Archive - May 2017

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Can You “Nuance” Your Emotions?
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Addicted To Negativity?

Can You “Nuance” Your Emotions?

Do you have the capacity to distinguish between love, joy, hope, peace, and gratitude?

I have had a lot of people tell me that they believe the 5 feelings of the Emotional Gym are basically the same.

I tell them that is not the case, that they are different, and that there are clear differences.

An MRI of the brain shows these emotions showing up in different ways.

However, I also tell them that the sameness in this emotional experiencing is an out-picturing of “enmeshment.”

“Enmeshment” refers to unhealthy relationships where boundaries are blurred and self/other differentiation is poor.

No one likes that answer, but it’s the case.

The inability to differentiate between the emotions of the Emotional Gym, or any other emotions for that matter, is a function of appropriateness and boundaries.

If you consider the difficulty we have in just getting people to feel their feelings, is it any wonder that we would have difficulty with differentiation?

Consider the image of our “UpSpiral,” with varied levels of height and depth. The DownSpiral narrows almost to a point, the experience of the narrowing effects in the brain of negativity, often expressed as overwhelm.

The UpSpiral has a broader, wider, more open at the top look and feel to it. And so it’s not a stretch to say that, for example, there are multiple shades of gratitude, a variety of ways in which we can feel love, hope, peace, or joy.

The UpSpiral is the brain on “broaden and build,” building the capacity to nuance our feelings as well as out thoughts and beliefs.

And so, with less enmeshment comes greater distinction between and among the 5 positive emotions of the Emotional Gym.

How?

As you pulse more over time, you move away from “emotional sloppiness” into an experience of greater clarity, not only in what you can feel, but in what you want for your life.

Clarity of desire also begins to move you in relationships from a “sloppy unity” which is usually forced, or even phony, to what we call “embodiment,” the felt experience of real connection.

That is why it is often difficult for very bright people to behave in ways that fit what they know and believe, but fail to do so because they have not developed the emotional integration to carry it off.

© Dr. William K. Larkin

Addicted To Negativity?

Here is the short case for positivity.

You either live most of the time in an UpSpiral of positivity, in a DownSpiral of negativity, or, like most people, yo-yoing up and down.

The goal here is very simple. It is to enable you to get you into an UpSpiral and its benefits, and to get you to keep you there, at a high level of “feeling good,” most of the time. Sound unrealistic? Then your idea of what is real will need to change!

We aren’t aiming for bliss or ecstasy, just “feeling good” most all of the time. You will learn how to manage and have great agility over positivity in such a way that you will develop positive emotional muscle and have a mastery over the use of positive emotion. Do the work and the work will work for you.

Simply put, you can be a happier person and your emotional set-point can grow and become constant in a higher level of positive emotions. Your neuro-positivity can increase as a reality in your own brain.

Here are just a few of the benefits of positive emotions from the emerging research in the field.

Positive emotion enlarges the scope of attention. It broadens your personal access to strengths and increases your choice of options and behavior from your own larger repertoire. Negativity creates a sense of being trapped with no choices because it narrows focus and attention.

Positive emotion increases intuition and creativity. Positive emotion changes our body systems and speeds up recovery from cardiovascular surgery. It alters the nature of frontal lobe asymmetry and increases immune system response. Positive affect predicts good mental and physical health outcomes. It is predictive of increased happiness, stronger resilience to the negative, psychological growth and lower levels of cortisol, as well as reduced inflammation in response to stress. Positive emotion is correlated with resistance to sinus infections and reductions in stroke.

Positivity predicts how long people will live. Positive affect means that you will solve problems more easily, be more creative, and have greater access to the higher functions of strengths and to their range. People stronger in positive emotion score higher on every test of well-being, every test of life satisfaction, and there is increase of healthy functioning at a cellular level.

Positive affect is negatively correlated with generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive behavior, agoraphobia, and social phobia. The list could go on and on.

And with all of these research results firmly in place, we still have a great investment in negativity, in illness, in negative core beliefs, and we have sold out to a notion of “healing” that focuses on the negative, the idolization of modern medicine, and the largest pill-popping culture in history.

We are brainwashed at looking at the problem and finding solutions to them. We are steeped in the co-dependency that fixes and rescues.

If there is such a thing as negativity addiction, it is the culprit here.

We believe that we need negativity to perceive accurately, to be smart, to be clever, to appear intelligent and insightful, and to protect ourselves against our own imagination and our power to create and be great. We believe that we need negativity to be “balanced.”

How much of this “balance” do you want or think you need?

© Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute