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How do you get back to feeling happy when the world around you is giving you all kinds of reasons to feel anything but happy?

Components of joy    Corresponding Brain

  1. Perception – Brain
  2. Emotions – Heart
  3. Physicality – Gut Brain

Some people believe thinking happy thoughts will make them happy. Well that’s certainly part of it, but it can be challenging to get there when you’ve had a bad day. There are three components of joy; perception, feeling and physicality. There are three corresponding brains in the body – the brain in your head used for thinking and perception, the heart brain, which we associate with emotions and feeling states, and the gut brain, your physicality including the central nervous system. There are more impulses from the heart to the head and gut brains. The heart has more energy output. That means the heart rules!

Yes, the heart is the key to being joyful, but how do you get there when your brain has taken over? Putting all three brains in alignment gives us a more complete embodiment of joy. Why not use all your resources to get back to joy quickly? When you’re in a bad mood, you need all the help you can get to feel better!

A rough day is often comprised of all the little things that didn’t go your way. You can either shift your perception on events you’re reacting to or let it all go.

A shift in perception happens when you reframe the event. What did it keep you from or what did it bring to you? For example, say you had a flat tire on the way to work. After you take care of it, you realize you had planned to drive through the desert soon. That flat could have happened on the 100 mile stretch with no cell phone reception. Instead, it got your attention today and its fixed now. Perhaps you were assisted by a nice AAA service professional who was calming, helpful and friendly. Maybe that restored your faith in humanity at a time when you needed it most. You can shift into an attitude of gratitude instead of viewing the incident as a tragedy or inconvenience.

Or you can let it go. That requires a bit of mindfulness. How do you stop the mental chatter that keeps replaying all the negative events? The body responds to the mind and doesn’t know the difference between the present moment and what’s already passed. That means if you are reliving stressful scenarios that already happened, your body is acting as if its happening now. This is why its important to have dominion over thoughts and emotions so you can keep your body free from the harmful effects of long term stress.

Letting it all go doesn’t mean sweeping bad feelings under the rug. Its more a matter of intentional living rather than living by default. Its better for the health of your body, mind and spirit to transform those bad feelings into something else.

Here are 4 visualization techniques to help you let go, one per each of the four elements, so you can choose what works for you. I’ll suggest various breathing methods. Try them out and if they don’t work for you, simply breathe normally.

Earth. Close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose, out through the nose. Imagine white gold cords at the bottom of your feet. They’re like roots of a tree that anchor in deep to the core of the Earth. At the core is a fiery furnace. Energy is energy. As humans we assign meaning to events . Mother Earth simply takes that energy into her fiery belly and transmutes it back into something useful. Exhale stress. Inhale tranquility. Exhale doubt. Inhale confidence. Exhale resistance. That energy is transmuted and sent back to you as peace. Inhale peace. Exhale worry, letting go, inhale comfort. Exhale disappointment. Inhale contentment. Exhale anything that doesn’t feel good. You don’t need to name it all. Inhale Joy. Exhale any lingering thought patterns. Inhale clarity.

Moving onto the element of air. Again, if you’re more comfortable, just breathe naturally, but I’ll give you a suggestion for Air.

Air. Breathe in through the mouth and nose, out through the mouth and nose. Imagine a wind tunnel through your head blowing thoughts away, clearing your mind of all the thoughts. Make wind sounds with your voice. Watch all those thoughts get blown away. Now we move onto the element of Fire.

Fire. Breathe in through the mouth, out through the nose. Imagine a bright, brilliant, beautiful sun in the middle of your chest. The sun is so powerfully hot it burns up anything that gets near it. Imagine throwing in all bad thoughts and feelings in the sun in your chest. If it helps you, name them. Throw in any worry, any fear, any doubt. Simply watch them be disintegrated. Throw in any feelings of futility or sadness. Throw in any judgment, anything that you no longer desire that’s no longer helpful. Any thoughts, any feelings, watch them burn away in the sun in your chest. And now we move onto the element of water.

Water. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. This is the way people breathe when they want to release emotions and ground. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Imagine a beautiful pitcher of calming, cool, blue water above your head. Imagine the crown of your head, the top of your head, opens up like a sunroof. The pitcher tilts and a continual stream of abundantly supplied blue water pours through the body of your thoughts, your mental body, clearing out all the thoughts that no longer serve. And this pitcher pours this beautiful blue water through your emotional body, so all the emotions you felt before are now cleansed, leaving only behind the positive emotions. Now imagine this beautiful blue water clears out your physical body, leaving you feeling calm, refreshed and rejuvenated.

These are four methods for letting go using elements, breathwork and imagination. You can use one, or use them all if you’d like. Notice how they engaged your mind and directed your focus. You might be feeling pretty peaceful right about now. Joy is just a step away.

Now lets go into the heart. Now that you have a clean slate, you can bring back feelings of joy. Think of something you’re looking forward to – a vacation where you’re doing a fun activity. Lying on the beach. Skiing. Mountain climbing. Hiking in the woods. Or look backwards for a memory of your favorite day. Let this fill up your heart with good feelings. Breathe into that. Let it take on a life of its own. Imagine those joyful feelings are like liquid gold in your heart. They travel through the connectors from heart to head, bringing clarity, creating thoughts of joy, and rewiring your dna for a good mood. Those joyful feelings like liquid gold travel all throughout your body, calming down your central nervous system, making you feel both relaxed and energized.

Now that you’re feeling joy, anchor that in the body.

  1. Throw your arms up in the air like when you were a kid, yelling, ‘Yay!”
  2. Clap or clap and throw your arms in the air. “Very good, very good, yay!”
  3. Do a happy dance.

Ground this new energy of joy in your body. Where do you feel it? Maybe your shoulders are no longer touching your ears. You’re probably breathing deeper. Make sure to take a mental snapshot so you can come back to the feeling of joy in your body whenever you want. If you have a great memory of joy in your body, you can use the movement associated with it to return to joy when you need it.

Another way to shift your mood is to listen to the drumming patterns on my free app, Be Tao Now. All the drumming patterns are free and it comes with a free peace meditation. Be sure to listen to the drumming pattern for joy, Hexagram #58.

Until next time, wishing you Joyful Living from the Heart.

Be well. Be happy. Be Tao Now.

Elisheva Herrera