The COVID-19 pandemic is referenced with the word “crisis”. And indeed our minds receive it as a crisis. Many are trying to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones while many are scared as the many losses are so close to home the numbers are alarming.
Understandably so the world is experience something that doesn’t happen very often. Every 100yrs they say. Especially at this magnitude! Generations have come and gone without having to experience any of it. But generations in the past have had this experience. We have no control over it.
As I listen to my mentor, Brooke Castillo, she makes very useful and notable points on how we should manage our minds during this Covid-19 ‘crisis’ or any crisis for that matter. She reminds us that this is all part of the human experience. We plan our lives for how we want them to be while God plans them on how he wants them to be. Some of us had weddings to fulfil, some had new jobs to start, memorable trips to make, some were due to return home to family, or were launching a new business, some were due to graduate…and the dreams are endless!! Many have had to face the reality of not living those dreams.
Brooke reminds us that the truth about this whole experience is that it is not enough to survive the crisis. Our goal should be to get out better! Better in our thoughts, better in our dreams, better in our goals, our relationships, our ambitions, our sacrifices, our health, our feeling towards the world and all experiences it throws at us.
Living in the U.S. during the Clinton regime I thought was the best experience I had in my adult years. Fresh out of college, economies were prospering, jobs were available and life was good! It was fun! But then I have recently come to the realisation that if that is all there was to life, how else would I have grown inwardly? That would be too easy, right? It is experiences like these that give us that growth we possibly wouldn’t have sought out at our own will. The world right now is forcing us to grow inwards, because growth outwards has been put at a total standstill! It’s on lockdown! Quarantine! Total shut down!! And there’s no appeal!! The world is not agreeing to our ambitions as we planned before the Corona virus.
The media is plastered with news over deaths happening around the world. But before we watch the news we are probably thinking thoughts not related to these deaths at all. But then we get sucked into the sadness portrayed around the world. We throw our thoughts into the same pool. What we do not realise is we do not feel the same way about death everyday, unless it has been constantly thrown at us every minute of the day. Or until we loose a loved one. Therefore what gets us sucked into it are the thoughts we place on what we hear. How we interpret what we experience determines the quality of life we choose to have. What goes on in our minds causes the drama in our lives. Nothing else.
In following Brooke, she reminds us that there’s one truth to life…there are only 5-things that can happen in this world.
- A circumstance happens. It is a fact. It is neutral. For example death or the Corona Virus. In the words of Stephen R. Covey, it is our ‘circle of concern’. We have no control over it.
- We attach a thought to it.
- That thought triggers an emotion or a feeling. In this case most likely a negative emotion.
- The emotion triggers an unwanted action(s).
- The action gives us unwanted results.
This my friends is what brings us the drama. When we learn to manage our thoughts during a crisis, we are able to come out of the experience as a ‘victor’.
Brooke reminds us that instead of waiting for change to happen to us, we must lead that change. This is the time to practice the habit of personal victory, the time to be proactive. Now here’s what I have learnt from her advice on moving forward…
- Accept that this is the human experience. Things do not always go as planned and that sudden shift gives us a chance to grow from within.
- Bring yourself back to centre and sit for a moment, look around, notice if anything has changed. If yes, then what are you going to do about it? If no, then what are you going to do about it?
- Choose what to focus on. Dwelling on a disease that is either going to catch you or not, kill you or not, may not serve you at all. Survivors have given us experience at this. Chronic disease patients beat the odds all the time by choosing what to focus on. What you feed the mind the body accepts. We can learn from them.
- Choose thoughts that serve you, thoughts on dying (a constant), on financial management, on jobs, on your health etc. Avoid thoughts like ‘this shouldn’t be happening”…they do not serve you. Life is 50% good and 50% bad, perhaps this is bad for some of us.
- Have a goal. Now imagine the best-case scenario for that goal. How does it feel when you visualise it? Write it all down. Your feelings should change to positive ones. Now take that feeling and get started on action towards that goal. The results will be what you seek.
- Avoid excessive drinking, overeating, consuming negative news because you actually do give away your power. When you numb your feelings, you lose the whole experience and therefore you miss the opportunity to come out as a victor.
- Learn resilience. It’s the driving force behind achieving your goals.
- And as for those who have experienced any kind of loss. Loss of a loved one…allow yourself to experience the grief. It is part of the human experience. Just watch those emotions so as not to consume you. For loss of a business or anything else material, allow yourself the feelings of that loss although its best to dwell more on the lessons learned they are the driving force towards success.
- Keep a valuable tribe of people around you. Those who will not drag you down into self-pity.
- If all else fails seek help. There are many self-help books, coaches, counsellors that can assist you through any mental challenges. Do not be afraid of a good life is worth living.
When you manage your mind, it is easier to deal with those around you. Right now we are being forced to overcome the uncertainty plus the discomfort that comes with it! Embrace the human experience.
About Author: Janet Nambi is a certified Life Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner, Mental and Emotional Release Practitioner and in Mastering Positive Psychology with particular expertise in Emotional Balance and Emotional Courage in leadership. She is the founder of Unconscious Brilliance by Janet Nambi.
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