In this post, we’ll unpack all you need to know about the Emotional Triad, defining exactly what it is, how it impacts our emotional state, how to leverage it and more.
What Is The Emotional Triad?
Developed by Tony Robbins, the Emotional Triad provides us with a model that illustrates how all states are made up primarily of three forces.
The Three Primary Forces That Shape Your State
The three primary forces that influence our emotional state are: physiology, focus and language.
Below we’ll unpack each of the three forces in more detail.
Physiology refers to everything that relates to nonverbal communication.
Physiology includes breathing, temperature, movement (including speed), facial expressions, posture, pressure (touch), proximity, tonality (voice) and tempo (voice).
Research tells us that 93% of how we communicate is non-verbal― 55% body language and 38% tone of voice.
A 2003 study conducted by Simone Schnall and David Laird revealed an interesting finding. By faking a smile you can trick your brain into thinking you’re happy by releasing feel good hormones called endorphins.
When we are in a positive state, we make ourselves bigger. When we are in a negative state, we make ourselves smaller. In fact, studies show that when we make ourselves bigger, risk level is 86%, testosterone levels increase by 20% and cortisol levels decrease by 25%. In contrast, when we make ourselves smaller, our risk level is 60%, testosterone levels decrease by 10% and cortisol levels increase by 15%.
Someone who is slumped, with their head down, shoulders forwards, chest caving in and breathing shallow (universal signs of sadness or depression) is going to create an entirely different emotional state compared to someone who is standing tall, with their head up, shoulders back, chest out and breathing deeply (universal signs of happiness and joy).
By shifting our physiology, we can shift our emotional state.
Focus refers to what we chose to place our attention on.
Someone who focuses on threats will create anxiety. Someone who focuses on opportunities will create excitement.
Similarly, someone who focuses on what is wrong in their life will create an entirely different emotional experience compared to someone who focuses on what is right in their life.
Someone who focuses on what they don’t want or don’t have, will create an entirely different emotional experience compared to someone who focuses on what they do want or do have.
By shifting our focus, we can shift our emotional state.
Language refers to how we communicate with ourselves and with others.
Words have meaning and the meaning we give something determines how we feel. Therefore, the words we use not only describe our experiences, they become our experiences.
Not only does language impact our emotional state, but it also impacts the intensity of it. Subtle nuances can transform the sentiment at hand and therefore our emotional responses to them.
Furthermore, the questions we ask ourselves also determine our emotional state. Someone who asks themselves “Why am I not good enough?” is going to get answers that make them feel disempowered. In contrast, someone who asks themselves “What can I do to improve my situation?” is going to get answers that make them feel empowered.
By shifting our language, we can shift our emotional state.
How To Leverage The Emotional Triad
In every moment, consciously or unconsciously, we are choosing how we feel.
Therefore, the key to leveraging the Emotional Triad is to manipulate our physiology, focus and language. In doing so, we can maximise positive emotional states that align with our goals and the life we desire and minimise negative emotional states that don’t.
When you take responsibility for your emotions, you become the Master of our Destiny instead of a Slave to your Fate.
The Emotional Triad provides us with a framework for how all emotional states are made up primarily of three forces; physiology, focus and language. Physiology refers to what we do with our body. Focus refers to where we place our attention. Language refers to how we communicate.
The key to leveraging the Emotional Triad is manipulate our physiology, focus and language. In doing so, we can create emotional states that empower us to achieve our goals and the life we desire.