Updated: Mar 25, 2020
Our fundamental purpose is to survive; not to be happy or even content, but to survive. No wonder the current situation hits us at our very core.
Some of us will be feeling a very real sense of panic, some may be experiencing an underlying hum of anxiety, whilst others may notice a general dip in mood or an increase in impatience. People are experiencing restless sleep, feeling snappy, tearful, consuming news at pace, eating more, drinking more, constant butterflies. You are not alone!
So, Why? We feel out of control and when faced with potential risks to our safety, peace of mind or survival, our thought pattern naturally heads down a negative pathway. We start considering the worst possible outcome, our minds spiralling around the potential ways we could be impacted. This is a normal response considering our drive to survive. Rest assured we can work on this...
But it's good to understand that it's normal. The little amygdala, that sits just behind the ear, is in charge when we feel threatened. It's the same thing that centuries ago used to kick into action at very real and primitive threats to life .... and hasn't adapted much since those days. Our perception of threat however, has. And right now we are feeling it. Fair to say, it's kicked into action on a considerable scale for many people.
For now we are faced with a pretty unique situation; a virus that’s spreading fast, medical uncertainty and questions surrounding treatment. We're also being super-served conflicting and sometimes hazy information plus unsolicited opinions at every turn. No wonder we’re worried.
We’re also creatures of habit so it’s challenging to have to break from our routines.
3 points to take on board today
However you’re feeling is totally understandable
We’re incredibly resilient and each one of us has the capacity to flex our activities, approaches and mindset for this
THIS IS TEMPORARY
When you feel unwanted thoughts creeping in, when catastrophe preoccupies your mind, uncertainty gnaws at your stomach, take a moment to ground yourself.
1) Close your eyes and focus on your breath
2) Use a calming colour to imagine calm air going in, filling your lungs, permeating your whole being
3) Use a colour that represents your worries to picture all that anxiety leaving your body
4) Repeat this for a minute or 2 until you experience a shift
If you feel yourself rolling your eyes at this point, please just give it a go. Look up various techniques for breathing calmly, find what works best for you. These methods are used from Yoga practitioners to Armies...
This will provide the space and time to separate yourself from the negativity, calm your mind and create balance.
Look out this series “Mental Wellness vs The C-Word” blogs. Part 2 - more practical tips and tools, coming later this week.