Well-being: Vitality check
There are various steps we can take to increase our life force
The term 'raise your vibration' often appears in self-development literature, yet it's an idea that has as many advocates as it has critics.
At the simplest level, raising one's vibration is based on the principle everything that exists is a vibration of energy in a quantum field, which is, of course, perfectly reasonable.
What irks sceptical minds is the extrapolation that every human has their own frequency and the higher this frequency, the better.
The trouble is that while we have ECG, EEG and GSR (galvanic skin response, used in lie- detector tests), there are no approved devices that measure the entire human biofield, or discern between the various factors at play in such a diverse system.
Hence, the vibrational energy that is known as 'qi' in Chinese medicine and 'prana' in Ayurveda is simply known as 'woo-woo' in the science community.
Well, not the entire community: frontier scientists like Lynne McTaggart and Beverly Rubik are at the vanguard of biofield research, no doubt inspired by the wisdom of visionary scientist Nikola Tesla, who said: "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
This field is subject to much academic scepticism elsewhere, though. It could even be argued that because it lacks credibility, it lacks thorough and proportionate investigation too.
To stay on the right side of science, let's instead think of the 'vibration' referred to here as an abstract expression like 'vitality' as opposed to a measurable phenomenon.
Accordingly, the following practises are thought to increase our vibration/vitality/vim... whatever word you prefer to use to describe that glow that comes over a person when they are happy and healthy.
Let's start with diet. Some foods make us feel light and energised while others make us feel heavy and sleepy. We know this intuitively.
The Sattvic diet in Ayurvedic literature divides food into low and high vibration. By and large, the Sattvic ethos is similar to the modern eating plans espoused today: avoid processed food, eat raw and organic where possible and drink plenty of water.
In other quarters, fruits such as watermelon and papaya are considered to be especially high vibration (due to their high water content).
It should also be noted that raw food has the highest biophoton emission (essentially the 'light' that cells emit) - up to five times higher than processed food in some cases.
In some philosophies, food preparation counts as much as produce and the spirit in which food is prepared is said to affect the overall taste of the dish.
Cynics may baulk at this idea but they'd be surprised to know just how many professionals in the culinary world agree with this way of thinking.
Our environment is also of importance. Decluttering always lifts our spirits, while energy balancing is the guiding principle of feng shui, the Chinese system of harmonious interior design.
The people we surround ourselves with can also increase or deplete our vibrancy. Often, our voice acts as a tuning fork. When we are around high vibration people, the tone of our voice naturally rises by a few octaves. When we are around low vibration people, the tone of our voice becomes lower (and is generally punctuated by numerous yawns...).
When it comes to the company you keep, remember the physics phenomenon of resonance: things with the same vibration resonate and reinforce one another.
Our very attitude can also increase our vibrancy. The late Bob Proctor emphasised an attitude of gratitude: "Let's start with what we can be thankful for, and get our mind into that vibration, and then watch the good that starts to come, because one thought leads to another thought," he said.
We ought to mind our language too. Words have vibrations/connotations, depending on what way you prefer to think of it. Remember this the next time you're tempted to answer "same-old-same-old" or "so-so" when someone asks you how you are. Or maybe just experiment with saying "great!".
Nature also increases our vitality. The mood-lifting effects of negative ions found in natural settings like rivers, seas and waterfalls are well documented.
Meanwhile, the controversial Dr Joseph Mercola's last book, Effortless Healing, talked about a technique known as "earthing".
He advises that we find the time to walk barefoot outside "with the soles of your feet free to mesh with the surface of the Earth".
Quoting the work of Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman in his lectures on electromagnetism, he explains that the body can become an extension of the "Earth's gigantic electric system".
The takeaway from this is that barefoot walking can increase our energy when we are low, just as it can ground us when we become 'wired' or anxious.
Nature walks also set the scene for a digital detox, another practice that is said to increase our vibrancy. Again, we know intuitively that too much screen time can make us feel fatigued and lacklustre.
Bringing the outdoors in will help. Opt for houseplants that purify the air - think aloe, red-edged dracaena and philodendron. If you're diffusing essential oils, rose is said to have the highest frequency of all.
Elsewhere, and as always, music, dancing and holistic modalities like yoga and meditation work wonders.
Some might argue about the lack of qualitative research behind the idea of raising one's vibration.
However, few could argue with the demeanour of those that follow this path: clear, bright eyes, commanding presence and an otherworldly radiance.
We may not be able to quantify or qualify the charge that lights up "high vibration people", but we know them when we see them.
Health & Living