Have you been opening the refrigerator more than usual? Is it difficult to focus on the projects you want to tackle? Do tempers in your home have a short fuse? Are you yearning to eat out and hug friends? Well, if so, you have joined the stressed and anxious club. Even though few people have tested positive in our sweet corner of the state, routines are unfamiliar, and the future feels unstable. Closed schools, businesses, and churches upset our equilibrium and, wondering and worrying tag along.
Thoughts = feelings = behavior. Control your thoughts, and you can change how your body feels and responds. Never underestimate the power of your thoughts. I’m not saying it’s easy—fear, especially if we don’t catch it early, challenges and overpowers our usual dependable logic. But, the good news is we can decide to control our thoughts. It is no different than deciding to lose weight or clean the garage. Whatever thoughts we plant and fertilize lead us to the up or down side of mental wellness.
So it is with anxiety when triggered by fear. We can say, “Our world is never going to recover from this thing. It’s not possible.” With that, fear clouds our reasoning, and sure enough, we’re stressed and anxious. You could control your thoughts, and speak truthfully, such as, “his is temporary. Even if we test positive for coronavirus, the recovery rate appears to be high, and symptoms, although not fun, are doable. Our summer will not mirror one year ago, but this shutdown could help us reset priorities.” With that, you might still snack your way through each day, but you will not curl up in a ball and feel paralyzed by fear. Positive and truthful self-talk normalizes your anxiety and adds benefit to every day. Reason and balance drown fear.
I’m not minimizing the reality of this situation; I am suggesting we take responsibility by conscious, truthful, and positive thought. Don’t make it worse by overreacting or joining the “Ain’t It Awful Club.” Nobody needs embellished anxiety. STOP posting or reading political downers on social media. Don’t make it worse for yourself or others.
Watch less news. We already know to stay home, not touch our faces, and use lots of soap. One hour of catching up on the numbers is probably enough. Also, try dressing every day as if you had places to go and people to see. As simple as that sounds, it helps.
In the thick of COVID-19, we CAN think with logic, react with reason, and behave with kindness. Wondering and worrying can lose power, making room for hopefulness.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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