I talk to myself a lot.
It sounds crazy, but we all talk to ourselves and have around 60,000 thoughts a day!
80% of our thoughts default to the negative because the primitive part of our brain is trying to protect us from pain.
Our brain sniffs out trouble like a sniffer dog looking for drugs at a crime scene.
Our brain wants only to seek pleasure, avoid pain and be efficient.
When we are young, our brain is still forming and is very malleable like Play-Doh that is mushy and impressionable.
This timeframe is when we are connecting synapsis in the brain and making sense of the world.
During this time it is as if we are laying down the foundation, the wiring, the plumbing, the electrical wires as we build a house.
Around age 25, our brain starts to become more crystallized and is more like Play-Doh left out overnight. It’s not as malleable and most of the wiring is already in place and creating new thoughts and ideas is more difficult than when we are younger.
Presenting new thoughts to the brain seems like danger approaches and it feels uncomfortable for the brain that likes the patterning it has already established and why creating a new habit can feel so difficult.
Enter the Covid-19 pandemic and the brain is losing its mind in every sense of the word. The news, the quarantines, the deaths, the school closures, the threat of an economy crashing, the lungs collapsing and all of the information that is coming at us like a tidal wave is overwhelming so the brain starts to feel like it’s going to short circuit.
The brain is setting off alarm bells.
This is normal.
People report that they feel paralyzed, feel stuck, feel overwhelming amounts of anxiety and want to know the unknown.
This is normal.
Sometimes we don’t know what to do with all of these emotions so we try to push them away and think positively and look on the bright side, but when that doesn’t work, we resort to different coping strategies.
So we start to eat our feelings or smoke our feelings or drink our feelings or watch the news excessively to push those feelings away and numb out a little for some relief from all of the stress.
And I would like to offer a solution to all these negative feelings to make them less intense.
We need to create an intense level of mind management during this pandemic so we can create the thoughts we want to think because they create the emotions in our bodies.
The best way to soften all of these emotions that are coming at us like a freight train is to feel them and know they are normal and part of the human experience.
Then we won’t use the energy to push them away because Carl Jung teaches us . . . “what we resist will only persist.”
The more we push something away, the stronger it becomes.
Have you ever tried to hold in a laugh only to laugh harder?
Have you ever tried to hold in a powerful sneeze only for the actual sneeze to hurt when it comes out?
Have you ever tried to hold a big beach ball underneath the water and the effort that it takes?
Have you ever tried to hold in a burp and then you feel like you’re going to self-combust?
Have you ever tried to stop the water in a hose as it is shooting out of the end of a hose only to have it spray all over you?
The same sentiment works with feelings. When we try to push them away or use an outside source like food, alcohol, or Facebook to push them away, then the feelings only get stronger.
Feelings come directly from our thoughts and are simply vibrations that go through our bodies and not as scary as we may think they are.
When we allow our negative feelings then they aren’t as intense and we don’t have anxiety for having anxiety making it a double whammy of vibrations our body feels.
When we allow the negative feelings then the positive ones can fly in and hang out comfortably too like the two are spooning together.
People in the “sky is falling” camp think that the Positive Patties are not in touch with reality while the Positive Patties think the Negative Nellies are too doom and gloom.
But, what if we can feel both at the same time and simultaneously and don’t have to hop from camp to camp.
We can feel fear about our loved ones while feeling gratitude for the extra family time we are having together.
We can feel uncertain about when this will end and feel inspired by our neighbors and community who are leaning on each other more than ever.
We can feel sad about the schools closing and feel inspired by our children who show us how happy they are just to be with their favorite people; their caregivers.
We can feel angry about the job losses while feeling a sense of calm as we watch our children here to teach us how to live in the present.
We can feel sad about our children being away from their friends and teachers while happy that our children show us how to be resilient in such shaky times.
We can feel lonely that we can’t leave our house and feel excited about the immense gratitude we will feel when we can run a simple errand.
When we aren’t scared of our negative emotions then they can fly in and fly out effortlessly.
Life isn’t meant to feel easy all of the time.
We are meant to feel negative emotions as much as we feel positive emotions. It’s a 50/50 emotional game we get to
play every day and not something we want to fight against.
Nothing has gone wrong when we have this 50/50 experience and knowing this allows us to not argue with reality and accept the “as is” of every moment. Doing this allows us to lowers the resistance and allows them to not feel stuck within us, but flow freely.
We get to choose our thoughts. Thoughts are simply sentences in our mind and each thought is completely optional.
Our thoughts create our emotions and from our emotions, we take action and then we have our result based on the thought we recited in our mind.
Thoughts are usually 95% unconscious thoughts meaning we have thought them so many times before that the brain doesn’t want to question them and just believes whatever we tell it.
This is when life gets fun because we get to have our control back and create those sentences in our mind with conscious energy and not just our default thinking that was given to us when we were younger.
When I talk to myself, I choose thoughts with intention.
I even talk to the future version of myself.
I talk to myself in 3rd person and the 3rd person is the Kelly I will be tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.
So when you are managing your mind during Covid 19, think about how you want to show up and what would the version of you in August think about the version of you in March/April.
For example, who you want to be in August is based on thinking and actions taken today. Life is made up of tens of thousands of thoughts and little decisions that create our emotional life.
So you can change the trajectory of your life and make that future version proud because of thoughts you think today.
How do we want to show up today so our kids can look back on this time with love and joy and appreciation? Show up in that way today.
When you choose those words wisely, you begin to treat yourself with kindness and love which will create a life of abundance and happiness . . . and allow the negative emotions to sit shotgun with you every day too.