Do You “Own” Your Emotional World?

Dr. William K. Larkin

Archutecture BrainWe can learn from positive emotion or we can learn from negative emotion, but we WILL be given the chance to learn from one or the other.

You may even know some who seem to learn from neither one.

I choose to learn from positive emotion. It’s a powerful way to build the “emotional architecture” of my brain in an UpSpiral.

I never pretend to be happy,

I don’t have to.

I never pretend to have positive emotions.

They’re just there.

I don’t have to convince myself that there can be a positive outcome to a negative situation.Dismount2

I know there always is, and over and over and over again, like the agility of a perfect Olympic dismount, it lands me on my feet.

Here’s the decision we have to make.

I OWN my world and my emotional reaction to it. I will build a muscle of peace so strong that I can flex that muscle on call, by my own choice.

I have decided to use any small negative event as a cue to go to peace. And I pulse it: peace, peace, peace, peace, peace.

Own ItRooted in a decision not be controlled by conditions outside of me, I practice this until my positive neuropathways are stronger than my negative ones.

It is not that I repress my negativity. That is not the problem here. It is not that I deny it. It is that I choose to do a different thing with negativity when it happens.

I choose to go to peace, peace, peace, peace, and the emotional muscle of going to it with immediacy.

I can get to peace as quickly as I can get to anger and anxiety if I practice it.

For me, it is exactly the same as meditation. I learn that I can LET GO of the negative and have a different response.

I’m not denying. I’m choosing differently.

It is the cumulative little things that get on top of us. It is the cumulative little things adding up, one after another, that become the many straws that break the camel’s back.

And it is all because our negative emotions are undisciplined, and our positive emotions are flabby and weak.Choose Wisely

There has to be an early decision to live a style of life where the conditions “out there” are not going to have as much control as the muscles of good emotions on the inside of us.

But they have to be grown, developed, and exercised.

Try this.

Don’t deny negative experiences, but instead make a decision for emotional facility and true emotional agility. Use a negative event as a cue to practice FEELING a positive feeling, growing it, flexing it, strengthening it.

What possible good do you think it does you to get irritated and frustrated, and even hopeless, over “the little things?”

SONY DSCHow do you want to feel?

How many positive emotions and for how long and how much do you want to feel them during your day?

How about practicing a different emotion all day long?

Take for example gratitude.

What if you intentionally practiced feeling gratitude all day long for 3 days?

Then try out hope for three days, just practice feeling hope.

You can choose what you feel, and you will find that what you feel defines who you are more than anything else about you.

How you feel will affect how you think, how you behave, and how you interact with life.






About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Swanstar98

    I love that the work here at ANI addresses both our thinking and our feeling, both are important aspects of ourselves. What’s being encouraged here is a form of right relationship. The thinking being advocated is “the decision.” What power there is in my conscious thought that I decide. I decide to pulse peace. I decide to “OWN my world and my emotional reaction to it.” And it’s a reciprocal experience, as soon as that decision is made and I begin the work of building muscles of peace, gratitude, love, joy, and hope (pulsing each emotion), my thoughts are different thoughts. By making that choice I open myself up to the experience that Fredrickson’s research supports. I experience “broaden-and-build” in my life. My thoughts are not so narrow and short-sighted. I’m able to broaden my “momentary thought-action repertoires,” because I’m feeling positive emotions, and for this same reason I’m able to “build enduring personal resources.”

  • Gina Beaney

    I just love that when negativity is around me I can pulse peace,peace, peace, peace. i see the negative and sometimes it starts to try to take hold of me and I remember with excitement that I have a choice. I have in my toolbox saying the positive emotion of peace over and over again. Quietly I just repeat this to myself and it keeps me in a positive state of mind. It also feels so good to repeat the same emotion over and over again. I find it meditative.

  • Kathleen Burkhalter

    I used to be bothered when I encounter negativity, but not anymore. I know it is out there, but I respond to it by pulsing positive emotions and staying above it. The is very, very important for me, because I need to stay exceptionally positive. I do notice the world is a very negatively biased place. But I feel compassion not annoyance at people, because I used to be more negatively biases. I know how that feels, but I don’t feel that way anymore. For three years I have actively worked on rewiring my brain. I still have hurdles, I am still intimidated by doctors, but I am building my reservoirs of positivity, and keeping in a warm bath of hope. I feel in charge of my brain now. I love being positive!

  • Dr. gloria wright

    Well, there is some merit in, “fake it til you make it.” Which means in the early stages of learning, you may have to think positive emotions until you begin to feel them. You may have to redirect your thoughts to the positive – over and over and over…. Then, bam, they are there when you need them. They become your active default MOD. It’s like going to the gym. You move to the place where you don’t want to NOT go. Always a choice. And don’t underestimate the build up of practice. Progress is that you have less negative thoughts and feelings. You don’t stay in a slump as long. And your recovery is quicker.

  • joseph967

    If we are co-creators, we must look at this negative emotion from a positive state of mind. After pulsing and feeling peace and refocusing on getting back into a up spiral . We could shift are thinking on the now. Once we are in the now then we could look at this situation from a positive perspective. I find that when I start to feel negative emotions, I say just this,and start to pulse on peace and love which removes the illusion of fear. Focus is the key to staying in the now.

  • Joe_Mojo

    To me, the kernel of this blog entry is ‘I have decided to use any small negative event as a cue to go to peace. And I pulse it: peace, peace, peace, peace, peace.’ I have decided. I have this choice and I am choosing to be positive. At the point I make that choice and act on it I own my emotional world. I also see it as a great exercise to add to my emotional gym. It cures learned helplessness with learned positivity in the moment and is a great method for remaining in flow. I plan to combine this with practicing a different emotion all day long. To me, practicing an emotion for the course of a day is an expansion of pulsing. I will write a different positive emotion into my daily plan, and incorporate it into my post it notes. I see this a a key, a major part, in tipping my positivity ratio toward my 5 to 1 goal. Great content!

  • Yogess1111

    I wish I could say I no longer have negative emotions, but I am catching them more quickly and so much more mindful of the company I keep in my head. I notice and acknowledge the thought and then make a conscious choice to switch to a positive thought. I am living a much more pleasant and fulfilling life working to stay in the positive flow.

  • MaryUtley

    Awareness leads to choice which leads to change. Still working on the in- the- moment awareness…

  • Mary Garvey Horst

    This article for me is an empowered statement of neuropositivity. I consider this to be a “Manifesto of NeuroPositivity” all the way from “I choose to learn from positive emotion” down to “I’m not denying. I’m choosing differently.” After those two sentences, Dr. Larkin seems to be explaining with greater clarity what this manifesto or credo means and invites others to adopt this perspective. My belief is that once one comes from this level of clarity and commitment, a neuropositive brain naturally evolves. I reread this out loud for myself substituting my own name in place of the “I” statements.

  • A Pyatt

    *if this is a duplicate, I apologize, as it is not showing up on my computer…
    Every day we make choices and I believe this relates to what you choose to do with the negativity that erupts around you. You can use the negativity as a tool to firm your positivity muscle (Upward Spiral), or you can choose to be negative and on a Downward Spiral. But what ever the choice may be, you have to own it and stand in it. You have to know within your heart that this is your choice, be aware of it, and move forward with it. The term ‘you have to feel it to heal it’ comes to mind. I can decide to wallow in my negative misery (stay in the negative occurrence) or I can be willing to go with the downstream to a more positive place. It’s simply about changing the way you would normally handle a negative situation. Or as I have often said, ‘it’s a necessary shift’.

  • Joanne E Harrington

    In the course being taught by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, she underscores the point that positive emotions are fleeting whereas negative ones linger and have a stronger impact. No wonder then that we have to learn to learn to increase the intensity, duration and immediacy of the emotions we practice in the Gym. It takes 90 days to change a habit and as Dr. Larkin has said, it takes a few years to become truly proficient in developing the mindfulness required to be in the high 90’s in the UpSprial. I notice that the Spiral serves as an emotional thermometer. I am tuned into the alignment of my feelings, thoughts and focus – my VibeCore. Deviations of a few points in my emotional thermometer are quite noticeable to me now. There are personal affirmations that I will be taking away from this blog and adding to my daily Emotional Gym exercises and sharing with my clients.

  • MaryUtley

    I really like the notion of owning our emotional state and not thinking that emotions ‘just happen’ to us because of what is happening on the outside of us. Taking full accountability for our total experience, what we are thinking, feeling and wanting is the first part of being powerful. The second part is the capacity to respond effectively to our experience. Being aware of the UpSpiral and the DownSpiral reminds us we always have choice.

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