There is a certain mysticism surrounding the idea that positive energy attracts positivity. When Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Secret, was published in 2006 it broke all estimated expectations and rose rapidly to the top of the New York Times best-sellers list. People were stunned. It was amazing, like someone had stumbled on a long forgotten book of spells, all of which were geared toward the attraction of wonderful thing
Want a trip to Fiji, one million dollars? Consider it done. A house in the Hampton’s, your picture on the front page? Done and done. The power of positivity promised greatness, material things, things that are wanted above all else and eventually, after weeks of manifesting, people were disappointed when it didn’t happen.
All in all, The Secret might not have been the best way of promoting intent, but the idea that good thoughts, attract good things isn’t magic. It isn’t the rare musings of some secret sage, wrapped in a book you purchased from amazon while sleep-shopping, and SURPRISE gets delivered to your doorstep. The power of intent is within you — you just need to learn how to use it.
The power of positivity is your chance to change the way you think
Consider a terrible day. You wake up grouchy, trip on the cat and realize for the third time this week that you probably should have gotten gas yesterday. You do, and are late for work; because of this you’re reamed by your boss, give a crappy presentation and forget to bring your lunch.
After 2PM you get tired — because, humans — and find that your cheat of a boyfriend is actually sleeping with that girl-he-promised-was-just-a-friend. You cut the bastard, schlep your single self home, pop that bottle of sad-girl chardonnay and drown your sorrows in a pint of butter pecan. Around 10PM you realize it would probably have been better not to get out of bed at all.
A wasted day.
Now, for a bit of thinking. Who’s fault is it that this day was wasted? From that very moment when you get out of bed grouchy, you make the choice that rest of the day is going to be shitty. What if instead, you take a second to fix your thinking. Fix you, and decide to see every ‘bad’ thing that’s happened doesn’t have to be realized as such.
By putting on a happy face, you set in motion a manifestation of good intent. By telling yourself and setting a goal — today, I will view the world through love and take the things that come as they do and not worry about everything else — you change everything.
Take for instance a recent study on the how manipulated facial expression can actually influence the way we feel. Just pretending to be happy, going through the motions can change yourself.
Let’s explore The Smile Study:
METHODOLOGY: In an experiment that was smile-worthy in its own right, researchers used chopsticks to manipulate the facial muscles of their 169 participants into a neutral expression, a standard smile, or a Duchenne smile. A Duchenne smile involves contration of both zygomatic muscles — which raise the corners of the mouth – and the orbicularis oculi — which crinkles the eyes and give the illusion of crows feet. A non-Duchenne smile, just influences the mouth. A fake smile as my mother would say. In addition to the chopstick placement, some were explicitly instructed to smile. Then, they were subjected to a series of stress-inducing, multitasking activities, which they struggled to perform while continuing to hold the chopsticks in their mouths. The subjects’ heart rates and self-reported stress levels were monitored throughout.
RESULTS: The participants who were instructed to smile recovered from the stressful activities with lower hear rates than participants who held neutral expressions, and those with Duchenne smiles were the most relaxed of all, with the most positive effect. Those with forced smiles held only by the chopsticks also reported more positive feelings than those who didn’t smile at all.
CONCLUSION: When a situation has you feeling stressed or flustered, even the most forced of smiles can genuinely decrease your stress and make you happier.
So think about what could happen if you didn’t just go through the motion, what if you made up your mind to live positively. Instead of hating the world after you trip on the cat, consider how grateful you were for kitty cuddles the night before — when you were sodden with chardonnay and pecan pralines — when you’re late to work and your boss is grouchy think about how you are grateful you have a job. Even if your job isn’t the best. Forgot your lunch? See if you can go out and get something, take a walk and consider it a breather from that reaming session. The now ex-boyfriend? You were better off without him anyway. Cheaters never prosper. And next time, just remember to get gas when the light comes on. #firstworldproblems
So think this over and marinate. Let it sink on in. Later this month we’ll delve into Deepak Chopra’s 5 steps to powerful manifestation.