Did you know that it's impossible to be stressed out and relaxed at the same time? Neither can you be happy and sad at the same time.
Of course, you can go back and forth, like an oscillating fan. But let's consider what happens when we focus our energy on one predominant emotion.
Have you ever watched an oscillating fan in action? It blows cool air to one side of the room, and then slowly rotates to the other side.
Our emotions can be like that, oscillating back and forth. Sometimes, we have a "love-hate" relationship. We love someone, but we also hate certain things about them. However, the brain always suspends one emotion while expressing the other.
The reason this happens is because of a protective mechanism in the brain. Is not that amazing? Our brain attempts to protect us from getting confused, disoriented or shutting down due to "analysis paralysis."
The good news is that we can use our brain's protection mechanism to our advantage. Instead of feeling angry, sad or afraid– we can feel happy, smile and hold our head high.
Perhaps we take a moment to distract ourselves. We think about something that made us laugh or warmed our heart. Or maybe we whisper a quick prayer, thanking God for being in control of our lives, and working in the mid of a difficult situation.
Of course, there are times when we need to express negative emotions, such as sadness, grief, frustration or anger. It normal and healthy to express these feelings. However, it can become disempowering if our feelings make us miserable, sap our energy and strength, or spiral into despair.
Consider for a moment what happens when you're struggling with negative emotions, but you stop to let go of them … and smile. At first, you feel some tension from the competitiveness emotions. Your brain is wrestling with your feelings. Which feelings will you give into?
Suppose you keeping on smiling. What happens then? Your negative emotions are pushed away and scattered to the wind. They may not be completely gone, but they are temporarily suspended.
Whenever we let go of negative emotions, we're able to think more clearly. We have the energy that we need to recover, let go, heal and get on with our lives. Now we can
think clearly and decide what to do next. There is tremendous power in letting go and releasing tension from the mind and body.
Sometimes, it is hard to smile in the mid of a stressful situation. However, the simple act of lifting up the corners of your mouth, will help you to reverse the direction of the fan. Instead of fanning the flames of anger, sadness and fear– and making those coals even hotter– you turn to the other side. By letting go, you activate feelings of calm, energy and emotional release.
Consider the power of your smile. When we let go of tension and anxiety, we stay on the road to less stress.