One medical doctor (he asked me not to use his real name), after reading my book, contacted me saying that instead of shutting down emotions that bother you, it’s wiser to turn to a trained professional—a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker—for help. I couldn’t agree or disagree with him, because it all depends on an individual and his or her specific situation. For example, suppose you wish to decrease or completely get rid of the anxiety that you feel before a job interview. What’s wrong with trying to learn how to control it using your natural resources? After all, this is what you instinctively do many times a day, and all you need is to observe how your body and mind pull it off. Do you really want to see a mental-health professional with every little thing?
Nobody seems to argue against children (and especially adults) to be potty trained, even though holding it in is not exactly natural. Being potty trained—as banal as this example may sound—really helps us to live in a civilized society. I see control of emotions as a next step in societal development.
The method explained in Secret Techniques for Controlling Sadness, Anger, Fear, Anxiety, and Other Emotions is ancient. It took me more than two decades to learn it well enough to clearly explain it to others. The method works remarkably well in real life, and I hope that somebody will find it valuable. At the very least, it’s an unusual (to a modern reader in the West) approach that provides the reader with an alternative solution to an emotional problem.