Inside Out 2: Navigating teenage confusion

Disney's Inside Out 2, assures us that it’s okay to feel how you feel.

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Riley who gave us a peak into our primary emotions in 2015 is now a teenager, secure with herself and comfortably navigating life with Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger in control. Then Anxiety shows up. Yikes!

(Spoiler alert!)


“Ever since that alarm went off, nothing here seems to work anymore! ”

The movie starts off with Riley entering High School and encountering not only new people but an avalanche of new emotions. With the introduction of Anxiety, Embarassment, Envy, Boredom and Sarcasm, Riley’s sense of self is overwhelmed.

Image taken from Disney

“Maybe This Is What Happens When You Grow Up. You Feel Less Joy”

As we learned in the first Inside Out movie, all emotions has a job to do and is equally important. It’s important not to suppress how we feel just because other’s think that we should be happy all the time. Everything we feel is valid but it is  the choices and decisions we make on what we do that really matter!

Inside Out 2 looks at secondary emotions like embarrassment, envy and guilt. These are emotions that have been derived  from our mindset and thoughts.  While processing these feelings may feel awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes hard, we need to go through these emotions to find helpful coping strategies.

What helps you to cope with tricky situations and emotions? Journaling, exercising, chatting with a friend? It starts with understanding yourself and finding what works for you.

Image taken from Disney

“Anxiety Would Have A Plan For That”

Anxiety, often perceived as a negative emotion, is actually a necessary feeling that helps us anticipate threat and decide on protective actions. However, when  Anxiety is allowed to reign unabated, that’s when trouble or a disorder may start.

Often this starts with our thoughts getting trapped in negative loops. Cognitive Distortion, such as catastrophizing or black and white thinking are patterns of negative thoughts that prevents us from seeing the truth of a situation.

While it is easy to give in to these thoughts, Inside Out 2, shows us a way that could help ease out anxious thoughts by using a comfy purple chair and a cup of tea to soothe Anxiety. Well, besides getting comfy to calm down, it would be good also to challenge those nasty thoughts so that we keep Anxiety in it’s place.

Image taken from Disney

“Why Don’t We Take A Seat In Our Special Chair?”

In the movie, as the different emotions try to help Riley regain her sense of self, we get it that exploring new emotions and allowing these to find it’s place in our lives is part of the journey.

Experiencing the range of highs and lows, new situations and responsibilities can be scary and anxiety provoking. Perhaps in those moments, taking a step back and sitting on our comfy purple chair, to assess what we are feeling and why we are feeling this way, is the best way forward to untangling the confusion and finding out the new person that we are becoming.

Read more articles on related topics:

Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety Disorder





Bad Thoughts

Reframing negative thoughts

Managing emotions

Managing Emotions



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