It's Time to Embrace Calm ~
Two years ago we were introduced to a virus that was taking the lives of thousands. Like dominos, countries fell one by one into lockdown. Businesses and schools closed and our world, as we knew it, shut down.
People were terrified. Afraid to touch the food they bought at the grocery store. Scared to be on the side same sidewalk as a stranger. Unsure if it was safe to talk to anyone. Nobody could be trusted because one never knew where the invisible virus was lurking.
Anxiety and panic attacks rose to an all-time high because people were scared of this thing they couldn't see, touch, or feel. It was out there, it was real, and it was killing people. (Most) everyone feared they'd be the next one to get it.
Fear dominated those early days of the pandemic and for many, 2 years later, fear is still dominating. Fear is interesting....It’s something you need and it can serve you. It's good to feel afraid of oncoming traffic. It serves you to be fearful of getting too close to the edge of a high balcony that you could fall from. Feeling apprehensive of walking alone at night in the dark isn't necessarily a bad thing. Small moments of feeling panicked can be good because when you feel that way, you adjust your actions to stay safe and out of danger. In this way, fear can be lifesaving.
Yet left unchecked, fear can also be debilitating. Fear prevents rational and logical thinking. When you’re in a state of fear, your brain doesn’t have time to think. Your body reacts very quickly to keep you safe. Intentional and conscious planning goes out the window. Focusing on anything other than staying safe and alive feels impossible.
You simply aren't able to respond thoughtfully to what's going on around you when you're afraid.
The continuous stream of fear we’ve been living in has put many in a constant state of fight-flight-freeze. Isolating at home while listening to the same loop of news every day and constantly checking the number of positive cases, doesn’t promote calm in the body.
When you're living in fear you feel inadequate and insecure. You're quick to judge, criticize, and discriminate. When you’re living in fear you fight for control. It's very difficult to care about the well-being of others, when you're engulfed in fear about your own well-being.
Two years since we were first introduced to this virus, this is where we're at ~ So many people ruled by the fear that has consumed them.
I understand how we got here and now it's time to undo it. There are so many ways help your body release unnecessary fear.
Turn off the news and give yourself a time out from your devices. I believe that one of the reasons why this pandemic has had the effect that it has on us is because of our ability to receive information instantly and continuously. If you’re one of those people watching the news all day or constantly receiving news updates on your phone, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to stop doing that. Listening the same loop of news continuoulsy really isn’t serving you. All you really need to stay up to date is 10 or 15 minutes of news a day. That's enough time to know what’s going on. For more check out, Unplug ~ Tips to Enjoy Time Away from Devices.
Deep conscious breathing does wonders for your mind and body. Place your feet flat on the floor so you can feel grounded. Refrain from crossing your legs if you're sitting down. Close your eyes and gently rest your hands on your lap, or you might even choose to place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly and breathe deeply. Inhale as deeply as you can. Allow each exhale to be long, slow, and intentional. Ensure that your exhale is longer than your inhale. This will help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that lets your body feel calm. Deep breathing also helps to send more oxygen to your brain, thus helping to clear your mind.
Practice Gratitude ~
Want to know something cool? The body can’t feel fear and gratitude at the same time. Focusing on being grateful will help move your body out of fear. The simple act of practicing gratitude has the power to shift your entire being. An easy way to begin practicing gratitude is to start, or end, each day with a focus on 3 things you’re grateful for. That’s it! It’s that simple. Keep a little notebook by your bedside and before you get out of bed in the morning or before you go to sleep at night, write down 3 things you feel grateful for. It’s a great way to help start, or end, your day with a feeling of calm and abundance. For more on gratitude click here.
One of the easiest ways to gain mental and emotional clarity is to express your feelings on paper. Give your feelings of fear another place to live, other than your inside your body. There are so many benefits to writing in a journal each day. Even committing to writing one paragraph a day can benefit you! Or, you might choose to set a timer for 5 minutes. You'll be amazed at how much you can write in just 5 minutes. There are so many benefits to writing out how you're feeling in a journal. To learn more, click here.
While I’ve only shared a few suggestions here, there are so many things you can do to help embrace calm. For more suggestions, check out these related podcasts and posts ~
How to Respond Instead of React
We must be willing to undo the fear that's been created around this virus. We must be willing to release the need to right-fight and to accept that nothing in life is one-sided. It's time to experience calm; to wrap ourselves in feeling safe and secure. It's from that place that we'll be able to listen to others with an open mind; to trust; to open our hearts and act with kindness, compassion, and empathy. And this is what we all need right now.
If you love this blog, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing it so that others can benefit from reading it as well. Thank you.
Looking for more tips to help you live well? Check out Your Live Well Journey - The Podcast, every episode offers ways to help you improve your self-care.