“Inside Out 2”: Navigating the Anxious Emotional Labyrinth

Inside Out 2: New emotions including anxiety?

Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” invites us back into the mind of Riley, now a 13-year-old facing the tumultuous journey of adolescence. The film introduces new emotions, each with its own quirks and complexities. But at its core, “Inside Out 2” is a poignant exploration of how emotions shape our lives.

New emotions

Our familiar friends—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust—return, but they’re not alone. Meet the newcomers:

  1. Embarrassment: A blushing, fumbling emotion that thrives on awkward moments.
  2. Ennui: The embodiment of boredom, perpetually sighing and rolling its eyes.
  3. Envy: Green with jealousy, always peeking over others’ shoulders.
  4. Anxiety: The star of our discussion, a jittery companion that deserves special attention.

Anxiety UncoveredInside Out 2: Anxiety

In the film, anxiety takes centre stage as Riley grapples with growing up. It’s not just about school dances and first crushes; it’s about the weight of expectations, the fear of rejection, and the uncertainty of the future.

But here’s where Inside Out 2 goes astray, making anxiety it’s own emotion. Don’t get me wrong, many will tell you that’s what anxiety is but….anxiety isn’t a standalone emotion; it’s a concoction—a bubbling cauldron of feelings.

Imagine a pot simmering in your stomach, its contents being added to over time with a mix of anger, frustration, boredom and more. Anxiety stirs the pot, creating a symphony of emotions that can overwhelm us, particularly when that pot is full and another emotion is added.

Anxiety and panic is the alarm bell from your body shouting “Pay attention or there’ll be a messy outcome!”

The Visual Feast

Pixar’s animation prowess shines in “Inside Out 2.” The mind’s inner workings come alive: glowing tendrils weave memories, underground lakes reflect forgotten dreams, and abstract thought takes the form of a surreal library. The visuals are a feast for the imagination, drawing us into Riley’s emotional landscape.

Teenage Turmoil

As Riley faces puberty, her emotions go haywire. Joy tries to keep the ship steady, but Anxiety tugs at the wheel. The film captures the chaos of teenage emotions—the rollercoaster of highs and lows, the sudden bursts of anger, and the quiet moments of sadness.

The Message

“Inside Out 2” gently reminds us that emotions aren’t isolated islands; they’re interconnected. When we ignore the pot simmering within, it boils over. Acknowledging our feelings—big and small—is essential. Many of them are unconsciously sent by our body and easy to miss. It’s not weakness; it’s wisdom.


So, next time you feel that familiar flutter in your stomach, remember: it’s not just anxiety—it’s a medley of emotions vying for attention. Take a deep breath, don’t try tackle everything in the pot at that moment but notice what emotion was added that needs your attention. After all, life’s most beautiful symphonies emerge from the those intertwined emotions.

If you want some helpful tools to tackle anxiety, Health Recovery Therapy offers both an online course and one-to-one Zoom therapy sessions. 😊🎥

Saul Levitt, Health Recovery Therapy

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