Tap in the Good

When I open my coaching calls each week, we start with breathing to slow things down and become present and then we each tune in to something we feel grateful for as we come together and one thing we are personally proud of from the week just past: a thought pattern interrupted, a decision or choice activated, an action step taken in the direction of our vision.

As coach in those moments, I’m supporting my clients to activate the Reticular Activating System (RAS) in their brains to look for the good. And as you know, what you focus on expands. So when you look for the good in your life, the things you are grateful for and the things to be proud of, you’ll notice them. And as you do that more consistently, you’ll see more things to be grateful for and proud of and it creates this upward spiral of positivity, optimism and wellbeing.

I invite you to try this for yourself, you don’t have to just take my word for it! Do your own experiment and see the difference it makes to record actual evidence of things in your own life that you are grateful for and about which you can be proud.

Research shows that if we focus on the positives on a daily basis, the brain learns to tune in to what is positive in our lives and in our world. Our brains always notice dangers. They are hard wired for that to keep us safe. The positives on the other hand, we have to actively notice and nurture so that we don’t miss out on the benefits of the genuinely positive experiences we are having.

I believe this is more than positive thinking. It is acknowledging and embracing the real positives in our lives and it is one way that we can actively nurture our emotional wellbeing.

When you teach your brain to notice positives and focus on those experiences even for just 20 seconds, it helps to create positive structural changes in the brain. A previous blog describes how to do this in a systematic way.

Today I want to share with you an even quicker and simpler way to embed positive emotions and positive experiences! This is a simple exercise shared by energy medicine expert, Donna Eden in her book with Dondi Dahlin: The Little Book of Energy Medicine.

She calls this exercise Tapping in the Joy (p. 59-60)

The practice is as follows:

“The next time you are feeling happy, or experiencing a wave of gratitude, awe or appreciation, tap it in at your third eye. Tap with the middle finger of either hand, between the eyebrows, above the bridge of your nose for 5-10 seconds. This sends the positive feelings into your energy field through the first acupressure point on your nervous system.”
“How it works: Tapping your ‘third eye’ while remembering good moments in your life, recalling something that made you laugh, or giving an affirmation of gratitude for your body or your mind, your life or another person is powerful Energy Medicine. This is the first acupressure point on the bladder meridian, which helps govern the central nervous system. … Tapping on the ‘third eye’ point while you feel joy pulses the joy throughout your nervous system. It also trains your nervous system to be more joyful.”

There is a lot of research and literature now about the power of positivity and optimism. For example, researchers from the Mayo Clinic explored the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. The results are:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to illnesses
  • Better psychological and physical wellbeing
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced risk of death from cancer, infections and respiratory conditions
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

And there is good in this for others also. An article in Psychology Today in 2023 stated that “Positivity effects are not limited to individuals but can also be seen in groups

The bottom line is that the positivity effect has been studied by researchers since the 1970s and consistently demonstrate that positive people have better health, motivation, relationships and success in life!

If you want to achieve your vision and goals with more ease, speed and grace, I encourage you to embrace positivity and put the genuine positives in your life to work for you!