You would need to have spent the past year in a coma not to be aware of the massive change occurring in our world: the Brexit vote; the continuing conflict in the Middle East and ensuing migrant “crisis”, and the upcoming Trump presidency play on the minds of many of us.
Change on this scale creates uncertainty, and uncertainty at a personal level can manifest as insecurity and fear. All emotions generate an energy, and can change the chemical balance in our bodies. This is because our feelings affect the electromagnetic field that surrounds us. The body is like a giant circuit board. Every cell in our body responds to every thought we think and every word we say. So negative emotions can change and slow down the vibration of life. When negative emotions are expressed, we give our power away. This can create a downward spiral – our negative feelings leave us feeling vulnerable and we see everything through this lens, which in turn makes us even more fearful and vulnerable. By giving our power away we are easily swayed and buffeted by the forces around us – this has been capitalised on over the past year by several groups who have waged campaigns that speak directly to our fears and insecurity to push their own agendas.
But what if we were to regard all these changes as positive? In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Universe is understood to be made up of Yin and Yang energy, and every change is brought about by the movement of Yin and Yang as they continuously shift to maintain balance. So, although we are currently undergoing big shifts, we need to keep faith that these will bring us back into balance, albeit that the shifts take us to a new place and not back to the old status quo. Whilst painful at the time (and change often is uncomfortable, if not downright distressing), we need to hold onto the fact that it is going to take us to a new and better place. The energy in many aspects of our world have felt very stagnant for quite some time – many of us have lost faith in the existing structures and bodies that are supposed to work for the common good; things like our NHS have got so bogged down that they can barely function. And we have become bogged down with it – felling helpless to do anything that will improve the situation. However, the seismic shifts that are currently occurring provides us with an opportunity to face our apathy.
Our emotions give off a vibrational energy that connects with other energies; that’s why they say misery loves company – like attracts like. Fear is a negative emotion, and succumbing to it will engender more negativity. Positive emotions ground us and make us stronger. So, what if we were to embrace these changes with a positive energy? There are entire books written on the power of positive thinking. And research shows that positive thinking is more than just a soft and fluffy term – a “feel good” factor. It is commonly known that fear triggers the fight or flight response in our bodies – where our focus narrows to the one danger or stressor in front of us, to the exclusion of all else. Current research is showing that positive emotions like joy and contentment broaden the mind and open it to accept the existence of more possibilities[i]. So if we approach change with a positive outlook, we will see more opportunities
Easier said than done, you say? Well not really. The same recommendations for how to be more positive – and thus happier – keep cropping up over and over again:
- Practice mindfulness – be present – notice the little things like the frost on the grass, birds enjoying the bird-feeders in the garden, or the pattern the barista has made in froth on your cappuccino
- Meditate – daily meditation can help clear and calm the mind, reduce stress and increase mindfulness
- Write – Taking time to “count our blessings” is an intervention that has been used for years. The act of writing them down is an added dimension that can help to compound the positive experience
- Play – we all schedule tasks, work and dentists appointments and other responsibilities into our diaries. So why not schedule in time for fun. Why would exploring and experimenting be less important than your Thursday meeting? Give yourself permission to smile and enjoy the benefits of positive emotion.
We do not need to fight to overthrow a government; nor do we need feel overwhelmed by the idea that we cannot make a difference. We can. And we can start by making a difference within ourselves. And our positive energy will connect with others, and so a new way of being will grow.