What Is Your Default Emotional State?
Although this may seem like a strange question, do you know your default emotional state? Human beings are capable of experiencing dozens of different emotions at any moment of the day. Even though this is possible, we find ourselves coming back to only a select few over and over again. If you were to write out a list of all the different emotions that you experience in any given week, it would be difficult for most to come up with more than 5.
This is very natural since our body usually defaults to the emotions that we are most experienced and comfortable with. Sometimes we even experienced certain emotions and that we don’t know what to call, so we find it difficult to explain the state we are in.
We have all met that person that seems to get mad at almost anything, even if the situation may not necessarily call for anger. They might even get angry at they are pet dog dying of old age even though you’d think it calls for sadness. We might know a person who very often becomes secluded in difficult, emotional times. You might even find yourself becoming sad for seemingly no reason throughout the day. Why do all of these emotions happen these times?
It is because we all have certain default emotional states. Some states occur while we aren’t doing anything, while others are triggered by certain events. Here we are going to look within to try and discover more about our emotional states and what we can do to change them.
Our Stable Default
Our stable default is the emotional state that we experience most often. This is basically how we feel when we don’t put any effort into any sort of positive or negative emotional change. This is how we feel when we just wake up, in our relaxation time, and when we are in a normal workflow.
Our default stable state dictates large aspects of our decision making in life. When we find ourselves feeling content as a default, we don’t really set out to do crazy adrenaline junkie activities. You’ll find people who default to a positive emotional state are more satisfied with life than others. This may cause them to ditch the grueling 9-to-5 for something that they enjoy to do more, even if it’s for less pay.
With the work grinders and serial entrepreneurs, you find that they very often default to a negative emotional state. Their lack of contentment for their current position in life drives them to work longer hours, start new businesses, and take more risks than others for the hopes of changing their circumstances. They do this under a belief that elevating their external environment will intern elevate their pre-existing default emotional state.
While there is nothing wrong with working hard and setting out to achieve more, it is a mistake and mindset to believe this will elevate your inner default emotions. I unless you were able to enhance your default, you will be unsatisfied with your life no matter how much you get or achieve.
The trigger defaults are the emotional states that we result to when something happens to cause an emotional reaction. Let’s say that your default trigger emotion is anger. You always find yourself becoming angry with whatever life throws at you. Even when anger isn’t the average response for a situation, you still end up angry most often.
This is because, at some point in our lives, we made the realization and decision that this certain emotion gets us the results we want most often. Our emotions aren’t in the most logically acting experiences. They aren’t queued like in marching band to play whatever emotion do you want to or is supposed to happen. It is more instinctual than that. Your body recognizes an action and reward system whenever you “use” your emotions. When getting angry usually gets us what we want to, our body records that and remembers it for future use. Even when our goal is just to express emotional grief, we sometimes aren’t experienced or comfortable with expressing sadness. If we use anger in this situation, we are still able to at least expressed some sort of emotional grief. This begins to instill anger as a good default for our triggered emotional states to go to when they want to see results.
Switching Urge Reactions
If you ever find yourself wanting to change your default emotional states, it really comes down to changing your urgent reactions. Yes, even your default stable state has a trigger to spark the emotional state.
This article does a much better and more in-depth analysis of this:
Our emotional state is just like any other habit that we have. You may be thinking that emotions exist on a subconscious level, and we don’t get to pick when they happen to us. Well, the urges we have to continue bad habits are the same way. The only thing is, you do have the opportunity to change the reaction to those urges.
Repetition to Mastery
Repetition is the key to becoming unconsciously competent in your new emotional state. In the beginning, it will be difficult to maintain the new state, but everything is difficult until it is easy. You will have to focus on it in the beginning; then soon, it will start happening naturally and with much less effort.
The first step in any of this is to become aware of your emotional state at any given moment. Start asking yourself questions. How do you feel when you are by yourself? How do you feel when you were at work? And how do you feel when something tragic happens? How do you feel right now?
Start to pay attention to your self, and you will begin to make many more realizations than you might think. Focusing on yourself is the best method of self-improvement out there.