Reciprocal Inhibition

Big words, big concept but the concept has a simple definition.  You can’t feel contrary emotions at the same time.  Try it.  Try to feel love and hate at the same time.  Try to feel anger and forgiveness at the same time.  Try to feel eager and lazy at the same time.  It doesn’t work.  Emotions that don’t match not only cannot exist together, but the stronger one cancels out the weaker one.  How do you define the stronger emotion?  It is the one that you can get to most easily and quickest; it is the emotion that you can stay in the longest and it is the emotion with the greatest intensity.

Our present state has largely been colored by what is called “reciprocity” of emotions.  “Like” emotions attract “like” emotions, and opposite emotions repel each other.  It is yet one more proof of the law of attraction.  All of your life your emotions have been “reciprocal.”  The emotions you have allowed have determined your “feeling” state-  your propensity for how you are “used” to feeling most of the time and the cycles that were yours.

Emotions are about focus and focus is about choice.  How do you want to focus on positive and negative emotions?  How do you want them active in your life?  What do you want to use negative emotions for?  How do you want to use positive emotions?  Negative emotions are great warnings that you are thinking something that is not in alignment with who you really are.  At your Source, at your essence, you are love. When you depart from that Source or center, and get askew, negative emotions will be the indication that you are not in alignment with what is your Source.  Negative emotions are warnings to go in a different direction, either in thinking or in action or both.

Emotions that don’t match are reciprocally inhibitory- the good ones cancel out the bad ones and the bad ones cancel out the good ones.  You are always, always in search of the good ones, inevitably.  Negative emotions lead to a sense of powerlessness. We are always trying to escape that powerlessness -in good ways or in ways that seem good, that are temporary and not satisfying or in ways that are a real expression of what we are really wanting.

Sometimes it’s as simple as savoring a five minute break of feelings of gratitude, love, peace, and joy.  Or you can get really alive with your feelings and practice feeling positive affect all day.  Just go there.  It’s free.  No admission!

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute