One Idea Group Session from Master Your Emotions by Thibaut Meurisse

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This resource will help you facilitate a short session to help a group learn from the One Idea Summary on How Emotions Are Formed.


  • Be able to state the formula that describes how emotions are formed.
  • Describe how to apply the formula to their own lives.


Send a copy of the One Idea Summary on How Emotions Are Formed to the participants one week before the session. They are to read it before the session and bring it with them.


Introduce the session

Introduce the session by sharing the learning objectives with them.

Review the five factors

Put them into pairs and tell each pair to discuss and review the formula that describes how emotions are formed.

Give them 10-minutes.

After 10-minutes stop them. Ask each pair to tell you what they discussed. Make sure their feedback shows that they know and understand the formula. If not, use the One Idea Summary to remind them of the formula.

Next, you will use an example to explain to them how the formula helps us to identify how our emotions are formed.

Example – Using the formula

Use the following script to describe to them how we can use the formula to identify our own emotions.

Read it out to them:

  • The formula we’ve been talking about is INTEPRETATION + IDENTIFICATION + REPETITION = STRONG EMOTIONS.
  • So how can this work in reality? Let me share an example with you.
  • Imagine you’ve just started a new job and you are told that one of the team members is very difficult to get on with.
  • Based on that thought you interpret this colleague not to be very nice even though you’ve never really engaged with him. That’s the INTERPRETATION aspect.
  • You accept the information you were given as true and you keep that on your mind. You plan to be on your guard when you have to deal with this colleague. Now you’ve identified with the thoughts you have about this person. This is the IDENTIFICATION part.
  • Every time you see this person you remember what you were told and what passes through your mind is, “here comes the difficult team member”. You repeat the thoughts these thoughts in your mind, thereby fulfilling the REPETITION aspect.

Ask them this question – What kind of emotions will I be having because of what I was told about the colleague.

  • Listen to their answers. They should say things like, frightened, guarded, cautious, defensive and unfriendly.
  • Tell them, you now want to flip the story.
  • Supposing after being told about the colleague, my reply is, “that may be true but let me find out by myself. Let me get to know him first before deciding what I think of him.”
  • That will that change my interpretation of the situation from the way I interpreted it previously.
  • Since I have interpreted the situation in a more positive way, I identify with the situation more positively, repeat positive thoughts in my mind and the emotions I generate are likely to be more positive.
  • So, you can see how important our interpretation of a situation is and how this formula if used properly can help us manage our emotions and how we respond to situations.
  • Now it’s your turn to think about how to use the formula.

Your turn to practice

To get them to practice using the formula:

  • Split them into pairs.
  • Tell them to take turns talking about a situation that they interpreted negatively and what kind of emotions it generated.
  • As they talk about the situation, they should use the formula to analyse it.
  • For the same situation they should try changing their interpretation of it to something more positive and discuss what different emotion might have been generated and how they might have responded differently.
  • Give them 20-minutes for the activity, 10-minutes for each person.

After 20-minutes stop them and ask for feedback from each person. Take the time to listen to them without interrupting.

When you finish listening to their feedback, thank them for doing the activity and move on to review and conclude the session.


To review the session tell them that:

  • During this session we explored a formula that can help us identify how strong emotions are formed.
  • We first reviewed the One Idea Summary on ‘How Emotions Are Formed’.
  • Then I discussed an example of how the formula may work in reality.
  • Then you had some practice discussing an experience with each other and using the formula to analyse that experience.
  • The formula we discussed is quite a simple formula and you can use it in your day-to-day life to manage your emotions. Particularly you can use it to alter negative emotions to more positive emotions.
  • But remember you’ve got to practice using the formula for it to work for you.

After that end the session.

End the session

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