The only certainty in life is that change is a constant
Anger is a close ally of fear. With many countries going into their second month of Covid-19 lockdown the strain is beginning to show with spontaneous angry protests in several bigger cities over the weekend.
We are currently experiencing a defining moment in history. Our world will never be the same again. During the first stage of a tumultuous change, there is often resistance and denial. Then comes fear. Terrible decisions are made when we are in a hurry and under stress. The reason is simple:
When you are in a state of fear and stress the body is flooded with stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Blood vessels contract, your heartbeat starts racing, the body is in fear and flight mode. The fear reaction in the brain’s amygdala is triggered even before you have time to process and think rationally.
Solutions are found with a relaxed mind
The prefrontal cortex of the brain has no time to process what is happening. In a relaxation mode, the prefrontal cortex can, however, perform its executive function in differentiating between conflicting thoughts and determining future consequences of current activities on a rational level. Solutions are found in an aligned and relaxed mode.
There are wonderful and simple methods of how you can lower your blood pressure and go back into a relaxed state of mind:
- Emotional shifting is becoming aware of the emotion you are currently feeling. Is it fear, anger, grief, sadness? Define the emotion! Yes, I am afraid and anxious! Then find an image in your mind that can act as an antidote to that fear: A funny video, love for a person close to you, gratitude for all that is good in your life, a wonderful experience that you had recently.
- When you are under duress it immediately shows in shortness of breath. Place your hands on your lower belly. At the count of one, you inhale, and at the count of one you exhale, feeling that exhaling feeling all the way down into your lower belly. Keep going at least until the count of 21.
- Some countries are relaxing some of the restrictions, allowing people to go on walks. Take the opportunity and go for a walk in nature. Find a spot where you can tune your senses to a natural sound like the song of a bird or can hear the rustling of leaves in a tree.
How you start your day will determine your day. If you’ve had a bad night with monkeys dancing in your head, you can start with the emotional shift exercise, followed by the meditation. You can also practice a personal mantra. One of my favorites is:
Everything is Grace. Faith over Fear
Prayer is a powerful method of going beyond the self and finding solace, especially if you pray for others who are in a much worse position.
This time is a time that can be compared to winter. It is also a winter of the soul, a time of introspection where minds can go into silence. The time of hibernation is lying low until the turbulence has passed and remain in trust. This too shall pass in a rebirth that is spring.
Reino Gevers – Author, Mentor, and Consultant
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