I have written in previous Blogs about healing the emotions of anxiety, stress, anger and guilt. They are all really examples of fear by another name – a feeling that something bad has happened, is happening or might happen. In all cases a physiological response is switched on to enable you to protect yourself, keep safe and survive.
Just one, or many negative experiences in the past can result in a habit of worrying and dwelling on what might go wrong, even after the bad experience is over.
As long as your dominant focus is on fears and surviving, a more desirable opposite focus on living and thriving can be virtually non existent. It blocks you from achieving all the good things in life you really want. They just don’t seem to be available to you. What is the opposite emotion to fear? It is …. love.
There are other positive emotions, like love, such as joy, gratitude, bliss, happiness, passion, freedom, positive expectation. All of these emotions switch on a physiological response of relaxation and healing, which supports growth and thriving.
There are really only two emotions. Fear and Love. They are mutually exclusive. You must choose one or the other. For example it is impossible to simultaneously feel anger and laugh at a joke. If you can make someone laugh when they are angry, they can’t stay angry. Which will you choose?
The good news is that to thrive and grow, you don’t need to be thinking positive ‘love’ thoughts and emotions 100% of the time. Just most of the time, which is more than 51% of the time. We all think about 50,000 thoughts a day, but most of them are the same each day. So there won’t be too many negative ones that have to be substituted with a positive thought!
This knowledge is ancient wisdom and is certainly not a secret. The Beatles told us in the lyrics to All You Need is Love:
Nothing you can make that can’t be made No one you can save that can’t be saved Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time It’s easy All you need is love Love is all you need
J.K.Rowling tells us the same thing in the Harry Potter stories. Harry learnt to ward off Dementors by thinking of what he loved the most: his parents and friends. The Dementors are dark, shadowy, life threatening creatures that deprive their victims of all their happy memories, reducing them to depression, despair and potentially death. When Harry learnt to maintain his positive love focus, the Dementors immediately withered and retreated. If you want to drive out fear, think of something you love!
An easy way to keep your focus on the bright side of life is to think about all the things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Gratitude for a sunny day, or a tasty breakfast, or a kind word is equal to and just as powerful as gratitude for achieving your hearts desire. Make a list. Add a new one each day. Make a point of appreciating 10 things you’re grateful for every day. Create a new habit of seeing the bottle half full, not half empty. It makes all the difference !
Positive thinking is more than a nice idea, it’s probably the most important skill we could ever learn. Don’t give in to fear, choose a life ruled by love.