The “Pivot” To Positive Emotion

brain-harmony2Learning to grow a more positive mind is a process.

You are beginning to tell your brain to spend more time feeling positive emotion than negative emotion. Your brain will resist you until neuropositivity has built new neuropathways that are more in charge than the old, negative ones.

This is the activity of brain neuroplasticity.

This can sound like a simple denial of negative emotion. We have been taught that we must “air” negative feelings, that they are dangerous if they are internalized and repressed. While it isn’t true that we have to air every negative feeling or thought, what is important is acknowledging them for whatever feedback or information they give.

There is a difference between ignoring negative feelings and not staying in them longer than necessary and becoming stuck in them. If negative feelings are, in part, mechanisms of feedback, let them tell you what they have to tell you, and then use them as a cue to pivot to a positive emotion.

You can’t solve a problem from a negative place, the level at which the problem was created,  so get to a positive place and then deal with the negative situation.

However, it is important to realize that emotions are more than just a feedback mechanism to tell us that something is good or bad. Emotions are what we live in throughout the day.

For many, negative emotion is where they live, along with their mental disorders that surely take up residence in that DownSpiral life style.

Negative emotions are, for sure, an alerting system to get us to move.

However, we don’t have to stay in the negative emotion for it to do its job. Some negative emotion is simply a learned cycle of negativity with an addictive payoff at the end. Most addictions are couched in negative cycles of emotion.

Once again, you can have a negative feeling, acknowledge it, but you don’t have to live there.

Make a choice to live in positive emotions where you can find the solutions to the negative issues.

Your creativity,  your State Of Mind of greater harmony and peace, fueled by your strengths, exist in the positive emotions of the UpSpiral.

Negative emotion, then, becomes our cue to go to the Emotional Gym and to begin pulsing love, peace, gratitude, joy, or hope. In the face of a problem or negativity, you are exercising a whole other part of your brain as you begin to make this pivot.

You are moving from the automatic, negative, fear reactive territory of the brain to another place in the brain, that allows you to feel differently, and then to behave differently.

Your response can become less automatic and more effectively positive because you will be coming from a place in your brain where you can exercise more control over your emotions.

Where do you live in your emotions?

Where you live emotionally defines who you are.






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© Dr. William K. Larkin 

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Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Shuhan Yang, PHR CPCC ACC

    Our evolutionary past has wired our brains to have a higher alertness and sensitivity towards danger, threat and negativity in the environment. This is what we call as the “negativity bias” in the brain. However that doe not need to be our reality nowadays if we choose to develop new neuropathways in the brain that helps us live in positive emotions most of the time.

    There’s a distinctive difference between denying negative emotions and choosing to focus on positive emotions. Our emotions serve as internal GPS that conveys important messages to us. When we experience positive emotions, we are aligned with our true self; when we experience negative emotions on the other hand, we are given important messages that we need to be more self-aware and focus on positive emotions instead. When we have developed the muscle to live in UpSpiral, we create a buffer against negativity in life; we tend not to dwell in negativity for too long as that place does not serve or resonate with us; we no longer attract negative people or events into our lives. That being said, when we choose to live in UpSpiral, we have a better understanding of who we are and who we are not, and therefore have more control over how we react to the environment and circumstance in our lives.

    Denying negative emotions in and of itself comes from a negative mentality as it usually accompanies shame and low self-esteem, etc. As a matter of fact, most of the addictive behaviors are birthed from escaping from the negative emotions that are not acknowledged. However when we live in UpSpiral, we even approach negative emotions in a positive fashion in that we have little inclination to dwell in a negative place. We also have full access to our strengths and can use them to face difficult situations.

  • Dr. gloria wright

    I don’t think we can prevent negative thoughts and/or feelings, but we can certainly decide that we don’t want to dwell on the negative. When negativity pops up, I stop and reboot. When something wants to worry me, I just keep going back to breathing and focusing on gratitude, love, joy, peace and hope. Sometimes it takes effort to keep refocusing.
    Knowing that we can retrain ourselves and our brains is great news. As we diligently practice positive thoughts, feelings and beliefs, we build new neuropathways.
    After a while, the positive becomes the norm. When a negative perspective comes up, it may be trying to tell us something. It may be
    letting us know that we’re in a toxic relationship. It may just be old habits
    rearing their heads. It may be telling us we’re tired and need to rest or we need to walk in the woods and savor nature.
    Negative thoughts and feelings can be like a caution light to warn us that something isn’t quite right. It may be pulling us back toward our strengths. It may be telling us to take a break.
    I like Dr. Larkin’s reminder: “You can’t solve a problem from a negative place.” Revenge, spite, retaliation and getting even, may seem temporarily like a positive choice, but it rarely is. Challenges are better faced when we’re in a positive space and review how we can use our strengths to find alternatives.
    We can make a choice to keep a positive state of mind, to feel positive emotions and practice positive beliefs – most of the time! 🙂

  • Michelle Carl Rizal

    Life can be an interplay of opposites such as with negatives and positives. My take-away from this blog is to “dance in the moment” by recognizing and acknowledging the negative in our lives—knowing that it is part of us. Our brains have evolved to keep us safe from fear and danger. On the other hand, it is also important to recognize to not let negativity linger far too long or more than necessary. We’ll all been there. We can then “dance in the moment” and use negativity as a cue to pivot to a positive emotion such as love, joy, peace, gratitude and hope. Easy to say and hard to do, but it can be done—over time.

    Moving toward positive neuroplasticity is a learning, evolving, and growth process. Why is it so important to “pivot” and train our brains to do so? Training our brains to be more positive can actually lead to more feelings of flow, creativity, and can build the resilience and psychological capital to navigate the challenges of life. Most importantly, it can lead to thriving cells, mind/body, and a healthier life. From a personal perspective, I honestly wouldn’t be able to do what I do now (both personally and professionally), if I had not learned to pivot to a positive emotion. It can be extremely tough and challenging at times. However, I’ve learned that I have been the most alert, aware, and confident n my life—than I’ve ever been as I reflect back through the years. And, I can only aspire to keep on learning to pivot as part of my life-long personal goal to keep on growing.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute