What We Need Is A Huge Dose Of Positivity
6 suggestions for reducing stress and anxiety in a Covid world
Coronavirus is changing our culture. New social dictates are being established in the name of health and safety. They’re important and, I hope, only temporary.
Cultural imperatives are determined through willing engagement and repetition. And while prevention and caution are the uppermost priority at this moment in time, we must be diligent in not allowing these protective measures to become the world’s future societal structure.
Most of us can’t take our eyes and ears off the news. We’re constantly checking in for what we believe to be up-to-date and accurate stories. And the information is coming in from all over the world.
While the situation resides under the global umbrella, perhaps we should reign in our focus a bit, centering our concern and efforts on where we live, and those we live with. Because as individuals, we can’t solve the world’s problems. But we can manage our little piece of the planet. And by taking small steps to halt negative input, mitigate personal hurdles, and heal ourselves and loved ones, we’re making an impact — both locally and, ultimately, worldwide.
So what can we do to begin shifting our consciousness needle toward positivity? Here are 6 suggestions to keep things in perspective, and stay informed without becoming overwhelmed with the prophecies of doom and gloom:
1. Limit your exposure to the news. The media is rarely selective in its rhetoric. Neither is it particularly filtered when delivering a piece of information, which means the news is typically delivered en mass — like the scattered blast from a shotgun. The media makes the choice of narrative and emphasis with a self-assigned level of confidence, delivering it to all who choose to read or listen to the words.
And yet, much of what is broadcast may have no direct or immediate impact on us, especially when it’s laced with drama and fear — which, by design, is meant to draw viewers and listeners in large numbers. The fact is, much of what is being reported will likely be irrelevant or useful in your particular situation or location.
That means those of us who may not or will not be affected by the virus — because of our location, lifestyle, or other insulating factors — are still being bombarded with the negative side of things. And that comes with the unwelcome challenge of deciding whether to believe it, or reject it.
Yes, having knowledge of the current situation and recommended health measures is important. And it will take every bit of willpower, commitment, and effort to maintain our positive mindset and direction.
2. If you go online … Avoid generic news sites or “home page” stories intended to distract you. Go directly to the site you want by typing in the URL or googling the specific topic. Granted, this can be a challenge. We’ve been trained to stop and follow anything sparkly, or what’s commonly called “click-bait” on our screens.
Which makes it even more important to be tenacious in deflecting opinions and predictions that have no place in our life — or our future.
3. Listen to positive podcasts, audiobooks, and relaxing music. We have an unexpected opportunity to nurture our minds and souls with content we personally choose. Given the option between another dose of dismal news and strengthening my physical and spiritual self, well, the decision is easy.
4. Exercise at home. Do a few stretches or yoga poses, knock out a few squats when you’re doing laundry, or skip through the house. If you have light weights, do a couple of sets of reps several times a day. No weights? Use canned food!
5. Meditate or journal your thoughts. Lots of deep feelings are no doubt rising to the surface, and releasing them through meditation or expressing them in writing will help alleviate anxiety and stress.
6. Put up a mental firewall to keep the bad stuff out. Think of it like a screen door for the mind. It lets in the fresh air while keeping out the bugs, leaves, and debris. We may not be able to avoid the negative stuff completely. It will trickle in. But so will the good. And when the good stuff does come through, open your mind’s door as wide as possible!
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