Inside Out 2: 5 Hidden Messages

Inside Out 2

Inside Out 2: 5 Hidden Messages

Written By: Shaundtrya Ganasan, Licensed Counselor (KB11097)

Inside Out 2 is running successfully in theatres; capturing the soul of many. It pictures complex emotions in a humorous yet deep portrayal. Although the movie emphasized Anxiety, other emotional significance was not compromised as well. The end credits with Joy and Dark Secret also show us their possible future link to the upcoming sequels.

In the previous article, we have introduced the new emotions of Inside Out 2. Let us further dive into the hidden messages from the movie:

Lessons from Inside Out 2
1. Anxiety is Not the Villain
Inside Out 2

Anxiety is portrayed negatively at the beginning of the movie, but at the end of the day, it just wants Riley to be safe and secure from facing possible challenges in the future. Our anxiety serves the purpose of keeping us safe. It gets costly only when our anxiety is too overwhelming and dominates our emotional controller (imagining extreme worst-case scenarios, going against your sense of self to keep you safe, and brainstorming unhealthy quick fixes). Balancing Anxiety is the key to a balanced emotional landscape.

Reminder: If you or your loved one are struggling with mental health issues, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at Soul Mechanics KD or Soul Mechanics Ipoh.
Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but strength!

2. Sense of Self

Our sense of self is what shapes who we truly are and during challenges, it can be fragile and easily broken. Maintaining its fragility even through tough times is very much crucial. True self-discovery comes when we learn to integrate all our experiences, be they good or bad into our authentic self of sense; just like the climax of Inside Out 2.

Inside Out 2

Initially, Joy built Riley's sense of self with happy memories, shaping the "I am a good person" core belief. When Anxiety took over, it disrupted this foundation, replacing it with negative memories which eventually modified her core belief into "I am not good enough". True growth comes when we embrace all these experiences including the ones that Dark Secret hold in creating a more balanced sense of self.

3. Forcing Positivity Can’t Save Us
Inside Out 2

Joy is shown to prioritize pure happiness for Riley, fearing change and uncertainties, which makes Joy dominate the influence of other emotions in Riley's life. Seeing Anxiety taking control, it feels like a failure for Joy. Nevertheless, Joy learns that true happiness comes when we learn to embrace all emotions including Sadness and Anxiety. There are no good or bad emotions, all emotions are a part of us. In the end, Joy along with other emotions together is what makes Riley accept her true, authentic self.

4. Joy ONLY if We Allow All Emotions to Exist Together

True and meaningful Joy comes when we allow all emotions to exist while suppressing them. For instance, Sadness is our natural response to shortcomings in life and it helps us to validate our experiences. By acknowledging and embracing our emotions like Sadness, we begin to heal and prevent pent-up emotions; fostering healing.

Inside Out 2

Remember, every emotion, including the ones like Anxiety and Fear stems from an inner desire to protect us. Instead of numbing them, we can start embracing them and understanding their root to work on them healthily. That is when we can experience a heartfelt joy. After all even Joy Inside Out has a tinge of Sadness in her hair and eyes.

5. Our Emotions Don’t Define Us
Inside Out 2

Our emotions don't define who we are. Riley slowly lost her sense of self when emotions, especially Anxiety and Joy decided who she should be and made of. Emotions are a part of us that influence our thoughts, choices and actions. But not a single emotion can fully make or define our very own sense of self.

Journaling for Emotional Processing

When our emotions are struggling with each other to hold our emotional controller, journaling can be a beneficial aid. It would help you to sit down to process those emotions more calmly. Below are some benefits of journaling:

Inside Out 2
Reflecting on Experiences

Journaling can help you to reflect and process your day-to-day experiences, providing you with a safe space to venture into them. This habit can lead to enhanced self-awareness and understanding towards emotions.

Tracking Emotional Patterns

Through journaling, you can track your emotional patterns, aiding you to identify your triggers and develop strategies to manage them. This can especially be a beneficial tool to navigate us through the complexity of growing and emotions.

Expressing Emotions Safely

Journaling also offers you a private space to express your emotions freely without any judgment. This can be therapeutic to many of us to release and process our pent-up emotions.


Start your self-reflection journey with Soul Mechanics Journal. May your healing journey begin with us. You can purchase our SM WHO Journal here.

Enhancing Problem-Solving

Journaling about your challenges not only helps you to process it but to brainstorm healthier solutions. Just like in Inside Out 2 where Anxiety dominated Riley's brainstorming, which came up with unhealthy ideas, when you calmly process things, you can generate effective ones.

Celebrating Growth & Milestones

Just like how Joy treasures Riley’s valuable memories as core memories; journaling your journey can help you to look back and celebrate your little to big achievements. This can boost your confidence and cultivate a healthy self-image or sense of self.

Therapy’s Role

In the journey of navigating through complex, therapy can be a guiding light. Therapy assists you in understanding those emotions and working on them healthily and effectively. Below are some benefits of therapy in processing complex emotions:

Reminder: If you or your loved one are struggling with mental health issues, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at Soul Mechanics KD or Soul Mechanics Ipoh.
Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but strength!

Provides a Safe Space

Therapy provides you with a safe space to explore your emotions, especially the underlying ones. A therapist can help you to understand complex emotions and guide you through the complexity of them.

Enhance Emotional Intelligence

Through therapy, you learn to recognise and address your emotions, especially when they tag along with anger; enhancing your emotional intelligence. This can improve your overall relationship and well-being with yourself and others.

Fostering Self-Compassion

A professional therapist can also guide you to develop self-compassion; encouraging you to treat yourself with more kindness and understanding, particularly during tough times. This can lead towards enhanced mental health and emotional well-being.

Develop Healthy Coping

Therapy equips you with effective and healthier coping strategies to manage anxiety, stress, anger, shame, guilt and other complex emotions. This includes personalized therapeutic tools, mindfulness techniques, and breathing exercises; further navigating you towards healthier responses to stressors and overwhelming emotions.

Cultivating Resilience

Therapy can also guide you to build resilience gradually. It provides you with the strength to bounce back from the challenges and setbacks life puts in front of you. A professional therapist would also further guide you to have a more optimistic outlook on life and view challenges as opportunities for growth and wisdom.


In short, Inside Out 2 is a must-watch for everyone. It is a good start to introduce complex emotions to your growing children as well. For adults, we feel you, the movie gives a sense of comfort and is relatable to our day-to-day emotional experiences, especially how Anxiety Attack feels.

Inside Out 2

Remember, emotions don't define us. They are a messenger of what is going on within us. They are a guide to work on our internal emotional landscape.

Don't forget to watch Inside Out 2 in your nearest cinemas! Enjoy the show! Please leave us your views in the comments!

If you’re looking for a therapist in Kota Damansara or Ipoh area, you can click here for more information.

If you enjoyed reading this, why not broaden the horizon of knowledge by learning about "Inside Out 2: Review and Analysis"? You can read the blog here.

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