Positive Energy: The Key To Changing Your Life
The term ‘positive energy’ is thrown around a lot by the self improvement community.
I often feel as though the advice given around this term is targeted at those who are invested in a very spiritual lifestyle; I find the advice they give patronising and inaccessible.
The average person doesn’t have that same investment, and heck, they may not even believe in an ‘energy flow’ within our bodies.
So asking them to meditate and get in touch with their inner self is not going to help them create the positive energy they are seeking.
What I can tell you is that positive energy in my life is defined by a lack of unnecessary worry, a clear, organised mind and a general warm, fuzzy feeling. And I’m going to teach you how I got that.
I’m going to start by giving you some back story.
I graduated from university with a strong degree in writing. I wanted to write novels. That was years ago and it’s only now that I’m getting around to focusing in on my dreams.
When I graduated I was unable to find a job in my university town so had to move back home with my family.
But after years of studying and being surrounded by creative types who were on my page; to be flung back into a group of people who weren’t the type to appreciate art on a deeper level, like I now did, really sapped me of a certain ‘energy’.
I didn’t practise my writing or any other creative outlets for 2 years.
And my family certainly aren’t bad or unkind people, quite the opposite in fact. But I shouldn’t have been in that house on a 24/7 basis.
I wasn’t surrounded by the right things and a lifestyle that was intensely focused on how much money I made eventually led me to breaking point.
I had to leave my job due to mental illness; depression and anxiety specifically.
I should note that I was dealing with these issues whilst in university also, but because the environment was creative, supportive and vibrant, I was able to manage my illness.
Whilst in full time work, and a stagnant environment, my mental health snowballed into a danger zone.
So I began to curate each aspect of my life to only cater to my needs, for the time being anyway.
It was selfish, but that selfishness saved me.
And I urge you to be selfish too because that’s how you can begin to change your life for the better.
Now I’m not telling you to become self absorbed, to ignore those around you or to block them out.
But only you know what really needs changing in your life and other people often dislike change.
I would hazard a guess that around half the people in your life would try to prevent you from changing things purely because they don’t want that change.
How can I hazard that guess? Because I had way more than half the people in my life say ‘no’ to the things I needed and I’m being generous to the people in your life.
I’ve spent so much time recently de-cluttering each facet of my life, and whilst the initial work can be hard and at times emotionally draining, the rewards have more than made up for it.
Keep fighting for what you want.
And if you don’t know what you want? Or if you feel content with the direction of your life but you often feel fed up or unhappy as just a baseline emotion. Here is an insight into the changes I made to create positive energy in my life.
Change your home
I took this very literally. I moved out of my family home. But sometimes just moving to a new location doesn’t quite do it.
Some people only need a change of scenery; whether you take a vacation and a beautiful little seaside cottage becomes ‘home’ for a week, or you relocate to the countryside after living in the city for your entire life (like our founder, David did…) just to cut out the incessant noise pollution.
Other people find it difficult to cut baggage loose, even after creating a fresh start.
Decorate your home with an intention. My intention was to create a quiet, safe haven where the overall purpose was comfort.
I moved in over a year ago and I’m still tailoring it to fit that need.
Big sofas and bed, fresh linens and plenty cushions and blankets have helped.
I also have not been one to follow Feng Shui, but the general idea of giving your home a clear circulation of energy just comes down to your spaces being open and uncluttered in my opinion.
I recently swapped a tall bookcase out of sight into an alcove for a shorted one next to the sofa.
Now walking in to my living space looks more open and inviting than it used to when you were confronted with a tall obstacle straight away.
The psychology of colour is also a great tool to use here, but don’t get too preoccupied with it.
For example, yellow is said to convey happiness and optimism yet if your entire living room is yellow all it will convey is a headache.
The main colour on the walls in my home is white with one or two walls of colour in each room.
My living room is navy blue on one wall which according to colour theory expresses terms such as credible, classic and reliable. It adds a warmth to an otherwise crisp, fresh room.
My bedroom has a deep purple wall amongst white walls and white furniture, it invokes a sense of luxury where there previously was none.
The kitchen is pastel green walls with white tiles and cupboards, it gives it depth but it still feels fresh, calming and quiet.
And lastly, the bathroom is all white with a singular pale grey wall, it feels modern and spa-like. But I’m still not sure if I like this colour.
And that’s okay! Because creating the energy that I need in my home is a process and there could be things that I change day to day for the next decade. But they’re all worthwhile if the result afterwards adds some positive energy into my home that wasn’t there before!
Look after things
You could take extra time in picking out a fabric softener, or hang your clothes in the closet rather than letting the clean laundry pile stand tall on the floor.
Wash your hair with a luxury product.
Change up your diet, whether lowering your sugar intake or upping the vegetables you consume.
You could get a cat, or you could get a plant and actually water it this time. (I always learn the hard way.)
Both these things have big benefits, levels of loneliness and stress are decreased when pets are introduced to a household that struggles with mental illness or negative energy!
Or if you can’t cope with another mouth to feed just yet, a house plant will purify your air and even help improve your physical health.
Or you could just become more mindful whilst you cook or clean on behalf of you grateful significant other. (This doesn’t work if they’re not grateful for all you do – don’t get taken for granted)
All these acts of self care will stir up a positive change in your attitude both through raised confidence levels and maybe even strengthened relationships. (even if it’s just the dog…)
Looking after something will give you purpose and a sense of belonging.
Making big change always starts from at home.
Tailor your interactions
This could be ‘real life’ or social media.
If your friends group is something that you just dropped into because of the location – for example you’re all Mum’s from the same school playground at pick up time, or you’re all colleagues from the same company – question whether you actually get along.
If you could meet each of those people organically, would you hit it off right away? Or is that person actually sapping positive energy from you at each meet-up?
There’s a popular phrase that explains that in order to feel more positive in life, you should cut out all those negative people.
I don’t agree with this; I think there is often a reason why someone may be being negative.
Maybe they’ve just been through a distressing life event, maybe they’ve got insecurities which they’re trying to cover up or maybe they just don’t know they’re doing it.
My advice would be to be mindful about the length of time you spend with them, and if you try your hardest to exude positive energy in their presence and it doesn’t rub off on them (which it generally does – positivity is very infectious!) maybe fill more of your time with those who you can be positive with. Because your negative friend doesn’t seem to want to try positivity just yet.
Social media is much easier to clean up. But it’s not just a case of getting rid of negativity, you have to replace it.
Remember my dream of being a novelist?
Well most recently I’ve followed lots of writers that I admire and who inspire me on Twitter; and instead of being confronted with gossip, current affairs drama and constant shameless plugs from celebs I used to follow, I’m scrolling through a bunch of thoughts from like-minded people on my feed.
It’s a small thing, but it’s actually made me much happier day to day when I log in onto social media.
I’ve also ‘unfollowed’ lots of people on Facebook, people I know who I am still friends with – both online and offline – but they would also just post gossip and drama and complaints which majorly sapped my energy.
I’m only going to subscribe to people in my life who encourage, inspire and support my goals.
De-clutter your brain
Remember how I said big change starts at home?
Well, we’re starting even smaller. Your mind has the biggest influence on your mood at any given time.
Sometimes we have to unlearn all the unwritten rules that society, parents and media taught us growing up in order to feel happier.
Although the negativity isn’t directed at us individually, in acts such as judging others in a nasty manner or holding unnecessary grudges against people, we will suffer the biggest consequences.
All that positive energy you’ve created in your home has been sapped if you’re nasty to yourself or others internally. And if you let it happen far too often, it can consume you and you may become one of those negative people we talked about earlier.
Creating true emotional intelligence doesn’t mean being happy all the time.
And the main goal for these spiritual sites when they speak about surrounding yourself with positive energy is to get rid of all the negatives and only live with positives.
They do this through gratitude.
The usual negatives are given a new spin, so instead of thinking ‘ugh it’s raining outside’ think about how beautiful the rain is.
That’s just not possible for the majority of us to do.
At a funeral should we list the positive things a person brought to our lives instead of grieving?
No. True emotional intelligence means we should accept the negative emotions, live with them, work through them but also be very aware of them.
If you lose your phone, it could put you into a really bad mood for the rest of the day, harnessing positive energy in your mind isn’t just thinking logically about where it could be but also about your reaction.
Are you letting the anger take over your day and your interactions with those around you?
If you are, you could be spreading some really negative energy, the opposite of our goal.
This is a tricky one to do, and it means you have to allow yourself to make mistakes and be vulnerable.
But so does all change.
How do we create positive energy?
To create positive energy in my own life, I’ve already spoken about how I’ve improved my home in order to feel more at ease.
I also mentioned how I switched up the types of people I subscribed to on my twitter feed.
But for me the most important step I took in order to create a surge of positive energy was to stop judging others.
It’s something that was ingrained into me as a child, it sapped my confidence, made me jealous easily and meant I was unhappy no matter what I had.
Now I’m appreciating a (nearly) minimalist home and lots of inspiring media.
David, on the other hand, finds it easier to recharge his positive energy levels with self care activities, reading inspiring books, playing video games when he needs to wind down and recharge but also as a part of his schedule.
Positive energy isn’t something we can whip up out of thin air.
It’s something we cultivate; and you could have the most Feng Shui-ed home, a regular meditation routine and a gratitude list you fill in each morning. But if you as an individual are still unhappy day to day, you won’t give off authentic positive energy. It will just feel forced.
Be selfish. Work on your happiness in every aspect of your life. And you will begin to truly radiate positive energy.