated to the tapping technique of the same name).
Barbara: What is the role of compassion in emotional freedom?
Judith Orloff MD: Compassion is key because unless you have self-compassion, it’s hard to heal difficult emotional states. And also when a loved one is going through a trying time, being compassionate without judging them is essential. My spiritual teacher says we make progress on the spiritual path by beating ourselves up a little bit less each day. I believe that. It’s about baby steps.
Barbara: You say that emotions have four crucial components. What are they and why is it vital to know about them?
Judith Orloff MD: To experience emotional freedom it’s necessary to understand these four basic components of emotion: their biology, spirituality, energy, and psychology. With fear, frustration, loneliness, worry, and more, the book teaches you to proactively shift your biochemistry as well as your energy, and to see the spiritual and psychological meaning of what you’re going through. This will give you all the tools you need to change.