While my heart goes out to all of those whose health has been impacted by this virus, for the rest of you who have not been directly or personally impacted, I’m going to invite you into the eye of the storm. You know, that calm place that’s still grounded as chaos is whirling around.
The first thing that you may need to do is to check-in on your breathing. When we become stressed and anxious, we become shallow breathers which actually exacerbates our nervous system’s feelings of panic. So take some deep breaths.
Anxiety is the most contagious human emotion. You can catch it from others, and from news sources. Be on the lookout for what you are engaging with when anxiety spikes, and assess whether or it you need to shift how often you are engaging with that individual or news outlet. I also want you to start recognizing that anxiety is generated when we do too much future thinking. It usually involves “What if…” thinking, or catastrophic thinking like “What if the economy collapses again?” These types of thoughts are notorious for spiking anxiety so be on the lookout for those thoughts, and try to tamper them with reality. Ask yourself instead, “What if this whole thing blows over, and we are all still in tact?”
And at the end of the day, it’s usually very grounding to come back to the here-and-now. So here in the now, I am okay, my partner is okay, and my children are okay. That can be an incredibly soothing mantra to run in the back of your head especially if you’re having trouble sleeping at night. Just remind yourself that, “Today, me and my loved ones are okay.”
If you want more highly effective strategies on how to anchor yourself in positive energy, and how to shift out of anxious states, pop on over to www.flourishcounseling.com, click on our “Online Classes” page and the Get Clarity: SHIFT class will give you powerful, research-based tools.
In the meanwhile, I want to encourage you to limit your news intake, and I want to encourage you to keep communication flowing in a gentle way like a babbling brook. Sometimes, when we are stressed out and activated, the way that we communicate with others is more like a fire hose. We want to avoid that. We want to keep dialogue flowing with our boss, with our partner, with our kids, and with our beloveds across the country. But we want communication to be that soft trickle, and not the intense fire hose that tends to knock other people over.
Tune in next week for more tips and tools on how to lead with integrity during this very interesting time in history.