Sharing an experience after seven weeks of lockdown — can you relate? You come from another part of the house and enter a common area currently occupied by several members of your family. You instantly sense that a conflict is building. Someone small is stewing about something. Someone big is trying to talk them down from the ledge but is starting to lose their cool too. An emotion — maybe anger or perhaps frustration — threatens to leap out from behind the terse words spoken in the deep, low voice.
In this family, no one fights alone.
Soon, another not-so-small person arrives to the scene and hurls himself head first into the conflict. He is quickly blanketed by the tidal wave of emotion that is boiling over in the other two. You want to turn and walk away but you are frozen in place. Discontent hangs thickly in the air making it difficult to breathe. Wow, you think, how did it get out of control so fast?
You hope for a storm that moves out just as quickly as it blew in. You know that if you don’t do something quick the discontent will fester. Swift and decisive action will give you a small chance at reclaiming contentment, at a minimum. Above all, you are self-aware to know that the emotions in the circle of three threaten to overtake you if you don’t tread carefully. There’s a contagion spreading within your own home — only it’s not the deadly virus that has you locked up at home for weeks on end — it’s a viral chain of negative emotions that threaten the sanctity of your sanity and happiness that is crucial to your survival in lockdown.
This scene is not unusual for us these days as our days at home accumulate — it feels like everyday we are riding a roller coaster of emotions. Perhaps this comes with the territory with a teen and tween in the house. The anger, the tears, the annoyance — it jumps from one soul and implants itself in another and soon we have a room full of very unhappy people. I don’t think anyone even recognizes the presence of these emotions until a spark is ignited and suddenly it lights up into an inferno of discontent. I identify it as negative energy. From a spiritual perspective there are some things you can do to clear it from your living space.
: : Bring in Fresh Air
There’s a reason why when we have small children we often go outside for a stroll. Fresh air is cleansing. Getting everyone outside is my top priority when I sense emotions are bubbling over. It’s not always possible to get everyone going, however. Sometimes it’s raining or dark or cold and getting everyone outside is too big of a hill to climb. There can be so much resistance especially when teens are involved. The next best thing is to bring the fresh air in. Try opening a window or, if you can, create a breezeway in your home by opening windows/doors across from each other so the fresh air flows through and pushes the heaviness out. Try it — it works!
: : Declutter The Space
Negative emotions and feelings can hang around our living spaces especially when we are living in them 24/7 with so many other people. When the energy feels low and emotions are on overdrive try clearing the energy in your living space by putting the dishes in the dishwasher, picking the throw pillows off the floor and, in general, tidying up. A cleaner space shifts the energy of the room and pushes out any negative feelings that might be festering. A clean and tidy space is refreshing for your mind and provides a sense of calmness and peace.
: : Bring In Houseplants
Have you ever noticed how the air feels stagnant when you are in the midst of a quarrel? It’s almost as if the oxygen is being sucked out of the room. Houseplants help us breathe easy by creating oxygen which is why it’s a good idea to have them in the shared spaces in your home. They help reduce stress by bringing nature into our living space. Think about how you feel when you are outside and connected to nature. A walk on a trail surrounded by birds, flowers, trees — other living things and the fresh air — is a soothing experience. Bringing houseplants into your living space can have the same effect of making us feel relaxed.
Give these ideas a try. After all, there’s nothing to lose and you might be pleasantly surprised by how well these ideas work!
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