Attaining Freedom Through Emotional Agility

Episode 130 1h


How do we want to show up, especially when things get tough? This is a great question to ask ourselves right now.

But many of us are resistant to acknowledging when things just don’t feel all that great. We’ve grown up trying to gloss over uncomfortable feelings and society has put an emphasis on avoiding vulnerability. Being vulnerable and showing up in our difficult emotions are actually super important steps, though, if we want to be emotionally agile.

On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I was excited to chat with Susan David about emotional agility and skills for dealing with the real world from an open and honest place, without running from the feelings that we don’t like.

We kick off our conversation by looking at the differences between emotional fragility versus emotional agility. In this emotionally trying time, it’s important that we feel strong in our ability to handle whatever the world gives us. We don’t always have to be positive and find the silver lining, in fact, evolutionarily it serves us to acknowledge uncomfortable emotions so that we can effectively adapt and shape our experiences. Emotional agility is being compassionate and curious with our thoughts, feelings, stories, and emotions so that we can do that.

Susan explains how societal norms have gotten most of us stuck in a place of rigidity and how we bottle and brood our emotions and stories, rather than sit with them, and why that is so detrimental to everything from our careers to relationships, health, and so many other areas of life.

We discuss how to take value connected steps—physical actions to help us show up in difficult times—so that we can strengthen our emotional agility and find gentle acceptance.

Susan is such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to taking on the emotional and psychological stressors of life, which most of us are feeling especially pressured by right now. I hope you’ll tune in to learn from her insights in this episode.

Get your copy of Emotional Agility here.


This episode is brought to you by Butcher Box, and BiOptimizers. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • The key question that drives Susan’s work

    (3:55 - 7:55)

  • How an invitation to, “write like no one is reading” started Susan on her path to understanding the importance of emotional agility

    (7:37 - 11:37)

  • Emotional agility vs. positive psychology

    (8:50 - 12:51)

  • How bottling and brooding emotions negatively impacts us

    (13:02 - 17:03)

  • How being outpaced by technology has affected our emotional lives

    (17:54 - 21:55)

  • What is emotional agility, and what are values-connected steps?

    (21:22 - 24:05)

  • Why we need to become more aware of how we treat our difficult emotions and do away with the judgement we have about certain emotions

    (34:45 - 37:28)

  • The importance of practicing greater emotional granularity

    (40:02 - 42:45)

  • A tool for working with someone who feels stuck

    (47:52 - 50:35)

  • The emotions of fear, grief, anxiety, and anger that so many of us are feeling during the coronavirus pandemic are normal

    (52:20 - 55:03)

1 of 10

Resources Mentioned

Host & Guests

Back to Content Library
Ep. 130 - Attaining Freedom Through Emotional Agility