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Jul 07, 2010

Serenity Now, Insanity Later

Seinfeld is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. Thankfully, my husband has the entire series on DVD, so we watch the show quite a bit for some great laughs. The other night we watched its Serenity Now episode. In this episode, several characters say the phrase "Serenity Now" to calm themselves down during times of stress, frustration, or anger. At first the characters find this phrase extremely helpful, but as time goes, they realize that this phrase doesn't help them with their emotions at all. One character even shares, "Serenity now; insanity later." I immediately entered into what I call counselor mode. I told my husband, "They're just pushing everything under the rug! They're not processing anything. No wonder they're losing it." As counselors we really focus on processing. How does that make you feel? What are you feeling at this exact moment? If your tapping foot could talk, what would it say? Can you stay with that emotion? Where in your body do you feel your anger and stress? Tell me more about (fill-in-the-blank). Processing is extremely difficult, but it is extremely empowering as it allows us to understand our current emotional and mental state. Processing brings us peace after we suffer through the insanity of wading in our emotional waters. So, perhaps the Seinfeld saying should be reversed. Insanity Now, Serenity Later. Click here for a brief montage of clips from the Serenity Now episode:

Courtnay Veazey is a graduate student at Mississippi State University pursuing a Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling and working as a graduate assistant at MSU's Career Center

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