The seriousness of our current crisis has everyone talking! And almost everyone has been affected by it to some extent–personally or professionally–and they’re experiencing a great deal of stress and worry. Both stress and worry are brought on by fear of the unknown–uncertainty. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring or the next day and so. Since we’ve been accustomed to living a certain way, the sudden shake-up and changes have left us feeling out of control. One day we have a routine, the next, we don’t. We are creatures of habit and we love living life on our own terms–free will–and having that suddenly ripped away, we feel lost, we are no longer in control of our lives.
Living in these moments are real and scary and very, very uncertain. In an instant, our entire life is flipped upside down. We panic, we worry, we stress out, we overeat, then feel guilty for doing so, we lose sleep, and we “prepare” by making assumptions filled with worst-case scenarios, and the next thing you know (according to our internal screenwriting) we’re all doomed and the world is going to end. Our minds can convince us of anything if we choose to believe it.
Our brains are working on overdrive, trying to figure out and process what’s happening!
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, know this–you are not alone. Many others, including myself, have thought these thoughts. And from my own experience, know this, this is fear talking.
Fear is your enemy, it will make you think irrational thoughts and act out in outlandish ways. Recognizing this, when fear is attacking your mind, you’re able to catch it before it consumes you. What we focus on (time + energy) we get more of and during times like this, we need to preserve our energy and not waste it on fear, worry, and doubt, but spend it on being proactive, not reactive. There’s very little we can do right now that’s within our control, but what we must do is not give up or bury our heads in the sand. We need to know the difference between worry-planning and strategic planning–reactive vs. proactive.
When we’re proactive, we focus on what we can do (now), what we can control, how we can prepare, how we can be present and aware of the current and actual events and situations that are taking place. Since emotions are at their highest, they may create some confusion which is why writing is so helpful. Try writing everything you feel down, pour it out–take a step back and let your mind quiet as you process this new headspace. With a clear mind, we can be rational and look down the road with a prepared mindset and see how our lives will be different. Assess the current situation and ask yourself if your responses are factual or fear-based. Recognizing when it’s fear (you’ll feel your body shift from within–increased breathing and heartbeat, and tense body) you’ll be able to correct course and strategically plan for realty, not the fear-based-fantasy we’ve created in our minds–reality vs. fantasy. Reality is the present, the here and now, whereas fear is fantasy–made up of worst-case scenarios.
As real as your worst-case scenarios may feel, (recall) you’ve made it through them–you are a survivor–and most likely, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we ( our minds) made it out to be. And whatever we went through has shaped us into becoming stronger, wiser, more loving, compassionate, and understanding of not only of ourselves but of others too. We are all in this together and we will all get through it the best we can, with the support and encouragement of each other. It may be hard to see the light when we’re stuck in the darkness, but know this, we will survive. We will thrive and we will see some amazing and beautiful things come from all of this. Have faith, everything is happening for you.