Your Emotional Temperature
We have a set emotional temperature that we are in a habit of keeping, we are used to keeping it, and we are addicted to keeping it. And perhaps most importantly, we are most comfortable when we are at this emotion.
But what the heck is emotional temperature? Basically, ET is the emotion we are “set” at most of the time. We are often most consistent with one general mood. We might be negative/anxious, happy/chill, depressed/anxious, happy/positive, motivated/positive, motivated/anxious, resentful/victim, negative/irritable and the combinations go on. And our ET is the mood we are most often in and the mood we are most comfortable in, even if it is a negative one.
I had a couple I was counseling, and no matter what, he was always angry and a victim. His wife, on the other hand, was always looking on the bright side. She would always try to change his negative viewpoint to a positive spin. If he complained about not being happy about one thing or another, she would think of 40 things for him to do to try to bring him up (which of course didn’t work). He was the type of guy that would walk into a clean kitchen and notice the one dirty plate and would slam pots and pans around because someone left it there. She was the type of gal who would walk into that same kitchen and thank whoever was the one that cleaned it- same kitchen, different view, and different emotions. Our temperatures are set so we see things that fit our ET. Whether it is true or not we are looking for something that substantiates our temperature. You will see what you are looking for.
We are often uncomfortable when our emotional temperature changes- even if it is for the better. We would rather stay with what we know, and can count on, then try something new. It’s human nature. Change is scary.
Now what? How do we change our ET?
I think the best way might be to first be honest with yourself about your ET. Admit what yours is. Then, be mindful as your day goes on, self check, stop yourself and observe. Don’t be afraid to admit what it is. We are trying to improve ourselves and not here to be perfect. Notice, for example, when you are irritable, and ask yourself, “why am I feeling this way?” Self- talk will be your best friend at these times. Talk yourself away from the ledge. Ask yourself what would you like to feel like. Look at the issue that may be bothering you and ask yourself if you are catastrophizing it (catastrophizing is an irrational thought we may have, in believing that something is far worse than it actually is). And find a solution.
Also, it is important to have an empathic eye. (I will be addressing empathy another way, in another article, phrased, know what your partner is capable of). In short, people will disappoint you if you put your own expectations on them. Try to allow your emotions to become independent of anyone or any situation (again, I will address in another article). Otherwise, you are emotionally dependent on your boyfriend, your mother, the boss and the weather. Choose the emotion you want and start to find things, people, events that are in front of you that you are choosing to see as the enemy. Talk yourself up. Keep your eye on the positive thing you want and not the negative things you are choosing to find. Understand that no one owes us anything (when we are over the age of 18). Life is full of continuous fires and it’s not the fires, but how we put them out, that matters.
And finally, fake it ‘til you make it. Fake a positive attitude. It will feel weird at first, but people, the universe and you will respond to this attitude in a different way. Watch what happens when you do. It’s a domino effect.
If your ET is not positive, take the leap of faith and try to change it. Try it for a day, try it for an hour, and tell me which felt better. (Okay, you might not be able to tell me, but you get the idea).
Emotion is a muscle (again, different article on this). The more you practice anything, the better it gets. If I practice piano, Italian, or law, the more I do something, whether good or bad, the better I get. So, if I smoke cigarettes and drink booze, the more I do it, the better I get at it. And therefore, the more you “practice” your ET (your given, normal, emotion), the stronger it gets.
And it will take you to take action against your ET to change it.