The Power Of An Emotional Pulse

5 Senses


Beyond the 5 senses and the thoughts of the brain, there is a deeper knowing that is always present, always there, always ready to be revealed.

In fact, it is always getting through the “filter” of everyday living.

What is beyond the senses and the thoughts is the essence of gratitude, love, peace, joy and hope. Living in these moods and states of mind is the easiest way of allowing this essence at the core of you to emerge.

This essence is the closest thing to what you really, really, really believe about yourself and life. It’s you’re basic “knowing” that you may not even be aware that you have.

Have you ever had the experience that when you had to draw upon it, there was an inner source of strength making you feel “steady as a rock?”

Remember how you worried your way all the way there, and then when you stepped out and did it, you were steady as steady could be?

There are those times when we feel oppressed –life seems to be on top of us rather than feeling like we “are top of things”. It is a common experience in a life where we get too busy to take good care of ourselves. Sometimes, it’s ANGER, some times it’s just frustration and that “wit’s end” feeling.

Try this.



It is true that we notice more of what we begin to FEEL.

An “emotional pulse” is like sending positive emotional blood through your brain and body. You might have to start with your imagination.

Find the positive feeling that you can catch by the tail and feel just a little bit of it.

Among 5 feelings- gratitude, peace, love, joy or hope, which of these feelings RIGHT NOW can you get the closest to by feeling just a little bit of one of them?

Which one can you most easily imagine?

Which one can you catch by the tail?

Tap those moments and you tap into what you really know and believe.

At the core of you is a center of steadfast love, peace, joy, and hope, and gratitude.

Touch it and let it seep into your world.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • James

    As this blog discusses the power of the emotional pulse of
    the five distinct emotions of gratitude, love, joy, peace, and hope it’s
    interesting to connect this with the Quantum Zeno effect in quantum physics.
    The Quantum Zeno effect shows us that what an individual focuses on is what
    that person experiences. In other words, when an individual focuses on
    experiencing the emotion of peace in one’s brain, then that individual’s
    thoughts and actions align with that experience. The Quantum Zeno effect aligns
    with Barbara Fredrickson’s broaden and build theory of positive emotions and
    how they broaden one’s thinking and abilities and over time cause an
    exponential building of emotional, social, and physical resources.

    Further, as we connect the Quantum Zeno effect with how the
    brain takes in information through the right frontal lobe, transfers this
    information to the left hemisphere, and then routinizes the information, it is
    easy to see how one can change one’s thoughts and action by focusing on
    experiencing one of the five positive emotions discussed in this post.

    As I have taken this information and begun to apply to the
    many different roles I play in life – career coach, coach trainer, husband,
    father, church-attender, student, brother, son, etc. – I continue to see both
    the positivity and negativity around me. In fact, this past week I had a
    conversation with someone who is very close to me about positivity and
    negativity and being a victim v. being victorious. As we talked for several
    hours, one challenge that I’m finding for myself is a desire to help others
    change from their negative feeling and thinking to positive feeling and
    thinking and forget to ask their permission to speak directly about it.

    The impression that others have of me when I begin to show
    them that there are more positive ways to feel or think about something is the
    impression that I’m negative about negativity. I look forward to understanding
    further how to work with negatively effectively and coach others towards living
    from a more positive mindset and experiencing emotions that lead to a more
    fulfilling life and career.

  • Jodi Ana

    I love this, it’s a really important KEY point in life that I think a lot of people miss: “There are those times when we feel oppressed –life seems to be on top of us rather than feeling like we “are top of things”. It is a common experience in a life where we get too busy to take good care of ourselves.”

    As for the emotions, I can always find something to be grateful for… always. I have noticed in my own life that the more I FEEL these feelings the more accessible they become to me. Actually, I find that when I access gratitude, the other feelings of hope, love, joy, and peace simply just become a natural part of my experience.

    Unless I’m going through times of extreme stress or times of sorrow, I don’t feel like I need to catch it by the tail at all. I feel more like it’s a natural state of being. As I go through each day
    I am always aware of simple things to be grateful for. That could be something as simple as a smile someone has given me or as complex as my car making it into town after a long trip when the check engine light came on.

    This didn’t always come naturally to me, though. It really started after I pulled out of a very challenging time in my life where I was so sick I literally thought I was going to die. When you get to the ‘bottom of the barrel’ and rise back up, life looks completely different and it becomes easier to feel gratitude for even the simplest of things.

    For example, I just got back from a trip to Colorado. It was an 8 hour drive and drove there and back by myself. While I was driving, I couldn’t help but feel immense gratitude well up inside of me because I remember a time in my life when I was having seizure activity in the brain and I would get lost in the town I grew up in. Back then there is no way I could have made a trip like that. So nowt that I can make that kind of trip on my own, I have immense gratitude for such gifts and grace in my life. I’m grateful for every breath I take. I’m grateful to be alive and to have a chance to touch each life I come into contact with for the better.

    However, during times of stress or sorrow, I do have to make more of a conscious effort to ‘tap into’ that gratitude. During those times I may have to actively remind myself to look for things to be grateful for and then the other emotions seem to easily follow!

  • Dr. gloria wright

    Learning to “pulse” positive emotions was a new technique for me to learn. There is a difference between thinking and feeling. When you first start, you may have to imagine or “think” the feeling. Eventually, you want to “feel” the feeling. With time and practice, you’ll get the experience.

    I have also found it to be true that after you have practiced (diligently) pulsing emotions, they are much more available to you when you feel yourself slipping into a negative emotion. Again, it’s human to experience all of the emotions; you just don’t want to let yourself dwell on the negative ones.

    The easiest place for me to practice seems to be in traffic. Every time I slip into, “That booger just cut me off,” I switch to pulsing positive emotions. It may be a trite example, but a great place to practice. When I’m running behind when traveling, instead of getting frustrated, I tell myself, “You may be missing an accident with this delay.” It may not be true, but it is much better on my system than dithering.

    Think of this way. When you are “pulsing” positive emotions, you’re building up a reserve for when you are challenged and find yourself slipping into a negative space. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, UNC Chapel Hill, talks about Broaden and Build. Her perspective is that as you practice managing your thoughts and feelings and beliefs to the positive, they build a reservoir for you to draw on. It’s like money in a saving account. You can draw on it when you need it.

  • Sandra Lintz

    We take so much of our cellular activity for granted. Our autonomic nervous system takes care of our physical being with little to no assistance from us. It is an example of a positive automatic functional system. Another automatic function that may not be positive is a bad habit. A habit follows an entrenched neuropathway that virtually bypasses the thinking and decision making process. Some “habits” are more deeply conditioned than others and some are more dysfunctional than others in the spectrum of psychological disorders.

    What do habits have to do with psychological spectrum disorders? In this case it was found that anorexia has the same pattern as a bad habit. Dr. Joanna Steinglass and her colleagues at the New York State Psychiatric Institute conducted a study to see how people with anorexia made decisions about what to eat and they found that anorexics did not read a menu the same as someone without anorexia. Someone without anorexia reads a menu with thought and contemplation and evaluation in order to make a decision. An anorexic automatically selects the lowest calorie item without going through an evaluative decision making process. This could be seen in the “fMRI brain imaging” of the study participants. The people with anorexia had increased brain activity in the dorsal striatum which plays a major role in decisions, reward and habitual behaviors. Like Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz at UCLA did with the OCD patients, she decided to change up the routines of people with anorexia. She started them out with small changes such as using a different set of cutlery or eating in a different location. Once these small changes could be made, the anorexics were continually nudged to make more and more healthy changes and develop new healthier habits. The change in focus, the change in behaviors and new decisions build new neuropathways.

    The Xeno Factor says that what is focused upon builds and here we have an indication that a small change away from an entrenched neuropathway will contribute to building new neuropathways. As the new neuropathways become not so new, as they are used continuously, the old neuropathways die away. Scientific studies in energy psychology and neuroscience now indicate that mental focus can influence neurotransmitters, cellular level functions and even the molecular states. There is much to be discovered about the possibilities and the power of focus. I believe we’ll find that more and more bad habits and other problems can be solved through focus.

  • jeris hollander

    Pulsing positive emotions is a remarkably powerful practice. My family has a long and expansive history of depression and anxiety, which are states of mind to which I myself have succumb in the past. I view these difficult times in my life as valuable learning experiences, from which I gained much insight into the true power of the mind. I know, and on some level have always known, that at my core this is just not me. I am not defined by episodes of depression, panic attacks, or by the fact that perhaps I may be predisposed to this down spiral on the basis of genetics or childhood familial experiences. My true self is eternally hopeful; understanding the impermanence of life and all the situations and feelings therein as we live this human experience. I have watched myself travel down the rabbit hole of depression while intuitively knowing that it was a choice, but at that time, I was lacking the knowledge and tools necessary to realize HOW to chose otherwise. Through the application of methods such as the emotional gym, the “how” has become entirely clear. The more I practice, the more evident it becomes that I am laying new tracks, creating the neural pathways that connect me with my true nature; one of hope and optimism. Now, even in the face of painful and challenging circumstances, there’s an ambient hum of hope in the background of my mind. Hope, gratitude and peace have become easily accessible to me in most situations, which has a pervasively positive impact on many facets of my life. There is infinite truth to the saying “knowledge is power,” as I have personally experienced the changes in my own well being as a result of applying my understanding of positive emotion.To have the power to change the very structures of our brains through attentional focus is nothing short of miraculous. Once you have applied and integrated this knowledge into your daily life, there is no rabbit hole to deep from which to climb.

  • Audrey Sloofman

    I love having this simple and powerful tool of emotional pulsing. Not unlike others who have commented, I was given great training as a child on how to pulse on all of the negatives in my life. In resent years I have come to “pray” for peace, or joy and have learned to focus on what I am grateful for as a way to pull myself up from a slippery downward spiral. I find the connection between how I focus my thoughts and the research around Quantum Zeno effect to be incredibly empowering both for myself and for my coaching clients. I also used to think, “oh good. That passed. I’m good now.” and then I would wonder why I was slipping back into the darkness. Understanding Fredrickson’s work on the importance and power of focus has provided me with the kind of insight that leads to a knowing commitment to new and lasting habits and behaviors.

    I have been practicing pulsing now for a while. I had gone out with friends and got home very late at night. I awoke the next day feeling kind of sad, frustrated and despairing. (probably had a little hang over from too much rich food and drink, but it I could have found reasons to feel these ways if I had searched) It took a good part of the day to get out of this mood, but I used focused on pulsing and watched how it lifted me out of that place and into my now normal self. Emotional Pulsing is a powerful and empowering habit.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute