Mastering emotions, it turns out, is a fundamental part of having abundant energy.
It’s not just the enormous Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) studies surveying over 17,500 adults completed by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente that have shown emotional health is a critical component of PHYSICAL health and therefore energy.
It’s also intuitively obvious.
Think about it.
When we comment that someone has “great energy,” we don’t just mean that have great stamina and are able to run marathons, although physical energy is important!
We are referring to the fact that these people are emanating positive emotions and that they tend to uplift others around them.
We could even say they have a type of charisma or a magnetic personality.
So FEELING GOOD is an essential ingredient for overall Abundant Energy.
Emotions aren’t just biochemical!
While emotions are physically expressed as neurotransmitters, hormones and even gut bacteria, and we can change the way we feel by modulating our biochemistry, it’s important to note emotions are also electromagnetic.
Don’t believe me? Check out this video of a Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency (PEMF) device calming down a 5000lb angry bull in less than 30 seconds from 5-6 inches away!
Almost 30 years of research by the Heartmath Institute has confirmed that the heart produces a field of energy around it that is 60 times great in amplitude and 100 times stronger than the field generated around the brain.
See the direct link to the study here:
The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Communication Within and Between People Clinical Applications of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine 2004
Heartmath have found that when the field is in a coherent healthy state, there is a high heart rate variability (HRV) reading.
HRV is the time measured between heart beats. The higher the HRV, the healthier and more adaptable the person is.
HRV is probably the most accurate measure of STRESS used in scientific research and is a greater predictor of mortality and early death than just about any other factor:
Heartmath also found that there is a 75% correlation of emotional states and HRV.
Consider this study confirming that watching violent video games causes an increase in aggression and a reduction in the coherence of your heart field:
Violent video games stress people out and make them more aggressive. Aggressive Behaviour 2013
So, the better you feel, the more coherent your heart field and the higher the HRV – the physically healthier you will be.
The more stressed you are, the lower your HRV, the shorter your lifespan will be.
Entrainment and Resonance
Lastly, and this is very important: our fields tend to synchronize with those fields near or around us through a process of “entrainment.”
Achieving Collective Coherence: Group Effects on Heart Rate Variability Coherence
and Heart Rhythm Synchronization Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2010
Consider tuning forks. When you trigger one fork by tapping it, another tuning fork near it will start to resonate at the same frequency.
The energy fields in our environment we constantly expose ourselves to WILL affect us!
So here are 10 strategies to uplift and center you.
Choose one at LEAST one per day. Twice per day if you can for at least 20 minutes!
Nature is an amazing free resource which will help you release stuck emotions and lift your emotional state.
The electromagnetic fields in nature are very high frequency and remember your own fields can start to resonate at this higher level when you spend time in nature on a daily basis.
One of the greatest sources of stress is constantly being around or tuning into people in lower frequency, incoherent emotional states.
Consider the fear-based emotional energy being sent out by media outlets in the present political environment!
Many people will be underestimating the impact of this on overall stress levels.
Those of us living in densely populated areas are likely to be most impacted by this type of fear-based mass consciousness.
Here’s proof time in nature really does change your mood and health levels:
Forest bathing, Health and Stress Levels
Japanese researchers have been researching “forest bathing” – that is the impact of walking in forest settings regularly. See the links to studies published in peer reviewed studies on Pubmed below.
Forest bathing for stress reduction:
Other amazing health benefits of forest bathing that may be in part due to the reduced stress response:
Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing and walking) effectively decreases blood glucose levels in diabetic patients International Journal of Biometeorology 1998
Forest bathing enhances human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 2007
Visiting a forest, but not a city, increases human natural killer activity and expression of anti-cancer proteins International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 2008
Nature and Mood
And here are other peer reviewed papers on Pubmed confirming the effect of nature on mood:
Vitalizing effects of being outdoors and in nature Journal of Environmental Psychology 2009
The benefits of nature experience: Improved affect and cognition Landscape and Urban Planning 2015
The influence of urban green environments on stress relief measures: A field experiment Journal of Environmental Psychology 2014
“Nature experience reduces rumination and subgenual prefrontal cortex activation”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2015
Tip: Add “grounding”
Being “grounded” while you spend time in nature, which is connecting barefoot to the earth, or wearing shoes which allow conductivity of electrons between the earth and your feet, has been shown to reduce inflammation and stress levels within 30 minutes in some cases. Read more here.
Have you noticed showering can uplift you or that you feel better afterwards?
This may not be surprising when you consider both cold and hot water exposure can stimulate feel good endorphins.
Hydrotherapy has been used since ancient times for improving psychological and physical health.
Researchers in a 2014 paper published in the North American journal of medical sciences concluded:
“Based on available literature, this review suggests that hydrotherapy was widely used to improve immunity and for the management of pain, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, OAK, fibromyalgia syndrome, anorectal disorders, fatigue, anxiety, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hyperthermia, labor, etc. It produces different effects on various systems of the body depending on the temperature of water…”
Even simple immersion in water – warm baths, gentle swimming or standing in water can destress and lift your emotional state.
Like nature, water is a close relative with a higher frequency that your body will entrain to when you are immersed in it.
So get a daily show, bath, time in spa salt baths and consider swimming as a form of your regular exercise regime!
Immersion in salty water can have special benefits, probably in part because it increases conductivity in the water. Consider adding Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to your bath water, you’ll also get all the relaxing benefits of magnesium, and detoxing support of the sulphate.
When we focus on quieting the mind, whether through a mindfulness practice, breathing exercise or guided visualization, the relaxation effect is literally changing the coherency of both our brain and heart fields.
There are now hundreds of science papers on the benefits of meditation and how it uplifts emotions.
Meditation makes you happier:
Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation, Psychosomatic Medicine 2003
Meditation reduces depression:
The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Cognitive Processes and Affect in Patients with Past Depression Cognitive Therapy and Research 2004
Meditation reduces anxiety:
Meditation reduces stress:
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial International Journal of Stress Management 2005
Meditation improves emotional mastery:
Now would be a good time to jump on the meditation bandwagon and start a daily practice. If you are serious about emotional well-being, this is a foundational step.
Consider using biofeedback tools such as the Muse Headband or Heartmath’s EM wave tool.
We all know that music directly affects our emotional state. It can calm you down, lift your emotions, inspire you, it can wake you up in the morning, make you cry or make the hair stand up on the back of your neck in fear.
All the same, the science studies are very interesting! One study in 2009 in Neuroscience Letters showed that music will affect how people rated neutral pictures of faces depending on whether the music was happy or sad.
This means music will cross sensing modalities – i.e. acoustic information affects our vision perception. So music really can affect how you perceive your reality.
A recent review paper called the Neurochemistry of Music published in 2013 in Trends in cognitive sciences summarized the results of 400 published scientific articles investigating music as medicine and found strong evidence that music has mental and physical health benefits on management of mood and stress reduction, and that it is the rhythmic stimulation of music, rather than the melody, that has the greatest antipain effect in the brain.
Sound waves can change brainwaves, via resonant induction, thus researchers are now looking at music as a method to reduce pain:
The effect of low-frequency sound stimulation on patients with fibromyalgia: A clinical study Pain Research & Management 2015
Music therapy reduces depression:
Individual music therapy for depression: randomised controlled trial British Journal of Psychiatry 2011
Music therapy reduces anxiety and depression in people dealing with cancer:
The Effects of Music Therapy on Anxiety and Depression of Cancer Patients Indian Journal of Palliative Care 2016
“Acoustic stress” changes your gut bacteria for the worse, meaning noise pollution can change your gut bacteria and thus lower your emotional state (this is explained in more depth below), so be sure to eradicate noise pollution where you can.
You must have noticed feeling better when it is sunny outside?
This is not surprising. UV radiation from the sun actually increases blood levels of natural opiates called endorphins.
Melanocytes in human skin are equipped with an endorphin receptor system which helps elevate your mood with sun exposure.
Bright light therapy is efficacious and now standard treatment for depression caused by seasonal affective disorders.
Perhaps more importantly, sunlight exposure is profoundly important for management of our circadian rhythms which in turn affects sleep.
If you are sleep deficient Harvard research has confirmed you will feel more irritable and stressed, you’re more likely to develop chronic anxiety and depression.
Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School showed, in 1981, daylight keeps a person’s circadian rhythms aligned with the environment.
You need exposure to natural sunlight during the day to light your mood and enable you to sleep at night. Make sure you get at least 30 minutes per day of pure sunlight -without wearing sunglasses!
Tip: Avoid bright light when it gets dark outside this will upset your circadian rhythm. This includes blue light from LED screens, phones and computers.
Essential oils contain aroma compounds which directly affect the limbic system (the emotional processing centre of the brain) through olfaction (smell).
The ability of olfaction (smell) to modulate mammalian mood has been repeatedly demonstrated. A systematic review of 18 studies in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2009 found “credible evidence” that odour affects mood, physiology and behaviour.
Unlike other senses such as sight and sound which are processed in the brain directly by the thalamus, smell is processed in the limbic system which is also known as the “seat of emotion.”
The limbic system contains the hippocampus (where associative learning occurs) and also the amygdala (where emotional processing takes place). Scents move through our emotional memory and can therefore powerfully effect how you think, feel and behave.
Essential Oils and Anxiety
Increasingly good evidence exists for certain essential oils specifically reducing anxiety in mammals.
A systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials examining the anxiety-inhibiting effects of aromatherapy among people with anxiety symptoms showed that most of the studies indicated positive effects to reduce anxiety. No adverse events were reported.
In 2013 a study of people exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy prior to surgery had a greater reduction in pre-operative anxiety than those in control groups. Another study in 2012 on sweet orange oil has been found to have anxiety-inhibiting effects in humans, supporting its common use as a relaxant by aromatherapists.
In 2000 researchers in the journal Physiology and Behaviour found that compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor in a dental office had a lower level of anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Researchers concluded, “exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect.”
In the same science journal in 2005 researchers found ambient odors of orange and lavender reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatment
Reviews in the Neurosciences reported that 14 studies of animal models using rodents from 1999 to 2009 covering confirmed essential oils do have an anxiolytic effect (reducing anxiety)
Check out essential oil bombs, wraps, sprays, rollers and shots for mood alteration recommended here.
Exercise increases feel-good brain chemicals that ease depression including neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids.
It reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression and it increases body temperature, which may have calming effects
There is now overwhelming evidence that regular exercise can help relieve low mood-from feelings of stress and anxiety to full depressive episodes.
Effects of exercise on anxiety and depression disorders: review of meta- analyses and neurobiological mechanisms. CNS and neurological disorders drug targets 2014
A meta analysis of thirty nine clinical trials with over 2000 people published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews in 2013 confirms that exercise can reduce depression.
There’s no doubt exercise will lift you emotionally.
Music will also make you exercise more easily. Try listening to your favourite tracks while exercising to make a big shift in your mood!
The mechanism about how OP – “other people” can affect YOUR emotional state may be understood through the Heartmath research described above.
A study over 4500 people published in 2008 in the British Medical Journal showed that essentially, you will be as happy as your friends are.
The researchers stated: “A friend who lives within a mile (about 1.6 km) and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25%…”
They concluded: “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.”
As Tony Robbins would say “Who you hang out with is who you become”
To back up how profound the impact of your social relations are, a gigantic, landmark meta review in 2010 in the Public Library of Science Medicine of over 300,000 people showed that the quality of your social relations was a greater indicator of survival than physical activity, body mass index, hypertension, air pollution, alcohol consumption and even smoking 15 cigarettes per day!
Begin to notice who uplifts you, and who makes your emotional state drop, try to balance this and increase your time with uplifting people. This may be THE most important factor in managing your emotional state.
Is laughing powerful?
It’s obvious that it can change your emotional state, but how about your biochemistry as well?
You may have heard of the story of Norman Cousins the political journalist, professor and author who literally laughed himself better from a sudden severe case of arthritis watching hours of replays of Candid Camera.
He went on to write about his experience in his book titled Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration.
Cousins was pivotal in raising awareness and funding for the entire science of “psychoneuroimmunology,” which is essentially the scientific word for mind-body medicine itself.
You bet laughing and engaging with uplifting stories, books, films and TV series profoundly impacts your emotional state!
Minimize exposure to reading and watching the news. Pick what you watch regularly with care on a daily basis– it affects your emotional body!
Of course, I could have written an entire post just on the links between diet, gut health, nutrient status, inflammation and your emotional health!
Hardly a week goes without another paper on gut health being published, specifically linking the state of your gut bacteria with your emotional health.
Not only is the research from the Human Microbiome Project revolutionizing neuroscience, it is also shifting the old Cartesian paradigm which separates the mind from the body – as if religion, psycho-emotional health and psychiatry are separate on one side and science and physical biochemistry is on the other.
Your emotional health and stress levels profoundly impacts your gut health and healthy gut balance:
Exposure to a social stressor alters the structure of the intestinal microbiota: implications for stressor-induced immunomodulation Brain Behavior and Immunity 2011
The microbiota-gut-brain axis in gastrointestinal disorders: stressed bugs, stressed brain or both? Journal of Physiology 2014
AND your gut bacteria also profoundly affects your emotional state!
Brain structure and response to emotional stimuli as related to gut microbial profiles in healthy women Psychosomatic Medicine 2017
Your gut bacteria affects how you respond to fear:
The microbiome regulates amygdala-dependent fear recall Nature Psychiatry in 2017
Your gut bacteria may be to blame for your anxiety and depression:
So you can impact your emotional health with your diet, via the impact on gut bacteria.
How diet impacts your gut bacteria
Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates detrimentally alter your gut bacteria:
Diets low in fiber disrupt the microbiome and your mucosal gut lining:
Toxins such as heavy metals, artificial sweeteners, pesticides, insecticides and so on are detrimental to your gut health, in turn affecting your overall emotional and physical health:
The gut microbiota: a major player in the toxicity of environmental pollutants? Biofilms and Microbiomes 2016
A Spanish study in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2012 showed moderate amounts of red wine have been found to be beneficial for gut bacteria, however, in general excess alcohol consumption is detrimental causing changes in bacteria and intestinal permeability.
In summary, eat to make your gut bacteria happy by:
1/ Avoiding refined sugar and processed carbohydrates:
Examples include cane sugar, fructose corn syrup, biscuits, cookies, white bread, donuts, potato chips – you get the idea!
2/ Go organic where ever you can!
I’ve written extensively about how to complete a home chemical clean up, including dietary recommendations to clean out the toxins here.
3/ Eat lots of fiber:
Insoluble fiber will keep your general GI tract healthy and includes whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, nuts, seeds, green vegetables, and the skins of root vegetables.
Soluble fiber directly feeds good gut bacteria so top up on: some grains like buckwheat, brown rice and quinoa, and lentils, berries and seeds
Also get in some resistant fiber which will be digested by your good gut bacteria, fiber in this category includes foods like boiled potatoes, cannellini and navy beans.
4/ Other top prebiotic foods to eat are chicory root, dandelion greens, Jersusalem artichoke, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats and apples,
5/ Eat fermented foods:
These can include kefir (my recipe is here), kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, natto, kimchi, raw cheese and live yoghurt.
Of course this was not an exhaustive list of recommendations to lift your emotional state. Ultimately the number ONE requirement for abundant energy and emotional health is: your COMMITMENT.
It’s up to you to prioritize these practices, and put your emotional health high on the agenda in your life.
Remember the more you do this for yourself first, the greater contribution you can eventually make to others.
Take care for now,