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How Our Emotions Impact Our Lives: Inside Out 2 Film Preview!

Are you planning on watching Inside Out 2 at the cinema? Here in the SPRINT Project, we are excited to watch the new Pixar film which follows main character Riley through the perspective of her emotions, as she navigates challenges that we can all relate to.

By framing our feelings and emotional experiences as discrete emotion categories, and incorporating some more complex experiences such as anxiety, Inside Out 2 explores how our internal emotional world shapes how we interact with the outside world.

Characters that reflect Riley’s emotions work together in Riley’s mind to consolidate emotional experiences into lasting memories. But the emotion characters are often in conflict, with one or two key characters taking more control. This impacts negatively upon Riley’s emerging Sense of Self, leading to her experiencing self-doubt. The film also highlights some key emotion regulation processes, such as an emotion regulation strategy called expressive suppression. Here, Anxiety forces Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust into a locked jar, preventing these emotions from being outwardly expressed by Riley.

Image description: Screenshot from the Inside Out 2 official trailer showing Joy, Anger, Sadness, Disgust and Fear being held in a locked jar.

If like Riley some of your own emotional characters feel too big, difficult or controlling, while others feel too small or locked away, why not explore some of the emotion regulation-related resources on the SPRINT Project website? Here you can learn about and practice managing different emotions using adaptive techniques and strategies. Grounding techniques, such as deep breathing, giving yourself a big bear hug and counting backwards can help us to feel more calm when we are particularly worried or anxious. You can access our infographics that explain these techniques and more here. You can also access our interactive page, which explains how to create plans that can be used to deal with future situations that we think might be stressful, known as if/then planning, and build your Dream Team to identify and learn about your positive social support network.

You can work through these resources with support from someone you trust or use them to support someone you care for.

By taking back control from big or difficult emotions, we can limit how much they interfere with how we view ourselves and interact with the world, and make more room for positive experiences and emotions, like Joy!

“You don’t get to choose who Riley is. Anxiety, you need to let her go.” Quote from Joy, ‘Inside Out 2’.

Image description: Screenshot from the Inside Out 2 official trailer showing Joy punching the air in excitement in the Headquarters of Riley’s mind, with other emotion characters surrounding her.


You can check out the Inside Out 2 YouTube trailer here.

If you have already watched Inside Out 2 or are planning to watch it in the coming weeks, let us know what you think about it by getting in touch using the ‘Contact Us’ form below!


Image credit: Pixar and YouTube.

Written by Dr Sally Reynard, Post Doctoral Researcher in the SPRINT Project.

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