Shifting into Positive Emotions is Easy
Learning to shift into uplifting emotional states that reverse the energy drain caused by stress is easy and empowering. With just a bit of practice it can become like shifting gears while driving. It’s crucial because it’s mainly in our feelings where our stress lives.
The most powerful energy boosters are the feelings we all want more of: appreciation, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, love, etc. These feelings regenerate and sustain us through creating hormonal mixtures that nourish our cells and reduce fatigue. In contrast, negative feelings seriously sap our strength.
Our emotional state is up to us – it’s not a given fact
Most people seem to take their inner emotional state as a given. Not many of us know that we have the power to shift into positive emotions at will – even in moments of acute stress. And yet, it is so simple that I ask myself why we haven’t been taught this life-changing practice before.
Feeling an emotion such as appreciation or gratitude creates a more harmonious state often referred to as “flow”, or “the zone”. It can be easily done with an exercise that takes only a few minutes. The Institute of HeartMath defines this state of internal and external connectedness as “coherence”. It has developed research-based tools and technology that help to cultivate it.
How would I like to feel instead?
Coherence is directly associated with improved health and cognitive functioning as well as increased access to intuition. Another remarkable benefit is that each time the system is in a state of coherence, it is building up resilience to stress or any form of adversity.
Such a practice involves recognizing how we really feel. This can be done by asking ourselves several times over the course of the day what exactly we are feeling. Recognizing how bad we feel doesn’t have to lead to more self-blame, as many people seem to fear. We can simply accept that and then ask ourselves: “How would I like to feel instead?” And then we can simply go on with shifting into that desired state.
It is also quite easy to take stock of what gives us energy and what takes it away. When we know which situations drain us, we can do the exercise before hand or at exactly those times. With more awareness of which kind of draining emotions we feel on a regular basis, comes a higher level of determination to switch gears.
Feelings make stronger impacts than thoughts
Once again: Scientific findings clearly show that positive feelings have a powerful physiological effect, pushing us to feel and perform better. The pre-dominant emphasis in self-development literature on re-programming our thought patterns doesn’t yet take this fact sufficiently into consideration.
Consider this: The heart’s electrical field has 40 to 60 times more amplitude than that of the brain, while the heart’s magnetic field is approximately five thousand times stronger than the field produced by the brain (McCrathy 2004). Generating a heartfelt emotion therefore has a way more powerful impact on our wellbeing than thinking a pleasant thought.
About the Author: Ute Devika Meinel is Life Coach, certified trainer of the HeartMath Institute and teacher of Laughter Yoga who facilitates workshops internationally. She was born to German parents in India and lives in Egypt Devikacoaching.com
‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’