These are the emotional signals (not cosmic forces) we, either consciously or subconsciously, communicate to those around us by our body language and social interactions. They are sensed intuitively as distinctive feelings such as delight, disappointment, disdain or fear which create an atmosphere. Likewise we can either feel uplifted or depressed when we are in another person’s presence because of the atmosphere.

Although sensitive to the emotional state of those around us we must avoid being tainted by any negativity. By having a meaningful relationship with the Lord through quality quiet times (devotions) we can ensure we are built up in the Spirit and so able to release some of ‘the water of life’ (Jn 7:38; Jud 1:20). As Christ’s followers we should be setting the tone and atmosphere, not in a dominating or manipulating manner but naturally ‘oozing’ Him from our lives. Through Peter and John’s activities the crowds observed “these men had been with Jesus” (Act 4:13).

Facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement and touch also express or convey information. Body language must be interpreted broadly as there is no absolute meaning corresponding with a certain movement or stance and wrong perceptions can be made. Sensitivity to such elements of behaviour is important in pastoral situations.

Some people seek to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity through transcendental meditation and other New Age approaches but this is not the biblical way.

See also: body language, emotions, feelings, moods, New Age, projection, spirit realm, transcendental meditation.