If you've ever felt the way anger or fear can electrify the atmosphere in a room, you'll know what Sandra Ingerman means by "toxic thoughts." The author, a family therapist and shaman practitioner, believes our thoughts and emotions transmit an invisible but palpable energy that can affect our mental and physical well-being. "Psychic punches," she writes, are as real as physical violence.
Click below for ten simple ways to protect yourself from negative thoughts and learn to radiate positive energy.
Text by Sandra Ingerman, adapted from her book, "How to Heal Toxic Thoughts: Simple Tools for Personal Transformation"
Breathe Through Your Heart
Breathing is one of the simplest ways to transform energy. This is an exercise you can do throughout your day: Place your hands on your heart and feel your heart moving as you breathe. This is calming, and feeds the energy of love, peace, and harmony in the world.
Look in a Mirror
Before reacting to a challenging situation, try emoting as you watch your reflection in a mirror. No one wants to see herself acting out in a toxic way. You may feel silly, but don't let this stop you. Taking ourselves too seriously is one of the causes of negative thoughts.
Express; Don't Send
Stress can make us act in ways we might regret later on. It is OK to have problematic emotions, and it's important to acknowledge your feelings. Just be careful not to send the energy as a "poison dart" to yourself, others, or into the world.
Think of a Favorite Face
The energy behind your emotions goes to all living beings. If confronted by someone who triggers problematic emotions for you, think of a loved one and impose his or her image on the face of the person challenging you. For example, you might work with the face of a baby, kitten, puppy, or your favorite flower.
Watch Your Words
Your words, like thoughts and emotions, have the power to change your experience and the world we live in. This applies to both the words we say out loud to others as well as self-talk. If you tell yourself that you're not a good person, you begin to manifest this reality. Fill your mind with positive words and this is how your life will unfold.
See the Divinity in Others
Never pity others who you perceive as suffering--this only pushes them deeper into a hole. When you see people in their divine light and perfection you help give them the strength they need to deal with their troubles. Remember that your perception creates your reality.
Connect With Nature
We are a part of nature. When we are in a state of stress we are cut off from the nurturing we receive from the elements -- earth, air, water, and fire (the sun) -- and we can actually become ill. Nature is a great healer. Take time out and connect with the natural world whenever you can.
Work With Water
The life-force of water can wash away your pain, and the simplest activities can have a healing effect. As you wash your hands, take a shower, or stand in the rain, visualize negative energy flowing from you and being transformed into light.
Respond With Love
You do not have to be the receiver of negative and toxic energy from others. You can return the energy you don't wish to receive with love. Responding with love will prevent you from moving into attack position and creating more negative energy. It is only love that heals.