The process of moving oneself up the Emotional Scale from an existing emotion on a lower level to a better-feeling, more positive emotion on a higher level.~ Level Up
In the previous post, we introduced the concept of Emotional Clarity as, having the knowledge and insight to accurately identify the emotions you are feeling in the present moment. By developing your Emotional Clarity, you will find it easier to address and handle each situation more appropriately.
As you continue to develop and expand your Emotional Clarity, you can begin to use that knowledge and insight to Level Up, that is, to move yourself up the Emotional Scale from an existing emotion on a lower level to a better-feeling, more positive emotion on a higher level.
Why does it matter if I move up the Emotional Scale? Why should I care?
First and foremost, for the benefit of your own health and wellbeing. Just spend a little time searching online and you’ll find a significant amount of research on the impact of emotions to both your health and wellbeing. As you might imagine the key findings in most of the research indicate that positive emotions will have a more positive effect on your health and wellbeing, whereas negative emotions will have a more negative effect, with an emphasis that the effect of holding onto negative emotions for extended periods of time can be far more severe and harmful to your health and wellbeing than most people realize.
Second, learning to level up the Emotional Scale builds your emotional strength and resilience. As you develop your skills to move up the Emotional Scale, you automatically become better at handling difficult situations and confrontations more easily and with less stress; basically, you bounce forward faster and stronger! You even find yourself not spiraling down the Emotional Scale quite as far as before. For example, situations or confrontations that might have easily made you angry (level orange, -2), now only seem to irritate you (level yellow, -1).
Third, feeling good actually feels good! You would be hard pressed to find someone who walks around and says, “wow, I just love feeling depressed all the time”, or “I really enjoy getting angry every day”. Most people really do want to feel good, and as much of the time as possible. However, it’s important to point out that some people can become somewhat addicted to being in a state of negative emotions and unconsciously find situations that will generate those same negative emotions over and over again, just like someone addicted to drugs or alcohol always looking for their next fix. We’ll address the topic of emotional addiction more in a future post. But for now, let’s acknowledge that most people want to feel good.
How do you begin the process of leveling up the emotional scale?
First, by developing your Emotional Clarity. As you expand your knowledge and understanding of your emotions and can accurately identify the emotions you are feeling in the present moment, you can more easily identify where they are on the Emotional Scale and begin the process of leveling up the scale to better-feeling, more positive emotions.
Second, by taking a little time to monitor your emotions throughout the day. This process of monitoring your emotions is as simple as taking a pause to check in with yourself to identify what you are feeling in the present moment. This could be something you do on the hour throughout the day. You may find it helpful to keep a printed copy of the Emotional Scale next to you on your desk at work, or in your pocket if your job requires you to be out and about all the time. You can download and print your own copy of the Emotional Scale by clicking here. In an upcoming blog post we will dive deeper into this process of monitoring and tracking your emotions, as well as provide some additional tools to help you as you do.
Finally, you learn to focus on and reach for better-feeling, more positive emotions that are higher on the scale than where you are presently. It’s about feeling better in the present moment regardless of what’s going on around you. This requires shifting your attention away from whatever is driving your current emotion and finding a new subject to focus your attention on, one that elicits those better-feeling, more positive emotions. Let’s call this having a SMARTER focus!
SMARTER = Shifting your Mind’s Attention to Reach a new Targeted Emotional ResponseTM
Remember, in challenging or difficult situations it is not up to you to change the situation or the person that triggered your negative emotion, but it is up to you as to whether you’ll hold onto that negative emotion and for how long or if you’ll choose to let it go and shift your mind’s attention to a new subject and reach for a better-feeling, more positive emotion. It’s all about Leveling Up the Emotional Scale!
Developing a SMARTER focus takes practice, lots of practice. But you can do it, and it does get easier and easier over time. As part of your practice, you strive to pause for just a moment, to breathe, to be aware and acknowledge to yourself what you are feeling, and to identify the specific emotions you are experiencing in that moment, without judgement. From there you can begin to use a SMARTER focus to reach for that better-feeling, more positive emotion!
Practice = Pause (Breathe + Acknowledge + Feel) * Non-judgement
With Practice and a SMARTER focus your ability to Level Up the Emotional Scale will become easier and faster over time, along with your ability to hold onto a better-feeling, more positive emotion for a longer period of time.
Just like a Gamer who gets better (with practice and focus) at leveling up in a video game, earning more points, rewards, and powers, each time getting to higher levels faster and more proficiently, until one day they find themselves a true master of the game, so it will be with you and your practice of leveling up the emotional scale and one day becoming a true master of your emotions.
Until next time…be satisfied, but eager for more!