Find the calm, seek the positive

By Dr Tim Errington, Founder-CEO of Total Health Chiropractic

This present COVID-19 crisis that is sweeping across the world causing havoc and anxiety everywhere it lands, is causing global stress levels to reach heights we haven’t witnessed since the Second World War. Not only are people worried about becoming infected, but the prospect of financial collapse is very real. All number of apocalyptic scenarios are being discussed in the media and there is barely a family on earth that doesn’t fear for the health of their loved ones. The emotions of fear, helplessness and frustration are being experienced everywhere with grief and sadness never far away.  

Then we add “stay-at-home” notices, panic buying, boredom and the incessant nervous dialogue, this is the recipe for STRESS and, just when we need it the most, a depressed immune system!

The danger of course is that these forced ‘stay-at-homes’ can lead to irritation and arguments within the family unit or conflict and fighting on the streets as emotions heighten and frustration boils over.

It’s a very real fact that “if we are not part of the solution, then we are part of the problem.” We all have a responsibility to help prevent the spread of not only the virus but anxiety and fear. At least, let’s try not to add to it. Of course, at times it’s ‘easier said than done’ but we have to find a certain calmness amongst all this madness. I’ve heard it often said that the fear of the virus is possibly a greater problem than the virus itself. Physiologically speaking, we know that fear, stress and anxiety down-regulate our genes and weaken our immune response, so there is certainly some truth in it. We have to stop fanning the flames of panic.

We are all pretty emotional at the moment and this drives our thoughts which in turn drives our actions. We might not be able to directly control much of what is going on out there, but we can most definitely contol how we are responding. We must try and stop ‘reacting’ and take more control of our thoughts. Maybe it’s a good time to go introspective and take a look at ourselves objectively. Which version of ourself is going to serve those around us most beneficially? Seriously, this could be the perfect time to find the hero inside ourselves and face things head on.  Of course everyone is fearful and everyone is anxious; these are nomal human reactions. But if they dominate us, we just can’t operate properly and that helps no one.  We simply must regain control of our thoughts.

We might not be able to directly control much of what is going on out there, but we can most definitely contol how we are responding.

How to do just this is a simple process that seems extremely hard to execute. It’s difficult because we have to overcome those primitive emotions that come with a stressed-out nervous system. It can be a different process for different people. First awareness, then breathe, in-out nice and deep, and then create a vision of positivity, that place we want to move towards. Perhaps you meditate, whatever works for you, but we are seeking out that calmness that brings with it a feeling of optimism.

Take contol of your situation; make your surroundings safe and create a routine that works. Soon, as things become more routine, we will all feel less anxious.

This is a world of polar opposite and when there is ugliness in the world, there is also beauty. Maybe a gentler world will emerge in the end; certainly the world will never be the same. Perhaps empathy, compassion and love will hang around for a while, that would be nice. This is a time when empathy really will save the world. Think about others and show them that you care; by protecting them, you are protecting yourself.

Find positives in your situation. Do things you would usually never have time for, play games with your kids, try learning that instrument, or start writing that book. Maybe you could tackle those repair jobs or projects you’ve been putting off for ages. Being busy is good, very good! Do something that will give you a sense of having accomplished something worthwhile. Put together a ‘to-do’ list and if you get creative you’ll be amazed how busy you make yourself. How good will it feel once you’ve worked your way through all these chores?

Remember, this whole situation is temporary; it will pass. Concentrate on the things you can control. Make yourself useful wherever and whenever you can. Find that hero that’s inside all of us and know, when this is all done, that you did your bit. You stepped up when needed and contributed to the solution, rather than becoming part of the problem.

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