Updated: Sep 19, 2021
'The Fears we don't face become our Limits' (Robin Sharman)
During this time of Covid 19 we have all had to address many different feelings and emotions, it has challenged us all in different ways and no doubt people have had good days and bad.
We have all lost something, some have lost much more than others, some have lost loved ones, friends to the disease. Others have lost jobs, businesses, dreams , plans, time spent together, freedom, human connection.
These losses have all had impacts on peoples mental and physical health, it has changed us as individuals as communities, countries and as a world, we have lost a way of being that we had become accustomed to. This may in some ways be a good thing around things like our physical impact on the world and the way we travel, but the losses around 3 lock downs in the UK have done much to increase fear in all of us, the loss of autonomy and freedom combined with what appears to be some pretty poor decisions, some might say incomitance from government has added to the fear and stress because we have no control over any of the decisions.
I wanted to talk about the idea that thoughts are within our control, and how it is good to remember this at times when events around us things do not feel in our control... We sometimes think and feel that we have no control over our thoughts but actually we can do.
Think of a situation and how two people can have the same experience and yet feel and explain it in a different way, this is because each has chosen to think about the situation in different ways, also known as perception.
So in this time where fear can easily seep in around media we may watch, and people’s perception of the situation, things can get blown out of proportion and become extreme, but we can practice to come back to the moment by simply taking a deep breath and asking ourselves, 'Am I OK at this moment'?
Then lean into this feeling and taking a breath, breathing gives us a moment in time, giving space to shift our perception.
So asking am I going to see this as scary or fear- filled or am I going to be curious, curious of how I'm feeling and why I'm feeling this way, curiosity helps us to move into a more engaged state, noticing if the feeling is relative to the moment or to the past, to old traumas or fears.
Noticing things around us, the beauty of nature, the sunny day or rainy day, trying to see something positive about even a rainy day or a dull day.
Your thoughts are your own and you can manage them as you like, for example you can chose to have a good start to the day or you can chose to begin your day fretting about things which in fact you can't control.
You can begin your day saying to your- self I'm OK and today I will do my best to remain positive and see things from a positive perspective, things and situations may get in the way of this but by each time coming back to the idea of choice, we can change how we feel.
Coming Back to our bodies with breath, practicing meditation, yoga or even exercise, helps us to gain perspective in time and space, and in the body we find answers but only if we take the time and be brave enough to listen.
For many who have previously experienced trauma in their past, such a big event that affects individuals, families, communities country's and the world as a whole can find themselves being triggered by old feelings associated with trauma from the past.
Trauma is an emotional response to a painful or difficult event that we have no control over, leaving one feeling powerless and in shock.
long term effects if not addressed can be flashbacks, difficult relationships, physical pain, (known as somatic reactions), tension in the body leading to headaches and tightness in the jaw, grumpiness and sometimes anxiety and depression.
If you are finding your- self unable to shift your thoughts and are finding yourself stuck in a negative spiral it may be time to talk to a professional who can help you shift that pattern, taking responsibility for how we engage in the world is up to each of us, therapy is a way into improving our relationships, with ourselves, others and this helps us connect which is what we all need as humans right from birth to death,
' If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about?
What is there to fear'?