There are loads of people around me who are asking why I am so positive and chilled out lately, and I find myself recommending Will’s technique to everyone who asks.
Phil, Artist, London
Need to be more positive?
Developing positive thinking is generally more beneficial than dwelling on negative tendencies. But forcing ourselves to think positively when we’re not really feeling it can often come at the cost of some internal strain.
We can find ourselves suspended in a somewhat false reality and wearing a mask that actually proves a stress in itself.
When we are going about our busy lives, all of the stimulation we receive creates a level of excitation in the nervous system that results in a lot of thinking or ideation. It also over-stimulates the ‘fight or flight’ branch of the nervous system and something called the amygdala, which results in anxiety and nervousness.
Moreover, the pre-frontal cortex (PFC), which under stress conditions is biased towards the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), results in more skewed, defensive, sad and negative thinking.
As a result, we are generally more tired and left with less energy to enjoy and appreciate ourselves and the world around us.
How does Vedic meditation help?
Rather than straining to think positive, it is far more pleasing to mind and body to find balance and nourish ourselves from within. Then we can naturally radiate positivity and inspiration.
That’s precisely what we can achieve through Vedic meditation.
When we meditate, numerous physiological and neurological changes take place that facilitate a more natural state of inner harmony. The by-product of many of these processes is a completely spontaneous level of positivity.
The ‘fight or flight’ response shuts down, and so our thoughts are no longer processed through negative filters. We also find that our pre-frontal cortex becomes active across all areas.
As a result, our thinking naturally becomes much more balanced and positive.
The greater activity in the PFC also makes us much more creative, and we have many more inspired ideas for how to live our life.
And with the increased energy that comes as a result of the deep rest gained in meditation (resting two to five times deeper than the deepest point in sleep), we have far more energy allowing us to put our wonderful ideas into practice.
At a neurochemical level, we have far fewer stress hormones racing around our system and far more endorphins, enabling us to keep a smile on our face as we glide through life.
We have much greater homeostatic balance within the body, meaning we are no longer beset by distress signals from all the things that aren’t quite right within us.
We tend to feel far more connected to people and nature, giving us more of a sense of place.
And we now find ourselves noticing many more of the positive aspects of people and things. Our greater ability to understand and empathise means we are much more forgiving of people’s unwitting errors of judgement.
While feeling totally connected to the gold within, we find ourselves attending to and encouraging the gold within all those around us. We feel uplifted, inspired and energised.
About five people have come up to me today to ask me if I’d been on holiday as I look like I am glowing (apparently!). I woke up at 6.30 am this morning to do my first meditation of the day. I NEVER wake up at 6.30 am for anything other than skiing. But I got up, pottered around for a bit and did my first meditation. Came into work this morning (I was early for the first time in seven years) feeling happy and positive.
Viv, Marketing Consultant, London