Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart. — Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist
Right now, from this very moment, we have a choice.
We can choose to be in a state of panic, giving into fear, which will cripple us.
Or we can focus on the things that we can control, like our thoughts, emotions and reactions.
These are challenging times. There is no doubt about it. But it is up to us how we react and respond to what is going on in our world right now.
This is our time to wake up, become conscious and cultivate awareness of what we are feeding our mind.
The key here is to observe what we are engaging with, as well as its influence on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
If we give our power away to fear, this will leave us in a victim mentality, having to fight with those escalating lower emotional states.
However, if we were to focus on what we can control, we would deal with things a whole lot better. We would be able to manage our emotions and help others manage their emotions by leading the way.
What we focus on expands
Watching the news, scrolling through our social media feeds and having those repeating conversations about what is happening or what might happen will keep us stuck in a loop of panic, fear, worry, despair and anxiety.
All because there is uncertainty at our doorstep.
Nobody really knows what awaits. Nothing is for sure. Everything is possible.
In this situation, we all have a choice to lead by example and stop feeding these lower vibrational levels of consciousness.
When we come from a place of fear, our pre-frontal cortex shuts down. We can’t be rational because it has hijacked our amygdala, the emotional part of our brain that induces mental paralysis and panic. We don’t have to go too far to see what we are talking about here.
I think we have lost sight of the impact that fear, stress and anxiety have on our mind, body and immunity.
Stress affects our immune system
Fear and worry suppress and weaken our immune system by flooding us with various hormones, like adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine.
Stress, whether chronic or sudden, can make us ill or even kill us, as research keeps pointing out.
This has to stop.
We need to take control of our brains and not indulge in obsessive scanning on the internet or other fear-inducing activities.
Instead, we can destress our minds by:
- Exercising at home for 30 minutes a day
- Engaging in daily mindfulness and meditation
- Listening to music with binaural beats
- Eating wholesome foods to keep our immune system strong
- Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day, which is our new super power
- Focusing on how we are going to keep our body, emotions, mind and spirit healthy.
And it starts with us.
We have to lead by example.
For instance, when people start to tell us about the news, we need to set some very clear boundaries, tell them you don’t want to hear about it and change the subject.
We don’t have to watch the news to see what is going on. We can register with a government website that will keep us up to date with the progress without putting us in a state of panic. In addition, it’s from a reliable source.
Focus on what we can control
When we look at what is projected in the media, everything is extremely exaggerated and a very small portion of what is actually happening. Moreover, it is delivered to us in a certain way to keep us in that lower emotional state of consciousness.
What does this mean?
Quite simply, thoughts create our emotional state – they influence what we do and what we say.
But there is a way to control our thoughts, as opposed to letting them control us.
The key to controlling thoughts is awareness. Being present. Paying attention to our thoughts and what we feel as we think about them.
We have to be the observers of our minds and watch all of our words, thoughts and emotions without judgement. We have to let them pass, without getting in the way, without trying to stop them.
We are in control of our words and our attitude, which will influence the outcomes in our lives.
Reframing techniques can help us gain greater control over what we’re thinking and the way we’re reacting to situations on a daily basis.
A simple question that I like to ask repeatedly is – ‘what else could this mean?’
When we take charge of the process, we can stop out of control emotions before they affect our minds. We unplug their power of distorting, deleting and generalising information to align with limiting beliefs, which results in unconscious and sometimes irrational behaviour.
To read the second piece in this two-part series on how to regain control of our thoughts, emotions and beliefs in the face of fear and uncertainty, click here.