Why, Why Am I Feeling This Way?

Dr. William K. Larkin

Why Multi“Why” is not the real question.

Looking for the answer to “why” sustains the negative mood.

If we’re headed in the wrong direction, our feelings are going to tell us.

We may shove them down, drink them down, shop them down, sex them down, but they are there, telling us to take a different direction.

Most negative feelings sneak up on you like fog because they are learned habits of feelings. “Moods” occur for all kinds of reasons we will likely never really understand. They are low level, perhaps chronic negative feelings at a 1 or 2 or 3, on scale of 10.

Ask “why” and you focus on them and create more of them.Focus expands

You’re headed into a DownSpiral.

We would like to believe that our moods are all controlled by our biochemistry and give responsibility for them to something other than our control over them.

That is not the truth.

For the most part, the moods we have can largely be controlled by two things:

1) The habitual thoughts we think.

2) The habitual emotions we customarily allow.

Brain ThinkingThe brain is supposed to produce thoughts. Its job is to think thoughts. Your brain will think thoughts that you never initiated. Your brain will go and go and go on creating thoughts. You can, if you choose, simply make yourself an observer of those thoughts.

However, you can exercise your own “quality control.”

You can choose the good thoughts you want to think and you can reject the negative thoughts that are not up to your “standard of quality.”

The filter for your thinking is your choice to direct your brain to go where you want it to go. You can sort through your thinking and you can, by choosing your thoughts and your feelings, feel better or feel worse.

You can train your thoughts and you can train your feelings to work with you or to work against you.

Our Emotional Gym grows positive emotional muscle and Brain Muscle Orangemindfulness.

Your vibration conditions both your thought and your feeling patterns.

Your goals, or lack of them, directly condition your moods and your thoughts.

We learn positive emotions; they don’t just happen on a regular basis.

If you are more used to feeling negative emotion than positive emotion, then your moods will lean you in that direction. If you are more accustomed to choosing positive emotions, your lean will bring more “good” into your life.

You have created your own mood predisposition, and you can change it.

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • A Pyatt

    Had a rough morning yesterday, but that morning turned into an amazing afternoon once I took a walk, breathed a lot, got back to my pulsing, my certitude, and said my daily prayer to myself. But most importantly, I had back up in my lovely classmates and for that I am so grateful to them. I made a choice to reach out to them, and they came running to remind me of my choices. I have a choice to remain in my Upspiral and go with my flow, or I can choose to wallow in the negativity that presented itself. That negativity presented itself in my own brain and then lat I chose my Upspiral and my support system.

    • alberts3

      I think it’s so amazing that you took hold of the moment and began pulling yourself out of the down spiral you found yourself in. That could have turned into a really rotten day. That is just another great anecdote to reinforce the importance of becoming aware of where we are, and what to do if it’s not where we want to be.

      • A Pyatt

        I’m just glad I had my cheering section! 🙂 thank you again!

    • kkhm

      “I chose my Upspiral and my support system, and that changed my whole day.” I love that it’s a choice! We are in control. (And the choice becomes easier and easier the more we do it.) So fabulous that you made that choice for yourself (so quickly, too), and we all 3 benefitted from it!

      • A Pyatt

        Thanks Karissa! But I couldn’t have really done it without you guys!

  • MissTowner

    Learning how to grow and pulse positive emotions is hands down the best thing Ive learned in the last year. I have positivity as one of my strengths, but I still suffer from bouts of negativity when I am not mindful of what I’m thinking and feeling. Luckily after becoming aware of my state of mind down spiraling, I pulse the fabulous 5 positive emotions combined with the certitude exercise, (and a nap if possible), and I’m back in the upspiral 🙂

    • kkhm

      LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!! Thank you for your honesty and for being an inspiration!

      • MissTowner

        And thank you for being a positive encouager! Spiral up!!

  • alberts3

    As my favorite spiritual teacher, Esther Hicks (Abraham)
    would say is, “There is no bottom. Don’t try to get to the bottom of anything
    because there is no bottom.” That certainly seems to fit with the topic of
    “Why?” when we’re in a bad mood.

    The need to find the answer seems to verge on blame. If
    there was an outside reason for one’s misery, then blame may do nicely and you
    never have to deal with the notion that it’s an “inside job”, that we alone can
    begin the journey upward. We can give our power to whatever it is that’s
    bringing us down.

    On the other hand, if we can recognize it for what it is, a
    DownSpiral, then we can take control and move back up to our natural state of
    well-being. If we’ve been in a habit of allowing our emotions to wander about at
    will, our job becomes more difficult. The neuropathways of negative thinking
    will continue to strengthen when we stop being vigilant about the way we feel.
    I like the term “quality control”, used by Dr. Larkin to help us monitor our

    It is often a lot of little things that we don’t notice that
    carry us into an unpleasant mood, and it can be little things that bring us
    back out. Dr. Johnson used the phrase “tiny engines that drive the connection in our brains.”
    Those “tiny engines” can be any of the tools we’ve developed from the Emotional
    Gym, the meditations, or focusing on a particular strength or the “hero” attached
    to it. Deliberately doing something to give another a boost is another “tiny
    engine” and when necessary, reach out to a trusted friend. It doesn’t take a
    lot to get going in the direction we want to be. Then we have to practice
    staying there.

    When I find myself in a funk, I will often tell myself that
    I’m doing really well, that I can figure this out, that I’ve got this. By doing
    that, I’m reminded of my own power in a gentle way that prevents shame or guilt
    from slowing down my progress forward. Being kind to yourself is a pretty big

    • kkhm

      I always wait to read the comments until after I’ve written my response so I’m not biased by others interpretations but instead come up with an authentic response. But the first thing I do after I hit post is to read what everyone else has to say because I know I will love it! And of course, I am loving what you wrote. I think it’s so cool how people and philosophies can say similar things but do it in a completely different way. Your first 2 paragraphs sum up so perfectly what I was thinking about with The Work but didn’t really articulate well. It was like you took the thoughts from my head and made them very clear and coherent! Soooo freaking awesome!

      Also, “Being kind to yourself is a pretty big engine!” Yes, it is! I am so thankful you frequently remind us of this and are a good role model for this as well.

      • alberts3

        Thank you, Karissa. Again, I love to hear about the journey you’ve been on because the outcome is so beyond what most people could manage on any level. You are so motivated uncover who you really are. You make the best of the tools and strategies that we’ve been taught! You leave me in awe!

    • Guest

      Also, “Being kind to yourself is a pretty big engine!” Yes, it is! I am so thankful you frequently remind us of this and are a good role model for this as well.

    • A Pyatt

      I love your sentence ‘we alone’. Absolutely it’s within us. And there’s no shame even if you do slip. You’re human. Be kind to yourself is so appropriate to this. Be kind always. : )

      • alberts3

        I think to realize that it is ours alone is very empowering. Thank you for being such a cheerleader and uplifter. Your clients must love coming to you. So good!

        • A Pyatt

          Love ya lady! And I wouldn’t do this any other way. But your words made me ‘click’ to all of what we are learning again. ‘I alone’ have this choice. Just have to keep making it. Thank you!

  • kkhm

    I’ve gained so much from this course: the emotional gym, learning about strengths and recognizing mine, identifying the keys to optimism, being mindful of Zeno factor focus, and studying the research about the benefits of positivity. It all immediately resonates with me and has significantly added to my quality of life in a short amount of time … But, every once in a while something comes up that is a sticking point for me. I’ve done a looooot of work in my life – removing whatever obstacles stand in the way of my happiness and ability to lead a meaningful, well-lived life. Some of that work involved “digging in” to some of my past issues, focusing on them, and often asking myself “why.” So, when this comes up in class or the readings, I find myself questioning or unable to understand in some ways this particular area of teaching. It feels like it contradicts what I have found to be very true in my own life and my need for healing, examining the past, and honoring my feelings, etc. It also seems to conflict with our most recent video regarding Byron Katie’s The Work (which I have very successfully been using for many years).

    I trust Drs. Larkin and Johnson in their knowledge, wisdom, and experience and so have maintained around this theme a state of mind of openness and room for new understanding, knowing that it would become clearer to me as I continue to gain information, knowledge, and experience with the teachings. Well, finally, tonight it has really clicked for me!

    There absolutely IS a question to be asked. But it’s NOT why. It’s “How?” “How can I feel better?”

    And there are several answers to that question … One of which is to use the emotional gym. Another is to draw upon your strengths to find a solution to whatever challenge is causing you to be in a downward spiral. But the answer that finally clicked for me tonight is: to recognize or discover the truth or reality of a situation! (THIS is the piece I have been mistakenly identifying all this time as asking “why” or focusing on the problem.) Using Byron Katie’s The Work (or other methods which I won’t take up more blog space with) is not actually focusing on the problem. It’s focusing on the solution by uncovering the truth (which you can really get at in the first question “Is this true?” and the turn around.) With that knowledge, you can climb back up the UpwardSpiral and use a strength to face your challenge. “How do I feel better?” is the question, and these are the answers!

    I don’t know if I have explained well my confusion and my newly discovered understanding, but I am so happy to have found it! I must credit this insight to the benefits of regularly being in an Upward Spiral and using the emotional gym tonight to achieve a higher Emotional Scale score in the face of both feeling the challenge of writing this blog while very tired and feeling somewhat frustrated at my confusion in tonight’s topic. Thank you emotional gym and UpwardSpiral. Thank you! Thank you!

    One last thought: it is absolutely true that “[we create our] own mood predisposition, and [we] can change it” as the post above states. Many, many years ago I created my negative, fear based, victim state. But all that work I mentioned I did in the past definitely changed my mood disposition to one of gratitude and positivity and personal responsibility. Now, the new growth I am achieving as a result of the Emotional Gym and all I am learning in this course, is dramatically changing my mood disposition, once again. It’s shifting to that of deepened gratitude and positivity as well as self-acceptance and self-confidence, openness to increasing amounts of love and receiving, an abundance of hope and powerful creative energy, a strengthened trust in flow, and an internalized peace about my life and all of life.

    This work just builds and builds upon itself—it’s exponential. Dr. Larkin says there is no limit to the Upward Spiral, and I can absolutely grasp how that is possible.

    • A Pyatt

      Yes! Just go with it. I always say, ‘what’s the worst that can happen’. You’re doing amazing work! You’ve got this!

  • Kathleen Burkhalter

    This really works. We can control our thoughts and by working out mentally in the Emotional Gym, we increase the positive lean of our brains. Change happens gradually, over time, but it happens and it is profound. I used to be a worry wart, anxious about so many things. I am not perfect yet, but I am no longer a worry wart. I go through my days in a state of peace and I’m much calmer and tranquil. Even though life continues to throw flaming hot frisbees in my direction I can simply step out of the way and know everything will turn out OK. I am no longer at the mercy of Fate. In fact, I direct my life and have ample room for new things to turn up.

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