Understanding and embracing the role of emotions in well-being
By Kai Swigart, PhD, MFT
When we experience negative emotions—such as those present during periods of anxiety or depression—our brains prompt us to fight, run away, or freeze with fear as if we are confronted by a serious threat. But, despite the sad terrain we sometimes traverse, we are rarely faced with true crises. Thus the negative emotional states (such as those we encounter during a depression) don’t help us deal with the actual event at hand, and they have a detrimental effect on our lives.
Positive emotions make it easier for us to accept what happens, to expand our thinking, and creatively consider the full range of possible solutions. Learning habits that increase our happiness will improve our health and overall effectiveness. Since thoughts and emotions vibrate at particular frequencies, like the colors of the chakra system, it is helpful to consider them on this basis. Below are seven color-coded prescriptions corresponding to the hues and functions of the primary chakras, intended to help you become a healthier, happier you.
The function of negative emotions
Negative emotions narrow your mind in order to limit your options to only those that will help you survive, and focus your attention on making it happen. They block out all other possibilities and courses of action.
Did you know that sustaining life during a time of crisis is the only intended purpose of negative emotions? How often are we really faced with life-threatening situations? Yet how often do we feel negative emotions such as the anger, fear, sadness, or stress that may accompany anxiety and depression?
Imagine that you get into a doozy of an argument with your partner, that you are blinded by rage, and all you can think about is what you can do to hurt them back. Or imagine that you are in dire financial straits, on the verge of another bankruptcy, and the only thing on your mind is running away. Or that your job stress is so great you dread going to work, avoid it whenever possible, and feel so paralyzed by fear when you are there that you are unable to function.
Negative emotions trigger the instinctual responses of fight, flight, or freeze, creating the illusion that a life-threatening situation is occurring. Although clearly unpleasant—and although they could lead to, or result from, anxiety or depression—do any of these examples truly represent a threat to your life? The negative emotions generated by such situations limit our options and focus our thoughts on survival in the absence of a real threat—by doing so they may create an actual crisis.
Chakras and positive thinking
On the other hand, when you experience positive emotions—such as joy, satisfaction, and love—you will perceive more of the infinite variety of options available to you. The power of positive thinking is old news, but knowledge of the scope of its benefits is expanding. Benefits of positive thinking include greater happiness, improved health, enhanced creativity, and accelerated spiritual growth.
In order to better understand my incorporation of the chakras, a brief review may prove useful. According to ayurveda we are composed of three bodies: physical, astral, and causal. These three bodies are comprised of five sheaths: food (physical body); pranic, mental, and intellectual (astral body); and seed (causal body). The astral body interconnects its three sheaths with the physical body, and is considered the essential element in human individuality. It is made up of 17 cosmic energies: five senses of perception, five senses of action, and five subtle elements as well as mind and intellect. This is where the pranic energy vortexes or chakras function.
The pranic sheath contains within it thousands of narrow channels called nadis through which pranic energy flows. Where 21 nadis intersect, a major chakra or energy vortex can be found. It is through this extensive network of subtle channels that the chakras are connected to the physical body. If the nadis become blocked with stagnant tamasic energy, the physical body will become deprived of pranic energy, which will ultimately manifest as disease. Chakras form our major nerve ganglia, and together with our circuit of energy channels (nadis), link our three bodies with their higher functions, such as love and intelligence. It is because of these chakras and nadis that our five sheaths can function so integrally as one. Awareness is allowed to move through all the bodies, transiting from physical to emotional to intuition to spiritual—all inextricably connected.
Understanding meditation methods
Since meditation is the single most important vibrational frequency in all colors of happiness, it is essential that we understand two general meditative methods. The first of these is attentional focus meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing: It could be your breathing, a bodily sensation, or a particular object in front of you. The purpose of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continuously bring your attention back to it whenever your mind wanders.
The second type is open-monitoring meditation. This is where you pay attention to all of the things happening around you—you simply notice everything without reacting to anything.
If you want to be happier, please choose one of the following methods based on your current life circumstances, practice it daily, and realize its benefits. When things change, you may want to switch to the color that best fits your new situation. These prescriptions will be less effective if you have unresolved core personality issues and their accompanying defenses—for those with such issues and defenses, therapy or spiritual teaching may be indicated.
The seven colors of happiness
The practices within this method will help you learn to be happier in the wake of a crisis. Critical incident stress debriefing, additional sleep, earthing, weight training, cardio, relationship support, meditation, and hatha yoga will help restore balance, grounding, and resilience. Increased protein consumption; cedar incense; ruby, garnet, or hematite gemstones; and balancing yoga poses such as Tree, Eagle, and Dancer will also help restore health and happiness following a real or perceived threat to survival.
This recipe will help you learn to become happier when faced with anxiety, depression, or mood instability. Cognitive therapy, helping others, daily gratitude lists, hobbies, cardio, weight training, tantra yoga, and meditation will help restore sweetness and stability to your mood. Increased fluid consumption; orris root, gardenia, and damiana incense; pearl, carnelian, moonstone, and coral gemstones; and yoga poses of Triangle, Forward Bend, Shoulderstand, Plough, and Butterfly will also help you feel better during difficult emotional moments.
This prescription will increase your happiness quotient if you are lacking confidence or self-esteem. Public speaking, spending time with positive friends or family, hobbies, giving, gratitude lists, helping others, weight training, cardio, meditation, and kundalini yoga will increase your personal power and improve your mood. Eating more carbs; dragon’s blood, sandalwood, saffron, musk, cinnamon, and ginger incense; red coral, amber, topaz, yellow citrine, and rutilated quartz gemstones; and yoga poses of Cobra, Bow, Abs Strengthener, Leg Lifts, and Crocodile Variation will also make a happier, more assertive you.
When you are unhappy in love, these recommendations will jumpstart the joy in your heart. Giving, planning a trip, going outside for 20 minutes each day, practicing genuine smiling, throwing negative thoughts in the trash, spending time with positive friends and family, helping others, hobbies, cardio, weight training, meditation, and bhatia yoga will return the life to your love. Eating more green fruits and vegetables; lavender, jasmine, orris root, yarrow, marjoram, and meadow sweet incense; emerald, tourmaline, jade, and rose quartz gemstones; and yoga poses of Locust, Camel, Cobra, Fish, and Pranayama will also help you become more loving, compassionate, and happy.
When poor communication is bringing you down, this formula will give you the needed lift. Therapy or classes for communication, brain training, hobbies, daily writing about positive things, helping others, unencumbered giving, going outside for 20 minutes each day, burning negative thoughts written on paper, cardio, weight training, meditation, and mantra yoga will help you feel better when your words have let you down. Increased fruit consumption; frankincense, benzoin, and mace incense; turquoise, aquamarine, and celestite gemstones; and yoga poses of Lion, Shoulderstand, Plough, Headstand, Camel, and Fish will also improve your communicational clarity, expression, and happiness.
When illusion is inhibiting your happiness, these practices will bliss out your blues. Sensitivity training, planning a trip, weight training, cardio, meditation, and yantra yoga will help you see the bigger picture. Increased silver intake; mugwort, star anise, acacia, and saffron incense; lapis lazuli, quartz, and star sapphire gemstones; and yoga poses of Fish, Sealing Posture, and Shoulderstand will also increase the scope and clarity of your inner vision.
When you lack awareness of higher consciousness, and when this distracts you from your dream, this approach will help you find the way. Meditation and jnana yoga will turn on the light of awakened consciousness. Fasting; lotus and gotu kola incense; diamond and amethyst gemstones; and yoga poses of Headstand, Lotus, and all meditation poses will also lead to enlightened, happy living.
So choose the most applicable color prescription, practice it daily, and enjoy the improvement in your health, happiness, and overall effectiveness.
Paul David Kai`makani`mele Swigart, PhD, MFT, (better known as Dr. Kai) is a therapist, spiritual teacher, and healer who lives on the Big Island of Hawaii. In addition to being a therapist, he is a vibrational healing practitioner, crystal healer, and shaman. Dr. Kai and his wife own and operate TalkDoctors, LLC, and Vibrational Healing Fellowship.