What’s Your EDS-Emotional Default Setting?
By Dr. William K. Larkin on August 13, 2012
Are you feeling your way to better, better, and best –to excellence?
Where do you most live in your emotions? What emotion is most familiar to you? What emotion do you exercise when you’re shopping or driving or cleaning? Before you say that they are different and that “it depends,” don’t be so sure.
Think about it. What emotion do you most often return to and live in? What is the emotional range with which you are most familiar?
Our emotions are like an ambient sound track in the back of our minds and being. It goes on all the time like elevator music. It is the sound track of our lives only, it is an emotional track. It can have the sameness of elevator music, the same predictability, or it can be something that we choose.
To get in touch with your “emotional track,” you have to become mindful of what you are feeling. You have to pay attention to the feelings that you have going through your day and ask yourself if that’s what you want to feel. It’s a lot like eating. People eat ice cream or a whole meal and never taste it, savor it, or enjoy. They just eat it because it’s there until they become mindful of what they’re eating.
To become mindful of your feelings, begin to listen for your feeling tone. When you drive or when you shop or when you bathe, what are you feeling? Find some kind of warning system, like a tone on your watch or phone that alerts you to notice how you’re feeling. These are very practiced, very daily states of feeling.
What causes the feelings is not nearly so important as what the feelings are. Most of them are there because we pay little attention to our feelings. We get locked in a rut simply by living and practicing the same feeling over and over again. Our daily emotional range is usually pretty much the same, and the more we get used to it, particularly if it is not satisfying, the more tedious, boring, and even depressing our mood begins to feel.
What 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 you interact with life.
We believe that feelings are just “given.” They are not. Feelings are choices to be exercised. The more control you take over what you are feeling, the less power “moods” have and the less they will be able to “overtake” you.
Medications that affect feelings are a billion dollar industry. We do all kinds of things to affect how we feel, except choose and practice the emotions we want to have.
Learn more about our Emotional Gym.
You can exercise your emotions to better, better, and best, all the way to excellence.
CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR COACHES
1) Discuss your personal and professional journey as a response to the title of this blog-what is your EDS? Lay out the chronology of the narrative in your own experience around your mastery of positive emotional states of mind. Give specific examples. Inspire us with your story!
FOR OUR LARGER BLOG COMMUNITY
1) Take the “EDS Challenge” presented in this blog: “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. “ Choose one of these positive feeling states and choose to deliberately feel it for 3 days, as much as you can all day long. Let us know what you experienced.
Fiat Lux wrote on Wed Aug 15th, 12:22pm:
I have become even MORE mindful of my thinking and emotional states as a result of the ANI teachings for the past 10 weeks. For the most part, I live on the high end of the Up Spiral Spectrum. I will always try to reframe anything that looks like an obstacle into a positive lesson for learning. And I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to consciously evolve.
That said, I can hit speed bumps that threaten my synchrony. Pulsing gratitude or joy is usually where I head when I need to “reset” my mental state. Today, I embarked on a new professional journey that requires a high degree of focus and confidence. With the gratitude, came a bit of fear or uncertainty. I focused on listening to what enveloped the fear and this is what I did. I left the house and went to the farmers market and bought lots of colorful flowers…particularly scented ones. I situated them in every room of my house and put the scented ones in my office…so when I work,I am overcome by the beautiful scent of nature. It serves as a reminder to become mindful of the abundance of friends, family, interests, beauty around me and puts me into a very relaxed and joyful
state. Fear based thoughts have a very hard time competing with the smell of tuberoses.
gabenza wrote on Wed Aug 15th, 1:26pm:
The insight I gained was that the Emotional Gym is an easy form of meditation. I did the Silva Mind Control which I think of as a (self) guided meditation. It has been referred to as a self hypnosis as well. This was done with eyes closed. And although easy to do was eventually done less and less, and then stopped. I just didn’t want tp stop whatever I was doing to do it.
For me the Emotional Gym is more user friendly. I do this with my eyes open while driving, and while walking. Another observation is that the effects are so quickly felt. While vacationing we went to the Underground Railroad Museum. It is a wonderful place and I learned a lot. While I was there I was moved to the verge of crying. Then it occurred to me to pulse some positive emotions! Very quickly my mood was elevated. I had to pulse positive emotions a few more times, and could continue with what I was doing. No one could tell what I was doing. It was perfect.
Thank you Dr Larkin for developing this easy marvelous tool!
palmspringsesq wrote on Thu Aug 16th, 3:25pm:
I can honestly say my emotional default setting has increased over the last few weeks. This is because I have been learning to go to the emotional gym and using the emotions there. I feel more uplifted since the course began. In addition to the uplifting emotions of the emotional gym, I find that concentrating on my strengths also is quite uplifting. These strengths are all encompassing and I feel stronger in my mind because of them.
By meditating on my strengths and positive emotions, my default setting has increased to a more positive setting.
Katherine wrote on Sat Aug 18th, 11:02am:
It was my father who started me down the path of owning my life experiences. I am not sure if he meant to teach me this lesson at the time. I was in my early twenties and crying to him about something that had happened (I can’t even remember it now – likely something that just was not happening in my favor) and he looked at me with a stern face and thundering voice and said, “Katherine, what are you going to do about it?” Looking back he probably just wanted me to stop crying but it turned out to be one of the most important lessons of my life. It immediately occurred to me that I get to decide and have a choice in the matter after all.
I wish I could say from that day on I lived in an UpSpiral and flourished but there were many more lessons for me to learn over the next several decades.
Around the time of my divorce, in my thirties, I fell into a depression for several days. Mainly I missed the thought of having an intact family with my two beautiful boys having a mother and father to raise them. It was during these days of sadness that I took on owning my emotions again and decided that I had to find my way back to happiness for my son’s. I wanted to be an example for them and knew I had a choice.
I also struggled financially for a few years after the divorce and had another revelation. I was driving over the Coronado Bridge (Coronado, CA) and looking out over the island of beauty I promised myself I would learn how to be happy inside and not be dependent on my external experiences and financial challenges.
Reflecting on my forties I sought out information that would support my growth. I was fortunate to find “Science of Mind” at that time and never looked back. It provided me the foundation for everything I am doing today. It spoke to my heart and uplifted my spirit. It was then I knew all the love and goodness in the world were meant for me to have. So, “I am a deserving human being and will partake in the wonders of life”, became my mantra. I completed my BS in Psychology degree in those years and was introduced to Positive Psychology during that time.
I have searched for years on how I could use the concepts of Positive Psychology without becoming a therapist (I never had any interest in working with and around illness) and drew into my life ANI. As I move into now another decade of my life I have been able to increase my happiness set point to an all-time high thanks to the work I have done this year. I am better prepared than ever before for true happiness and a flourishing life. Of course, the journey is not over and for that I am grateful!
neuromind wrote on Sun Aug 19th, 9:25pm:
It’s occurring to me… that viewing life through strengths makes it richer… and even though it may seem obvious…focusing on our strengths makes us stronger. And what strengths I use directly connect to how I focus my mind. So in that spirit, I’m inspired to share my positive narrative through the lens of my strengths.
My Life from 30K Feet − Influences, Directions Taken, and Evolution of Thought:
When I think back to the times in my life that influenced me … one was when I was a teenager − after multiple separations my parents divorced. This was a confusing and challenging time for me, and a time where I could have gone off track. Looking back I see that I didn’t give up, I listened to my intuitive guidance and made it through [Strength: Positivity, Gratitude]. Also I had great support from my grandma and a high school guidance counselor. In Grandma I connected to warmth and unconditional love [Strength: Appreciation, Gratitude].
In my guidance counselor I found someone who really listened to me and reflected back what I was saying. As a teen I thought she was an amazing problem solver, and yet she was very clear to point out how the answers were coming from me − Always. From this experience I considered moving into work as a counselor. [Strength: Futuristic, Strategic]
From high school I was fortunate to land a job at Apple Computer… I grew up at Apple, and loved it. I learned a lot. I had access to Apple University and incredible trainings including training in career development. In these classes I would drink in whatever knowledge I could. [Strength: Curiosity/Interest, Appreciation/Excellence, Ideation, Gratitude] One day it occurred to me that these people (trainers at Apple U) had “the greatest job in the world”… which eventually led me to interest in a similar career.
Another time of choice and how to direct my mind happened when I was in the middle of my senior project, 3 months away from completing my B.S. in Organizational Behavior, and was in a new job where I was responsible for the rapid ramp up of a company. It was then that I received notice a close family member had died in a car accident.
Looking back I see it was during this time that I connected to my strengths to help get me through… and I did… step by step. Although it was a challenging time my strengths and determination helped me. [Strength: Strategic, Futuristic, Humor] My college professor said she would understand if I put the program on hold, others said I could always go back… but I focused my mind and got through. Later my professor said I was an inspiration to her. I see her as an amazing woman so it meant a lot to hear that from her [Strength: Appreciation, Gratitude, Individualization].
And fast forwarding to now… to this time and space. I am delighted at how wonderfully things have lined up, for me, and for my clients. [Strength: Appreciation, Gratitude]. The pattern I notice now is that for the last two weeks when I leave the office I am walking out feeling completely satisfied, and at peace, it’s as if my heart, soul, and mind are all connected.
I am realizing and relishing that I am doing work that I LOVE. I am noticing that it’s pulling on my strengths. In the past weeks I’ve had many individual coaching sessions where I was in Flow… these were so rewarding. And I designed and delivered a training that I hear was timely and helpful to my clients… and that pulled on my strengths of Creativity, Strategic, Curiosity/Interest, Ideation, and Individualization … it’s like all cylinders are firing.
So to answer the question, I guess I would say that my EDS is okay [Strength: Humor/Playful].
Medman wrote on Mon Aug 20th, 6:00am:
Living in the upspiral is a choice. To have to the choice to embrace joy and gratitude is an option that i choose. I choose to stay on this journey. I can remember feeling beat up beat down and betrayed by life and the circumstances around me. Wanting to throw in the towel and just say what can possibly happen next? Big Question Mark. Searching for awhile I landed here at ANI and I begin to not only find anwsers, but to find myself. I remember those certification classes for some reason that hour just flew by. In the simply but brillant Emotional Gym. What a million dollar tool. Then the introduction into the land of strengths what a ground shakin moment and alot of AHA moments.I would have to say that I live in peace and Gratitude I love those two emotions. What a gift. My greatest discovery has been that when I see others around me going into the land of anger, fear, rage and shutting down, I choose not to ride with them. Being aware of the upspiral and the emotional scale I have the choice to protect where i am not like others around me just feeding into whatever presents itself and crashing and being in the dark of not knowing that they had a choice to stay happy or crash with the reaction crowd. Thanks ANI.
Steve D wrote on Mon Aug 20th, 2:44pm:
Focusing on gratitude is something I have done daily but having a heightened focus is inspiring. Not only do I “feel” the daily gratitude but I see beyond the “ordinary”. When I look at every experience of my daily life, the part I overlook are the moments when things don’t quite go the way I would like them to; the moments of impatience, frustration, or even anger. When I look for gratitude in perceived negative experiences I always find a gift or something in my life I take for granted. And it does make me a better man thankful for every experience as it presents itself.
Jeannine wrote on Thu Aug 23rd, 1:36pm:
Gratitude was my focus over the past few days. Though I didn’t sustain this feeling every moment of every day, I certainly had more moments of happiness, clarity, and hope. I know that the duration of these State of Mind emotions will grow. I have been more appreciative of everyday seemingly mundane moments. Life has meaning here and now. I smile more. Things that were overwhelming and insurmountable, now just blow away like dust or dandelion seeds. Where there was anxiety, fear, and doubt is now hope. I am so grateful for this course and my wonderful coach.
RebeccaE wrote on Thu Aug 23rd, 5:42pm:
Gratitude is something that I am very focused on. I really try and focus on things and people that I am most challenged to be greatful for and I am really learning to appreciate them. I am experiencing great experiences with everyone I come across in my day. Moments at work that have in the past been very stressfull have been so much easier to get through. I am grateful for this course and all that I am learning.
livestrong81 wrote on Fri Aug 24th, 9:18am:
My EDS, chronologically would be content or peaceful most of the time. Sometimes I get into a place of boredom when I am not learning or intentionally growing in an area. In my teenage years, I was depressed a lot of the time, mostly because I didn’t know what I was good at and didn’t have any direction with my life.
For me, boredom and no direction equals depression or sadness. I now long to make a significant difference in my world around me and this gives me a purpose and direction for my energy rather than staying stagnent. I do my best to stay in a place of inspiration and growth. When I am in spired, things become very clear to me and I am intentional with me thoughts, attitude and direction of my energy. Knowing that I have a tendency to go into a depressed state from my past, I realize that doing the emotional gym regularly and living in a “happy place” most or all of the time is a struggle for my brain to adjust to. My brain sometimes just wants to “be down.”
I can almost feel the rewiring happening as I gently put one foot in front of the other and go about my day. I have been aware lately of my tendency to go low once I’ve been on a high for awhile and I now realize it is just a pattern or habit. That it can easily be changed over time. Now that I know this, I give myself more grace to feel what I need to feel and let it go and choose new thoughts and positive affirmations that make me feel good.
gabenza wrote on Sat Aug 25th, 1:51pm:
The emotion I choose to feel was joy. I found that I only remembered to pulse joy a few times for the first two days. Then I found a CD I had burned with various artists for dancing. It was very upbeat. I drove over 1 hour each way to a friend’s home and listened to it the whole time both ways. We went dancing together. I had a great time. Between listening to the CD at home and in the car and the music while dancing I felt hours of joy that day. I was on cloud nine! The next day I was off from my regular job. I decided to do my income taxes for 2010. I was using turbo tax and having issues. I felt that I was in a better mood than normal for such a task. When the day ended I felt a huge letdown. I had intended to do ANI homework and practice some dancing. I was telling myself that I had not accomplished much that day. With the help of Dr Larson in my UpSpiral group, I realized this was just my old patterns trying to gain control over the real estate in my brain. Later I also realized that I had spent about 6 hours on my taxes and I did electronically file them. So I really did accomplish allot that day.
Leave a Comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.