Five faces displaying David R. Hawkins' scale of emotions.

What’s David R. Hawkins’s Scale of Emotions? What’s the difference between low-frequency and high-frequency emotions?

David R. Hawkins says there are three unhelpful emotions with low energy frequencies and three beneficial emotions with high frequencies. We’ll explore how to release the unhelpful emotions.

Keep reading to learn about this range of emotions that humans feel.

Low-Frequency Emotions

On David R. Hawkins’s Scale of Emotions, low-frequency negative emotions attract negative experiences and hinder personal growth and success. Let’s take a closer look at three of the most common negative emotions: grief, fear, and anger.

1. Grief 

Hawkins argues that grief arises when you believe that you need something external to complete you, and then you lose that thing. You might typically associate grief with losing people, but it could also come from losing a relationship, a worldview, or a dream you have for yourself. When you place a lot of importance on external attachments, every loss you experience feels like losing a part of yourself

You may be tempted to bury your grief or ignore it because it feels overwhelming. Instead of protecting you, however, your unwillingness to accept the feeling keeps you in a state of grief. Staying in this state leads to hopelessness and regret. 

To release grief and move into a state of acceptance, you must allow yourself to grieve fully. Recognize that you’re capable of handling the feeling and that you can love and care for people and things without attaching them to your sense of self. 

2. Fear

According to Hawkins, another emotion with a low frequency is fear. Because fear has been connected with survival throughout our evolution, it’s highly pervasive, and it manifests in many different ways. 

Some fears seem small and insignificant, while others can prevent you from living the kind of life you want to. For example, a fear of spiders likely won’t affect you often, but a fear of leaving the house will prevent you from connecting with others and being adventurous. 

As we touched on before, fear is also problematic because its energy draws in the things you’re afraid of—if you believe something is going to happen, it often does. Once the thing you’re afraid of comes to pass, it acts as evidence of the fear, keeping the cycle of fear going. For example, let’s say you’re afraid to be vulnerable with others because you think that they’ll abandon you if you show the messier sides of yourself. Because you won’t show any vulnerability, people do often give up on getting to know you, and you feel more alone. Though your fear is actually what’s driving this loneliness, you take others pulling away from you as confirmation that the feeling is valid. 

To free yourself from fear, Hawkins says to start by recognizing that you don’t need to be afraid of being afraid. As with any other negative emotion, you must learn to sit with fear if you are to release it. Recognize that it’s not protecting you, but rather holding you back. You can also shift your mindset by making decisions out of love instead of fear. For example, don’t eat a strict diet just because you’re afraid of developing a disease later on in life. Instead, choose to eat nourishing food that makes you feel good because you love yourself, and you deserve to be well taken care of.

3. Anger

Hawkins argues that anger can be useful, though it’s still an ultimately destructive emotion. You might bury your anger because you feel guilty or think it’s undesirable. However, keeping anger inside leads to long-term health problems and harms relationships. Even if you don’t express your anger, it draws negative energy toward you.

Anger isn’t all bad, though—it can energize you and propel you to action, and you can direct that energy toward a good purpose. Instead of subduing your anger or unleashing it on the people around you, use it as motivation to improve your situation or yourself. For example, say you hold a lot of anger against your parents for the ways they treated you as a child. Instead of holding that anger inside or lashing out and damaging your current relationships, use it as motivation to go to therapy and learn to treat others better than your parents do. 

High-Frequency Emotions

Hawkins states that to reach an ultimate state of peace where you’re unencumbered by negativity, you must release unhelpful feelings and make room for beneficial ones. These positive emotions attract success and fulfillment with their high frequencies, and they help you become less attached to external sources of joy and acceptance. Now, we’ll examine three of the most powerful positive emotions: courage, love, and peace.

1. Courage

According to Hawkins, courage represents the transition from a mindset of limitation to a mindset of capability. You no longer think of all you can’t do and instead turn your attention to what you can do. 

When embodying the energy of courage, you’re able to be joyful, centered, and self-assured. You have faith that you can get the things you want and need with abilities you already have, and you learn to respect yourself. When you invite courage in, you’re willing to take risks and make mistakes to grow.  

2. Love

Hawkins asserts that love is more than just a high-frequency emotion—it’s a way of life. Whenever you offer love and kindness to other beings, you’re improving the world around you. Putting out love freely also means that it’ll come back to you freely. 

Once you’re no longer holding on to your negative emotions, you realize that love is everywhere, just waiting to be discovered, and it can manifest in countless ways. For example, love can be found in a teacher letting a tired student sleep in class because the student’s struggling at home, or a friend taking the time to listen to your favorite song. When you exist in a state of love, your presence and actions encourage the people around you to be better, too—to be calmer, more considerate, more patient, and so on. 

On an individual level, love makes it easier for you to forgive yourself for perceived faults. You’re able to accept yourself as you are. Additionally, it becomes easier to feel grateful to be alive and thankful for the things that bring you joy and happiness. Thus, your life becomes better, and you make other people’s lives better. 

3. Peace

Hawkins names peace as the highest, most evolved emotional state. Peace is the ultimate goal of emotional release, wherein you’ve freed yourself from all negative energy. In many spiritual traditions, someone who’s achieved true peace has reached enlightenment. 

When you’re at peace, you feel inner stillness, unity, and contentment. No outside force can disturb this internal quiet, and you no longer experience earthly suffering because your sense of self is no longer tied to your physical body. 

Finally, true peace also means you no longer experience desire. You don’t need to covet anything because the energy that you put out is so strong and positive that anything you need automatically arrives in your life. 

David R. Hawkins’s Scale of Emotions—An Overview

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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