Donna Doyon
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  • Ep140: Climbing the Emotional Scale

Have you noticed a pattern to your negative feelings? While editing last week's episode on happiness, I realized I have 3 "go-to" negative emotions. This week I delve more into emotions, emotional scales, and how to feel better by thinking better.

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Note: This is a computer-generated transcript. That means it's pretty good, but not perfect. If you read something weird or confusing, first laugh, then use the time stamp to hop into the podcast to find out what I REALLY said. 🙂

[00:00:02.760] - Speaker 1

Welcome to another episode of Finding My Way, a podcast dedicated to sharing the scattered thoughts and muddled musings of this 50 something year old woman. Each week I'll share my experiences, challenges, doubts and fears, as well as the lessons I've learned that keep me moving forward toward my dreams. And yes, this is the podcast that was formerly known as Reflections of a Recovering Ugly Duckling. This is Episode 140. And I'm your host, Donna Doyon. I realized last week when I was editing Episode 139 about authentic happiness, I realized a pattern.

[00:00:44.280] - Speaker 1

Now, this pattern has been developing for the two plus years that I've been creating this podcast and am only now recognizing it. I share this bit of an aha moment with you just to let you know that sometimes it takes time. So, as I always say, no shame, no blame. Don't beat yourself up for the time that it takes you to really start to discover more about yourself. And to be honest, I think I've had inklings of this sensation in the past, but hadn't quite put the pieces together until last week.

[00:01:18.210] - Speaker 1

I was editing the podcast episode What Is Authentic Happiness, and I realized I was talking about my own most frequently experienced negative and I put that in air quotes. But the lower vibrational emotions, the three that I tend to focus on most, and it's in my introduction for this podcast, Doubts, Fears and Frustration. Those are my three go to negative emotional states. It occurred to me that you may experience very different negative again in air quotes, emotional states.

[00:01:57.870] - Speaker 1

And you may not know how to relate to me when I say that I'm full of doubt, that I'm experiencing fear and not the fear of falling off a mountain which I did have this past weekend, or the fear of being attacked by a bear in the woods, which Earl did see a bear this weekend. But it was while we were in our car driving and I don't know how I didn't see this bear. So we have fears. And the other one that I experienced frequently is frustration, trying to learn something new and not quite getting it and thinking I should be getting it by now.

[00:02:31.590] - Speaker 1

So those are my three primary again and air quotes, negative emotions. That's where I spend a lot of time. So today I wanted to talk about some of the other emotions, the negative and the positive ones. It goes back to needing to know our starting point so that we can start to improve. And when we're looking at our emotional states and our emotional experiences, it's really a stretch to try to go from severe depression, which I am not qualified to talk about, but to go from a severely depressed and sense of despair to all light in happiness and oh, life is wonderful.

[00:03:11.520] - Speaker 1

That's not a realistic jump. However, as we become more aware of the way that we're thinking and how we are feeling, we can't adjust our thoughts so that we can slowly start moving up the scale of emotions to the more positive emotions to that place of authentic happiness. What I'm going to be sharing with you today is a mix of my own experiences, thoughts and understandings from many sources, as well as some specific information from the book Ask. And it is given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

[00:03:47.400] - Speaker 1

Now, this is the teachings of Abraham. So this is really in the Woo area because Esther Hicks channels from a group of spirits that she identifies as Abraham. I do hope you won't let that turn yourself off to this message because there's a lot of common sense rightness to it as well. I'll be sharing some of my personal experiences from how I transitioned from a person who was full of anger, jealousy, hurt and distrust of people. And I was a mean person.

[00:04:22.500] - Speaker 1

I was not kind. I was not polite and friendly. And now I feel like I'm a totally different person. But it took time and it took progressing up this emotional scale. So let me tell you about this emotional scale. I did a Google search this morning and found some information on Wikipedia. So there was a man named Robert Placek and he came up with eight basic emotions fear, anger, sadness, joy, disgust, surprise, trust and anticipation.

[00:04:55.140] - Speaker 1

Now, I would like to say that this is a very limited list. This doesn't. I have my doubt, doesn't have my frustration and it doesn't have my fear on it, so these lists I'm talking about are far from all inclusive. So I would encourage you to make your own emotional scale list star, just brain dump some of the emotions that come to mind when you think about feelings and then rank them, of which ones you think are lower level emotions, more negative and which are the positive ones and kind of put them in in order.

[00:05:29.110] - Speaker 1

It's not going to be a perfect match. One will not lead to the other. But you'll get a sense of the emotions that you experience the most often because they're the ones that will come to mind, run yourself through a day in the life of yourself and start putting down what you feel over the course of the day and then pull out some situations that may still trigger you emotionally and jot down what those emotions are, create your own emotional scale, and that's going to help you grow so that you can start to see which emotions you would prefer to experience more often.

[00:06:04.360] - Speaker 1

Wikipedia also shares book two of Aristotle's rhetoric. Some of the emotions captured in this list are anger and calmness, friendship, fear, courage, shame, confidence, kindness and cruelty, pity, indignation, envy and love. And it also lists 27 emotions that were determined during an academic study at the University of California in Berkeley. So 27 different emotions. And I'm just going to quickly read this alphabetical list. Admiration, adoration, esthetic appreciation, amusement, anxiety or awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving disgust, empathetic pain and transient envy.

[00:06:55.030] - Speaker 1

Excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, sympathy and triumph. So as you can as you can hear, because you can't read it, you can't see it right now. But as you can hear, there are so many different levels of emotions. So this week, I encourage you to start thinking about the emotions that you feel most often and take a little bit of time, too.

[00:07:25.630] - Speaker 1

I know we don't like to dwell in the negative emotions, but call them out, give them a little bit of attention, invite them into your house, into your heart, welcome them without shame, without blame, and just sit down to have a conversation with these emotions and say, hey, what's going on with you? Why are you paying me a visit today as an example? And I don't know if this is how I actually transitioned from this angry, mean, hurtful person that I was back in my early 20s.

[00:07:56.500] - Speaker 1

But something that happened all too often was that my husband and I would be at a restaurant and I would just feel angry and I would be so disappointed by the service that we were having. If the wait staff was not really prompt in taking care of our order, filling our water glasses, making me feel special, I would just feel this rage building inside. And then eventually it erupted and it erupted by saying cruel things to the staff, leaving no tip.

[00:08:25.300] - Speaker 1

So how did I move beyond that? Well, I started being aware of what I was doing and how I was acting, and I knew that that's not who I wanted to be. So I can imagine a conversation went on in my head, something like this. I'm sitting there at the table feeling all riled up inside and I'm just ready to boil over. And my awareness, my new awareness, just saying, hey, OK, anger, you're here.

[00:08:51.400] - Speaker 1

Good to see you. But don't stay so long this time. Let's find out what's going on. What what is at the heart of why you're feeling this way. And this is where my thoughts come in. It's like, well, you know, it took her fifteen minutes to get over here to take our order. And then that inner voice, that calmer voice, that voice of perspective saying, hey, you know, you're right. It did take her fifteen minutes to get over here to take your order.

[00:09:19.300] - Speaker 1

But take a look around, look at how busy this restaurant is. Look at how she's running from table to table. And don't forget, she did stop by twice to welcome you. You do have your drink of water here. She did take care of you. And just having that voice of reason, that calm voice, not blaming, not trying to shut down the emotion, it allows me to think and take a deep breath. Oh, OK.

[00:09:45.430] - Speaker 1

You're right. She has come over to our table once or twice and said she'll get back to us as soon as possible. She didn't forget us and I just had this light bulb go on. Perhaps back then I was still feeling that invisibility. Superpower that I claim to have, and maybe that's where the anger was coming from, I was just feeling so invisible, unseen, unheard, and maybe that's where the anger came from, because when I was angry, people saw me, wow, I'm going to have to do some work on this one.

[00:10:16.090] - Speaker 1

Don't be afraid to do the work. When some of this garbage from your past comes up, acknowledge it, welcome it into your life so that you can really take a look at it. And here's the thing. By going through these conversations and saying, what are the real circumstances? What is really going on here? Why are you choosing to feel anger when you could feel dissatisfaction and you may say, well, Dhana, dissatisfaction, that's not a good feeling.

[00:10:46.120] - Speaker 1

No, it's not a great feeling. But isn't it a step higher than anger? Wouldn't you rather feel dissatisfied than so angry and furious about something? And this is what I'm talking about, the power of talking your way up to a higher emotional state, because then you know what happened eventually when we would go into these restaurants and the wait staff would be slow to respond and I would be sitting there waiting and waiting. I wasn't feeling angry anymore.

[00:11:16.000] - Speaker 1

I was feeling dissatisfied. That's a very different feeling and it's a higher vibration than feeling anger. And then eventually, as I'm sitting there and I'm feeling dissatisfied and I'm starting to feel dissatisfied, dissatisfied, dissatisfied, and my thoughts are saying, well, why are you choosing to feel dissatisfied? Let's see if we can kick that up a level. So you're sitting there feeling dissatisfied. The wait staff is not coming to serve you quick enough. But, hey, you are here with your husband and your children.

[00:11:47.050] - Speaker 1

This is family time. Why are you choosing to cop an attitude at this moment? Because your energy is going to bring theirs down. You know what they say. You know, if mama ain't happy, nobody happy. Each of us has our own energy and we project that out to the world. And some people absorb it more easily than others. Others are very good at repelling negative energy and others are very good at saying, oh, yes, let's feed off of this.

[00:12:14.530] - Speaker 1

And before you know it, everyone is complaining and bringing everyone down. So I'm sitting at the table with my family and I'm thinking I'm dissatisfied with the service. OK, so what can I do to elevate that emotion to just being content, having the time with my children, with my husband? Oh, that sounds even better, doesn't it? And initially, it's going to take a little bit of work. It's going to take a little bit of self talk.

[00:12:41.110] - Speaker 1

But when you practice it enough, it becomes your new normal. And then the next time you go into a restaurant in this may take six or eight or ten visits of poor service before you start to realize, OK, this is the time for us just to really take advantage of this extra time we have together. We're not going to rush through this meal. Hey, kids, let's draw some pictures on these the place mats. Let's do some word games.

[00:13:08.110] - Speaker 1

Let's pull out our favorite movie quotes and then we can create more memorable experiences. And do you see what's happening instead of being that angry, really mean person. Now I'm someone who's more than content. I'm having a good time with my family. All it takes is working on your thoughts, our thoughts, direct our feelings and our feelings, direct our actions. So when I'm feeling angry and hurt and ignored, my actions are going to reflect that.

[00:13:39.040] - Speaker 1

But when I'm feeling content and happy and joy filled, my actions are going to reflect that as well. And all of this energy we're sending out into the world is touching every other living creature. It is powerful in the book ask, and it is given by Esther and Jerry Hicks the teachings of Abraham. They provide an example, emotional scale. They aren't saying that this is the end all and be all that. These are all of the emotions.

[00:14:09.040] - Speaker 1

They aren't saying that these are the order that they are in. And how do I know that? Because this is what it says. This is a quote, a scale of your emotions would look something like this. It would look something like this. And I'm going to quickly read these emotions now. It's funny because it's listed as twenty two items, but the several of them have multiple words on the same category. Number one, the highest vibrational energy, which oh I think it's so cool that they express that it's not the emotion that creates the vibration that we are projecting, it's the vibration we are projecting that shows up in these emotions.

[00:14:52.630] - Speaker 1

We are the vibration level and the emotion is what we receive in response to that. It's kind of a which came first, the chicken or the egg scenario does the emotions, the higher vibrational emotions cause us to feel better? Is it that when we're energetically emitting these vibrations at a higher level, that we receive the feelings? It's all kind of pretty cool. So one thing that they say in this book is that absolute alignment, which is that higher frequency, that higher power level, our source of energy.

[00:15:29.700] - Speaker 1

It means the following. It means you are free, you're powerful, you're good. Your love, you are you have value, you have purpose. And that all is well. And think about when you feel that sense of true well-being, that authentic happiness. Yes. That is when you feel free and you feel powerful, good love, you have value, you have purpose and all is well and you know that all is well. So that is what we all aspire to.

[00:15:58.380] - Speaker 1

And then we get stuck in the lesser emotions because we are expressing those lower vibrational energy frequencies. One other distinction they make in this chapter, which I think is fascinating and I think it's important for you to know this and think about this rather than classifying emotions as negative or positive. Think about it as one feels good and one feels bad. Or you could think one feels better or one feels worse, especially when you are dealing with the lower frequency emotions, the doubt, the despair, the fear when you're dealing.

[00:16:38.520] - Speaker 1

Oh, and see, I just automatically went back to the ones that are are my key ones. Oh, my gosh. Sorry about that. Trying to get away from all of this. Focus on me. I'm going to look at their list, which I didn't read to you. OK, so here is their list. And these are not all encompassing. These are just examples. So it starts with joy. Empowerment and freedom goes to passion, enthusiasm, positive expectation or belief, optimism, hopefulness, contentment, boredom, pessimism, frustration.

[00:17:11.760] - Speaker 1

There's mine. Overwhelming disappointment and overwhelming is in quotes. I think they realize that's not a real word. But emotionally, we feel that overwhelming disappointment, doubt, worry, blame, discouragement, anger, revenge, hatred, jealousy, insecurity and guilt, fear, grief, depression, despair, powerlessness. So that is their list of more than twenty two items. One thing I noticed when I first looked at this list where I put authentic happiness is one step above neutral and I would consider contentment to be neutral.

[00:17:50.490] - Speaker 1

And boredom on this list is just below contentment. So contentment is at seven, boredom is at eight, and then it goes down to twenty two. Some more items, twice as many items are listed below, neutral as above. And I think it's just a sign of where many of us are. So many of us spend so much time feeling shame or blaming others or feeling that anger or jealousy and insecurity. And what we can do is using our thoughts.

[00:18:21.300] - Speaker 1

We can start stepping up the scale. And so as as I just was talking about good or bad emotions, something that feels better or feels worse when you are trying to elevate yourself and you're going from that place like the example I gave of being angry, which feels better to be angry or to be dissatisfied, probably dissatisfied. And so you're stepping up. And so as you're thinking about how you're feeling, because your thoughts control your feelings, I'm going to keep saying that.

[00:18:52.530] - Speaker 1

Start thinking in terms of which emotion feels better. Just use the names of the emotions that you're familiar with, that you're comfortable with. You don't have to learn a whole new language of emotions to try to nit pick the details. However, if you can be more specific and you can determine the difference between feeling insecure, feeling guilty or feeling unworthy, there's a little bit of difference in there. But in this example, all three of those are listed at number twenty one.

[00:19:24.150] - Speaker 1

Now, if we're starting from a place of knowing that we can't make these many step jumps up the emotional scale, we can't go from feeling angry and hurt to all of the sudden feeling, oh, bright, sunshiny. And everything is wonderful. It's not a real leap. It's not a real transition. Something like that is probably just trying to hide and bury and repress what you're truly feeling. You're putting on that pretty, pretty sunshiny face rather than allowing yourself to feel what you really feel.

[00:19:55.230] - Speaker 1

However, when you are consciously aware of how a. Thought is making you feel that's when you can begin the process of changing the way that you're thinking, and one thing to be careful of the thought is not necessarily the reality, the truth of the situation or the circumstances. For instance, going back to the restaurant scenario, what are the facts there? I may think that we waited 15 minutes to get any service from this white person. The facts are that the person came over and greeted us, got us drinks, came back several times over the span of a 15 minute walk to take our order and eventually did come take our order.

[00:20:40.400] - Speaker 1

But sometimes we can get so caught up in what we're thinking, we could see that white person talking at another table and having a pleasant conversation. And we can say, you know what, she's so busy taking care of those people over there. She doesn't even want to take care of us. And we can make that a fact in our minds. We can believe that we can say bad things about the restaurant management. We can focus our anger on passing judgment on them.

[00:21:06.500] - Speaker 1

You know what? If it's going to be this busy on a Saturday night, they should have more waitstaff available to help out. And that's what we're thinking and that's why we're angry. But we don't know what the situation is. All we know, all that could be proven in a court of law. The facts we arrived, we were seated. The waitress came and gave us drinks, apologize for a delay several times, and finally, after fifteen minutes, came to take our order.

[00:21:35.600] - Speaker 1

We don't know everything else, the facts, just the facts of any situation or circumstances. That's what you want to focus on. Take out all the extra drama, the guesses, the beliefs, the imaginary stories you are telling yourself to justify the feeling that you're feeling, even though it's an unpleasant one. Take all of those out of the picture, look at the facts and ask yourself, why are you responding the way that you are responding? Is there a better way to respond that will allow you to feel better?

[00:22:12.860] - Speaker 1

Because you can tell yourself a story that makes you feel happier or you can tell a story that makes you feel worse. It's always your choice and it's within your control and your power to do so. And it's at this point that I feel the need to throw in this caveat, this warning, this note to listeners that while I believe this step by step approach to improve your emotional health and to increase your vibrational energies, I also feel extremely out of my league.

[00:22:45.320] - Speaker 1

For those of you who may be dealing with the extreme lower vibrational emotions, the grief, the depression, the despair, the powerlessness, the fear, that's not like fear of people laughing at you, but the real heartfelt fear and the jealousy, hatred, rage, revenge, anger areas. And I say that probably just because it's hard to explain, even though I have experienced it myself, why it can be a good thing to validate and encourage you to express such furious anger when people look and say, well, why would you encourage someone to express their anger?

[00:23:24.680] - Speaker 1

Because sometimes anger is a higher level emotion than what you were feeling. Look at jealousy. If you are jealous of someone and you just want what they have and you just have this hatred inside for someone because you want what they have, which would feel better to hold on to those feelings of jealousy and hatred, or is it better to be angry because you feel like your circumstances you got screwed, they got life on a silver platter and it's not fair.

[00:23:54.680] - Speaker 1

Doesn't anger feel better than this quiet, deep seated, burning jealousy when you allow yourself to move up to anger and really express that burning hurt? Yes, that's a better feeling than jealousy. But it all comes back to when you feel that anger. How are you acting in response to it? How were you acting in response to feeling jealous? Our feelings provide us with clues for how we can grow and change and improve our lives the way that we're thinking.

[00:24:28.550] - Speaker 1

It's the actions we take based on those feelings that gets us into trouble, that causes the drama, that causes the messes and burns the bridges in those consequences that it's hard to recover from. You can feel angry without hitting someone, without punching a hole in the wall. And when you allow yourself to experience that anger and you start questioning it and you start thinking about it and what it really means to you and how you feel about it, that's.

[00:24:58.720] - Speaker 1

When you can start thinking, I don't like being angry all the time, it doesn't make me feel good. I feel discouraged because I'm always angry. I feel discouraged, discouraged, feels a little bit better than angry. OK, so why do I feel discouraged? What can I do to elevate discouraged a little bit higher? What would be a little bit higher than feeling discouraged, maybe feeling hopeful? I'm so discouraged that I can't lose weight, but I'm hopeful that I can and is in hope better than discouraged.

[00:25:35.830] - Speaker 1

It's all a matter of walking yourself up the steps. It's something you can do. It's a thought practice. And I can share from experience my own life that it's hard work and that it's worth it. So this week I encourage, you know, I challenge you whatever emotions you are feeling, especially the ones that you want to keep hidden. You want to bury them and not feel them. Allow yourself to feel them and ask yourself, what can I do to make this feeling feel just a little bit better?

[00:26:17.260] - Speaker 1

If you enjoy listening to this podcast and you're ready to overcome your own doubts and fears so that you can step out of your current limiting roles and responsibilities and into your whatever venture potential you have to check out. Walk with me. It's additional guidance on finding your way to the delightfully imperfect life of your dreams. Check it out at forward slash walk. I'd love to have you walk with me. The music for this podcast is Drifting Upstream by Hyson.


Show Notes:

I mentioned Ep139: What is Authentic Happiness?

I shared a few lists of emotions I found on Wikipedia. 

I shared information from the book Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires by Esther and Jerry Hicks (The Teachings of Abraham). The list I read is in Chapter 22.

The Walk with Me program is no longer available.

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The music for this podcast is Drifting Upstream by Hyson. The music was slightly remixed and fit to needed duration.

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