To write or not to write. I’m afraid of „pulling the devil’s tail“ but this fear is only an impulse coming at a rapid pace and it is up to me whether I allow it to stay or drive it away.
I can’t just pass the topic of covid. The whole world has been focused on this for the last year. Our lives have changed drastically, our habits, our daily activities. It will be a year since covid made us stay home. We calmed down humbly, looking at our inner selves and thinking more and more about the meaning of life and all the important things. But today I will not write about the positives and how wonderful it is that we have more time for ourselves in this wild and dynamic world.
Today I will tell you the exact opposite. Because in times like these pink glasses do not help. The situation has negative consequences, and I believe the right thing to do is to be aware of them and take action, at least as much as possible. Although I am a super positive person, my heart shrinks when I know what is going on out there. Every day from March until today, a blacklist is shown in the media. And every day we are flooded with unfortunate stories of the victims of the virus. No matter how healthy and stable your psyche is, it is impossible not to be affected. The anxiety and fear that someone we love may be the next victim creep into our minds. All this affects our quality of life and our health.
I got to a point where I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I was obsessed with black thoughts and fear, so I had to find a way to deal with the situation very quickly before I lose myself completely. I will tell you about the things I did to help myself.
1. Stop watching the news
I have been following this rule for many years. At first, I was worried that I would not know what was happening in the world, but later I realized that there will always be someone to update you. However, when we purposefully do not enter the news sites or do not broadcast them on television, we miss a lot of the negative news and stories about things that do not interest us.
I had recently forgotten about this rule and quite often visited a news site to find out what was happening with covid. Of course, the articles were all negative and there is nothing that can cheer you up. I am not saying that there are no good things happening in the world, just that no one writes about them. They are not so interesting and curious. My anxiety grew stronger. Every evening I fell asleep in fear that evil would overtake me. For example, that my parents could get covid, that my grandparents could get sick. That they may not be able to overcome it. That I can catch it and not survive. All this mostly because of the black statistics I read every day. Hence I stopped the news. Plus their truth is in question.
2. Embrace vulnerability
I want to give an example that impressed me a lot. It is from a seminar of the wonderful Brenne Brown – an American professor who studies the impact of vulnerability and courage. Imagine that I am walking you through a scene from a movie and you have to tell me what is happening next:
Christmas Eve night. Beautiful night. Light snowfall. The family is going to go to grandma’s house for dinner. Mom and dad on the front seat. 3-year and 5-year-old on the back seat and car seats trapped in. Mom’s turning on the radio and trying to find some Christmas carols. And just comes across to Jingle bells. The kids scream from the back seat because they know the words. They start singing. They are so excited. Mom and dad look at each other: why not. They start singing. You can see unapologetic bliss on the faces of everyone in this car. The camera pans out. The car is moving down the freeway. What happens next?
I’m sure most people imagine a car crash. Something bad is happening in the minds of 95% of people. And the main reason is that we are afraid of being vulnerable. We prefer to train ourselves by rehearsing the worst in our minds. To be prepared when it happens. Еven when everything in our lives seems perfect, a part of us stays alert not to be surprised. Instead of being happy and enjoying the moment, we secretly rehearse unhappiness because we are afraid of being hurt.
3. Practice gratitude
This is a very popular technique that helps us to deal with negative thoughts and anxiety. Every time you find yourself worrying about something, remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for. For example, if you are worried that you may get covid, be grateful for what you have now and for being healthy today. The feeling of gratitude will immediately drive the fear away. Practicing gratitude improves our mental health and even our immune system. Make it a habit and you will see the differences.
Meditation helps us being able to grasp when our brain starts spinning scary scenes and worrying. I have written a separate post about that. I will not repeat myself I will just remind you that practicing meditation develops our inner balance. It teaches us that the mind is a blue sky, and every emotion and thought is a cloud. No matter how many clouds are there, the blue sky is always above.
5. You are not God
Something I’ve been reminding myself a lot lately. I have no control over the world and I cannot save people, prevent events, and decide the fate of anyone. Whether you are a believer or not, you know that you do not have the power to determine the destiny of people. The things that need to happen will happen no matter what we want. I can’t prevent covid. I can only be responsible for my own actions in spreading it. That’s why today I choose to focus on myself and a life without fear and anxiety. It is easier said than done, but I believe it is possible.