When Bad Covid19 News Becomes ALL News – Generate these Habits
When Bad Covid19 News Becomes ALL News – Generate these Habits

Hey, did you hear there’s a pandemic going on? The answer is, obviously, yes. Given the daily government announcements, the focus on death rates, the never-ending arguments about what we should be doing to flatten the curve, the almost competitive comparison of one region vs the other. And that’s just the media and government sources.

Then you get bombarded by the conflicting opinions of friends and family. Those who tell you “it’s no big deal, get on with your life” while others you trust are saying “take this seriously and lock yourself down.”

The situation has got to the point of overwhelm for many. Emotions swing from fearful to elated depending on that hour’s latest story. People are feeling confused, tired, sleepless due to this never-ending stress inducement. The high rates of stress combined with the lack of great sleep increases the body’s stress response even further.

These Are Important Days

Sure, there are days when the feelings can get so overwhelming that the bad news spiral takes over.  It can feel like ‘the world’ has turned against you and nothing goes right. The days you feel this way can become major positive turning points in your life, if you allow them to be.

When you allow ‘negative momentum’ to grow during your day, like a snowball rolling down a hill, it accumulates more anger, pain, victimhood and frustration. As the momentum grows it’s as if you become a magnet for all that is wrong.  You see wrong, pain, hurt, everywhere and in every situation.  You’re quicker to anger, quick to complain, quicker to judge others and sadly quicker to say things you’ll regret in the future.

The metaphoric lens you begin to see the world through filters out the good and focuses you on the bad. Then the momentum, quietly and unnoticeably, gains speed and control.

You even begin to create hurt/pain/frustration even in the most innocuous situations.

“Hey, that guy stole “MY” parking spot!” (as if it was yours). “I can’t believe they didn’t TEXT me first.” “Wow, I left them a message and they didn’t immediately respond” “I can’t believe they …….” Looking and judging external situations and making every situation about you and how it is obviously directed at hurting you. Like the world is “Out To Get You.”

If you let it, the negative spiral gets so tight that it becomes incredibly destructive.  So much so that people DO begin to avoid your phone calls and texts, people DO begin to not appreciate you, people DO start to say things like “Wow, what’s up with them? I think I’ll avoid them for a while.”  In other words, IF the spiral is allowed to continue it becomes self-fulfilling.

Can You Be Honest With Yourself And Stop The Spiral?

Our job as mindful, thoughtful and intelligent human beings is to identify, then STOP, the negative spiral in its tracks before it gets completely out of control. When you feel it gathering speed, it is important to stop, take a few breaths and be aware that it is taking over.

It is in that moment, right after your 3 deep breaths, you have a choice to make; the choice whether to let the negative spiral continue or to take steps to stop it. By the way, making NO choice is making the choice to go down with the negative spiral. In other words, you must choose, there is no choice.

If your choice is to arrest the negative spiral, then you can’t start immediately. There are many ways to begin here’s a very quick exercise you can do right now while you are reading this paper. Take a moment to stop what you’re doing and tell yourself 3 things, small or large, that you’re grateful for.  OK, go ahead try it. I’ll wait right here until you’re ready to continue reading……………………

………………… OK, welcome back. By taking those 30 seconds to think about the important people, situations and items in your life, you slowed the negative momentum. You may not have stopped it but slowing is the first step.  You can do this, and many other, exercises as often as you’d like during the day.

The more mindful you are, the more control you create.

You’re worth the 30 seconds it takes to complete the exercise and reset your perspective.  The world right now is filled with enough stress and negative emotions generated by the continual pandemic news, there’s no need for us to add even more. These regular virus updates are not going to disappear anytime soon and when they do, they will be followed by the negative economic news updates. Just knowing that fact helps you se why this a great time to become aware of the destructive power of negative spirals and that you can stop them if you choose to do so.

We can all begin by being present and aware to the good in your world. Forcing ourselves to battle against the negative tide is not easy and you may not be successful at it everyday, that’s OK. Keep working at it.  You’re fighting a big force, so it will take some effort, but winning this battle can be life changing.

Are you there, happiness? Or are you hidden around the next bend?

For many the belief is that happiness is just ahead around the bend.  The feeling of happiness being just out of reach gives us an excuse to be unhappy, angry, and negative. People with that future happiness mindset miss out on being present to the large and small moments of happiness they can create right now in mid pandemic. In fact it is a great time:

  • To be present to your habits and thoughts with the goal of managing them in a healthy manner.
  • To be thankful for what you have, and hopeful for what may come. While remaining realistic about the ups and downs of the journey ahead.
  • To break old habits that no longer serve you well and replace them with new ones.

Start today and proceed one day at a time.

Please beware of destination addiction which is defined as a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is the next place, the next job, the next year. Until you release the idea that happiness is somewhere else it will never fully arrive where you currently are.

Be Well, Be Safe, Be Compassionate

When Bad Covid19 News Becomes ALL News – Generate these Habits was last modified: April 28th, 2020 by Don R. Campbell

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