An Analysis from the Inside Out

An Analysis from the Inside Out

Emotions are such a fundamental part of who we are that they are often overlooked. In many cases we would wake up one day and immediately feel angry, or sad and then very casually go about our life. It isn't often that one would actually try to decipher why it is that they feel that way. In many cases we would simply make excuses for ourselves because it's easier that way. "It's just Monday" or "It's just one of those days." It can also go further by blaming hormones.

In reference more specifically to an individuals personality, some people are simply more happy and out going than others. The issue that is vastly growing is that many adults do not properly acknowledge their feelings or emotions. This becomes a problem not only for them but for any impressionable children or young adults who follow their example. Not only that, but towards the beginning of puberty the body undergoes many different changes both physically and mentally. Not fully understanding the changes that take place during this curcial time could become problematic with lasting effects occuring into adulthood.

Many different forms of media have been used to address these issues including informational texts, research, lectures and movies. These movies have both been educational and for entertainment purposes. One film in particular is the recent movie Inside Out. It focuses on a young pre-teen girl named Riley and how she deals with moving from one state to another. What makes this particular movie so interesting is that rather than focusing on the people and the situations they find themselves in, it focuses on the actual emotions instead. This creates a unique variation and makes the feelings being addressed more relatable when a face is put to an abstract emotion.

( gif by Me, video from youtube user TheEllenShow )

The emotions that are specifically focused on are joy, anger, disgust, fear and of course sadness. To make the movie more appealing and engaging to children in particular each of these emotions are given personalities that correspond with the emotion they represent. While this has made the film more entertaining and as a result more relatable, many experts have also added that it's a fairly accurate comparison to the changes in mood a child would experience at this point in their development. In addition to this a number of experts in the field of child psychology have even referenced this film to help young children identify their feelings and cope with sudden changes in their life.

Dr Elisabeth Guthrie, a child psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University Medical Center, plans to use the film in sessions with children. She states, ""I thought it was helpful in putting feelings into words, for helping kids identify their feelings and start a dialogue about it."" In addition to this she also added, ""If a kid is feeling sad or if a kid is acting out and they’ve seen that movie, I can use that as a reference point."" In theory this would prove to be helpful in aiding children express and explain their feelings and the actions as a result. Subsequently it would also be useful to teens and even adults who may have difficulties expressing or even understanding their own feelings.

From the eyes of a child an adult is never scared and always a pillar of strength. Likewise a child is usually expected to be more happy than sad. It could be confusing to a child to see an adult they look up behave in a way that does not immediatly fit their role. These false pre-conseved notions are mentioned numerious times within the film taking a very real problem and indirectly acknowledging it. When this film is looked at through the eyes of an adult who may be watching it with a child, it challenges them to rethink how they address their own feelings and tackle difficult situations.

( Img by blog at SurprisingTreasures )

Understandably so, not too many adults would want to show any negative emotion around a child but when given enough thought it actually shows them how to deal with what their feelings when they happen to be upset or angry about something in particular. A primary example of this is shown in Inside Out. Rileys parents are just as upset about the drastic move as she is. However, they don't properly acknowldge this around her therefore she holds in her negative feelings until she can no longer control her emotions (or doesn't understand how or what to do with them).

This situation isn't resolved properly until the family openly shares their saddess over the move and everyone is able to comfort each other.

Regardless one fact is obvious for everyone (young and old alike), Inside Out does an excellent job of portraying how important emotions are. Aside from pointing out that they are just as significant as logical reasoning, they also explain in a practical way that all emotions, good and bad are equally important. Furthermore, it lays a foundation to demonstrate a healthy way of expressing these, and all emotions.

( gif by Me, video from youtube user TheEllenShow )

Therefore, while this film is entertaining for all ages it is also just as educational. On the surface it may seem like a light hearted family movie but it also relays an important message. Inside Out uses colorful characters to educate children on the functions of their emotions and show that utilizing all of them congruently is an important part of growing up.

This is also beneficial to teens and adults by demonstrating that through better emotional expression they can become more effective role models. What many people forget as they become adults are how to integrate their emotions into daily life. All too often we forget that taking care of our emotional health is just as important as maintaining an overall healthy well-being.