This is an introduction to the concept of emotional range, and covers some of the basic ideas around the connection between emotional range and positivity.
Here in this blog post I will talk about my concept of “emotional range”, and about how that is related to my negativity-positivity spectrum and the idea of increasing our positivity.
Emotional Range and Repertoire
Emotional range is the “width” of our current emotional repertoire. By using the word “repertoire” I do not mean to say that it is a potential group of emotional expressions that I am referring to.
Rather, by using the word “repertoire”, I intend to say that we currently have a number of emotional states that we exercise, or “visit” on a regular basis. And these current emotional states represent only a part of all possible states that humans may use.
These emotional states are thus different, and are “spread out” across the negativity-positivity spectrum of all possible emotional states.
So the negativity-positivity spectrum houses all emotional states and all potential emotional “performances”, but our current repertoire only includes some of these.
Emotional Range Is a “Block”
And this repertoire of emotional states and behaviors typically has a starting point and an ending point, in terms of their level of negativity or positivity. In other words, these behaviors are mostly “packed together” in a set of “continuous” emotional states.
What I mean by this is that these emotional states are not extremely “spread out” along the negativity-positivity spectrum. Rather, they are somewhat confined, sort of “glued together, to form a continuous group.
So our current emotional range, then, is a “block” of individual, “neighbouring” emotional states and behaviors, that we currently are practicing more or less regularly.
This situation is described in the three first examples (in blue). In all of these cases, we have a continuous, unbroken, solid “block”, with a distinct minimum value and a likewise distinct maximum value.
In the first and third example, the width is approximately the same. But the “block” in the third example is “offset” more to the right, toward the positive side.
In the second example, the mid position of the “block” is approximately the same as in the first example. But the second example is wider, and thus cover more emotional ground.
To illustrate something that I would not regard as an “emotional range” in its cleanest variant, I am also providing another, fourth example (in red, at the very bottom in the above figure).
Here we do not have a continuous block of emotional states and behaviors along the negativity-positivity spectrum, but rather a collection of small “puddles” (in red) spread out across the scale.
Why Care About our Emotional Range?
Our goal, as seekers of happiness and positivity, is to control our emotions. It is the art of prioritizing emotions over everything else, more or less.
By “control”, however, I do not mean that we want to become emotionally “stiff” or anything like that. It’s not about becoming “socially acceptable” or “fitting in”, which might incude a “stiffing” of one’s behavior or emotions.
Rather, by control I simply mean the ability to deliberate “guide” our emotional state into a state that is more positive. The goal is to acquire more positivity, and more positive energy.
In other words, we want to “offset” ourselves to the right in the negativity-positivity spectrum, so that we are positioning ourselves in the positive half of the spectrum, or at least as close as we can get to the positive half.
In other words, it’s about our emotional range. And our goal is to, somehow, “offset” our emotional range so that we gradually transport ourselves to the right in the negativity-positivity spectrum.
And in order to do that, it is important to understand what our emotional range is, and what to do about it, thus triggering questions such as: What is my current emotional repertoire? And how can I change it?
Emotional Range and Time
Our emotional state and behavior is not a “static” thing; instead, it is sure to be fluctuating all the time, minute by minute, hour by hour, for various reasons.
Some emotions may stick around for a longer time, while other emotions may be more fleeting or short-lived. It all depends on the circumstances and one’s particular beliefs and background.
The emotional range, as I have defined it here, does, however, not take into account the actual duration of these emotional episodes. The emotional range only serves as an “illustration” of which emotional state is currently regularly used, not the time spent in it.
This is, of course, not to say that the time spent in it is uninteresting. On the contrary, it is highly relevant. But it’s a topic for a later discussion.
Minimum and Maximum Values
The minimum value, in terms of our emotional state or behavior, is the most negative value. This value might be either on the negative half of the NP spectrum, or on the positive half.
Regardless of which, the minimum value is always less positive (more negative) than the maximum value.
The maximum value, in terms of our emotional state or behavior, is the most positive (least negative) value. This value might either be on the negative half of the NP spectrum, or on the positive half.
Regardless, the maximum emotional value is always more positive (i.e. less negative) than the minimum value.
As I already quickly pointed out above, the goal is to move our emotional range so that we overall become more positive and less negative. The exact way to do that is, however, not to be covered in this post.
However, I will in the future present some general strategies that I have developed, which may help us to “systematize” our journey toward a more positive emotional state.
So you may want to be on the lookout for some strategy posts that I have planned, which will cover some general “rules”, as well as some more particular strategies, such as my “Worm” strategies called “Shrinko” and “Stretcho”.
Until then, have a GREAT day!
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