What’s Your Emotional Default?

What’s Your Emotional Default?

A “default” is defined here as, “a predesigned value or setting that is used by a computer program when a value or setting is not specified by the program user.” I’ve read that an emotional default is the place you live most in your emotions.  I see an emotional default as the way we feel when we are not consciously distracted or deliberately choosing our feelings.

We all know someone who we’d describe as “an angry person”. Similarly, we know someone who always seems to be happy. “Angry” and “happy” may be their emotional defaults.

Clarification: there are always reasons for how we feel. An “angry person” has reasons to feel angry just as a “happy person” comes by this disposition honestly. Events in life bring us to the emotional default we claim as our own. But once “happy” or “angry” or some other emotion becomes the default it perpetuates itself. This is not a problem if our default is a high, happy one but if our default is low it can wreck havoc in our lives.

This is because the brain takes its cues from how we are feeling and searches for additional reasons why we should feel this way. So whether your default is high or low your brain seeks to support it and proceeds to produce more reasons for that emotional state of mind thus expanding upon the mood and perpetuating the emotional default setting.

Recently I began to wonder about my emotional default, recognizing that it was low, a low that had little to do with the present grief I’m feeling. So I set an Intention to raise it and life accommodated me by shining a light on the issue – the cause of this low default – deep within my childhood. I used the System I wrote about in The Happy Place to clear the issue and I watched my default change!

I believe many of our troubling issues originate in childhood at an age when we didn’t have enough experience and knowledge to accurately interpret the events in our worlds. Our interpretation of events formed our worldview, our rock-solid version of reality.  But we know now that there is no reality, only perception. We know now that we can change the very wiring in our brains which formed through old understanding and we can create a new version. Therefore we can alter our emotional defaults and this can change our lives!

What is your emotional default? Was it always set this way or did you change it? What tool(s) did you use?

Photo credit: Elaine Smith

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?