Episode Episode 2: Facing Our Fears This Emotional Life - PBS

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Episode 2: Facing Our Fears

Why do we have negative emotions and how can we best manage them?

In the second episode, Facing Our Fears, we look at emotions that are commonly regarded as obstacles to happiness — such as anger, fear, anxiety, and despair.

Our brains are designed for survival, and the negative emotions they create are vital to that mission. But those negative emotions can spiral out of control with debilitating effects. We meet a woman whose inability to control her temper is jeopardizing her relationships, a college student whose fear of flying is limiting her life and a teenager who is struggling to overcome clinical depression on the eve of attending college. We also meet veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and follow their journeys to find effective treatment.

Across the episode, science reminds us that we are of two minds — a rational brain that’s relatively new and an emotional brain that’s older than time. Sometimes emotion overwhelms reason, sometimes reason outwits emotion, and it is the endless struggle that makes our lives so painful, so joyous and so interesting.