So how do I alter the emotion I am feeling when something bad happens? When I am in the middle of a crisis? When everyone around me is talking about that thing that happened? When I just feel bad for no particular reason?
It’s easy to say just change your thoughts. But we each have about 60,000 thoughts per day, and many of these are our programs running on auto-pilot. All those little automatic thoughts we have trained ourselves, or others have trained us from a young age, to think, mostly to protect us, but they also tend to numb us or expect the worst. They don’t serve us in creating a better life. Times change. What served us at one time in our lives, or served our parents, isn’t relevant or helpful today.
Here’s some great news. We don’t have to monitor each and every thought. If we did that, we would create more thoughts, at least doubled to 120,000. But we do have great tools to help us, they are our feelings and emotions. When our dominant thoughts are negative, we will feel bad. When our dominant thoughts are positive, we feel good.
Abraham-Hicks, one of my favourite teachers, has come up with an ideal illustration of how this works. It is called the Emotional Guidance Scale. I use this on a regular basis, in fact the image is now imprinted on my mind, and when I don’t feel good it is a great place to start and identify why I am feeling as I am, and then work my way up into better thoughts, feelings and emotions:
First, identify whether you are feeling good or bad.
If you feel good, you are likely to feel hopeful, loving, appreciative, optimistic, content, enthusiastic, and your dominant thoughts will be positive, good-feeling thoughts. You are on the left-hand side of the picture. Congratulations! You are feeling great. Now keep milking those good feelings and thoughts. Bask in the ease of life, because it is showing you all the things you have to feel good about. You are unlikely to experience difficulties, but if they do crop up, you will be ready and able to overcome difficulties more easily than if you were feeling bad in the first place.
If you feel bad, you are likely to feel depressed, insecure, angry, jealous, guilty, fearful, disappointed, bored, and your dominant thoughts will match and feed those negative emotions. You are on the right-hand side of the picture. Congratulations! Did that sound strange? Congratulating you on feeling bad?
Please be assured I am not making light of these sometimes dreadful emotions. I am completely sympathetic to how bad they can feel. Remember, I have been in the depths of despair and depression and did consider checking out. When you feel bad or low, it really can feel like you are trapped in the downward spiral the image above represents. It feels like you are out of control of your own life. However, I do want you to remember this one thing – I am certain this is not the first time you have felt low and like times gone by, this too shall pass! And when it does, you will know how strong you are, and will even be thankful for the challenges that made you recognise that fact. You will learn how to reach out and grab the branch that stops you from drowning, and you will realise just how worth it life is.
However low down this Emotional Guidance Scale you may feel you are at the moment, the good news is that at this moment you are breathing, you are alive and you have a chance to climb up. The better news is that you actually have a desire in you, a desire to climb up, to get well, to feel better. And the fantastic news is that as you are climbing up, you will give birth to so many new desires, desires you didn’t even know you had. You will realise desires to drop many negative things from your life that took you down there in the first place.
The best news of all is that it is possible, no matter how far down that scale you are, to actually reach the top and feel utter, absolute joy and appreciation, but not immediately. Don’t expect to do that. I’m not even going to try and pretend you could do that. What I would like is the opportunity to show you how to do it the gentle way, the more consistent way.
Think of it like a diet: we all know those crash diets where you lose a huge amount of weight in a short period of time don’t work. You feel utterly miserable, and when you stop you pile on the weight again, often much more than you lost. This is about small steps. Gentle, consistent changes to your attitude and lifestyle that you can maintain and with practise they become habit.
How does it work?
Wherever you are on that downward spiral, it is always possible to feel better. If you are right at the bottom, as I was, the only way is UP! Even a slight shift upwards is a shift in the right direction.
I think of the Emotional Guidance Scale as being like a radio tuner. Stack the left side on top of the right side (as it is most often illustrated, I just thought the image I used was most appropriate for this article), so it is a continuous scale.
You wouldn’t want to change your radio frequency straight from Heavy Metal music to a Ballet would you?
If you’ve been listening to Discouragement FM for a while, and fiddle around with the tuner, you might not be ready to listen to Passion AM yet, but Frustration FM will feel a bit better, as it can feel like you are heading in the direction of taking back some control of your life, whereas Anger FM is heading in the wrong direction: you may be inclined to do something rash and hurt somebody else, which could further spiral down to Revenge or Guilt FM. Even Optimism AM may feel like a bit of a stretch from Frustration, but if over a bit of time you can move up to Boredom, you may look for new things to do and then line up with new ideas and then be ready to move up to Hopeful, and from there it is only a little hop up to Optimism. Did you notice the switch from the negative end of the tuner to the positive end?
As we are energetic magnets, as explained in Emotion Devotion – Part 1, we attract whatever is on the frequency we are tuned in to. The higher up the scale we can move, we will align and attract more in life that shows us where we are, which frequency we are vibrating at.
We can also be at different levels on the scale for different aspects of our lives. For instance, we can be optimistic about our finances while feeling discouraged in relationships. If you try and deal with too much at once, you can become overwhelmed. So take it easy, don’t get carried away with trying to fix everything all at once. Work on what is most important to you at the moment. When you see some progress in that area, the hopefulness you will achieve will spill over into other aspects of your life.
When you adjust your tuner in the right direction, upwards, you will see the evidence of that shift manifest into your reality. You will feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. You may meet someone who can help you achieve a goal. You may receive an unexpected financial windfall. You used to think these things were coincidences or ‘lucky’. They were not. They were reflecting your inner feelings and thoughts.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it
– Albert Einstein
Another way to consider the Emotional Guidance Scale is this. If you are in those right-hand side emotions in the above image, your thinking is predominantly problem-focused, whereas in the left-hand side emotions your thinking is more solution-focused. When you are thinking negatively, you often think you can’t see a way out, you are too far away from the thoughts you need to find the solution. As you move up the scale, you move closer to an appropriate, good-feeling situation.
By the time I discovered Abraham-Hicks and the Emotional Guidance Scale, I had reached the Hopeful level. I had already realised that when I was at my lowest, the thing I had lost all contact with was Hope. I couldn’t hear Hope AM from where I was tuned into Depression FM. I could reflect back and I could identify all the stages I had passed through on my way up to Hope. Seeing it laid out like this, showed me that what I had been through on my journey was a completely natural course of events. I wasn’t unusual. My journey wasn’t unusual. It had been natural for me to feel Hate and Revenge during that time, which was good because it had felt slightly more empowered than Depression, but now I was Hopeful and Optimistic, it would not be a good idea to return to those lower levels, and I am glad to say I never have, and don’t believe I ever will, about anything.
Your radio tuner, or energetic frequency, is known as your ‘point of attraction’. It will vary. It can go down as well as up. Whichever way it is going, it’s all good. If it’s going up, enjoy it and it will continue. If it’s going down, get ready to create some new desires from the challenges. Take a step back and evaluate where you are and where you want to be. But the main message is, don’t worry, with practise you realise that your emotions are your best friend and they help to guide you in the right direction.
Nothing is more important than that you feel good
Oh, and about those thoughts, the natural effect of noticing your feelings improve is that you will have more good stuff to think good thoughts about. It is a 2-way process though, because of those automatic thought-dampeners we have picked up. I will discuss how to identify false thoughts that no longer serve you in a future post, because they can be buried in your sub-conscious and create limiting beliefs, which can hinder you in maintaining the most positive emotions. A general rule is that negative thoughts do not serve you well, and if in general you notice that you once had a 70:30 negative/positive thought ratio, and you can turn this around even to 45:55 negative:positive ratio, you are heading in the right direction 🙂
When you do move into those higher, better emotions, it feels so good. You know your thoughts are at least 51% positive. Life shows you why it so good, which in turn gives you more positive experiences to think about. The effects begin to multiply. It begins to suck you up and up into higher energy. The momentum builds, and the higher you get the more exhilarating the feelings and experiences. It’s the best natural high you can get. You will see more positive people appear in your life, and negative ones disappear. It’s like magic. Trust the process and it will take you to places you may not have known existed.
Coming up: Practical ideas to help move you up the Emotional Guidance Scale