Facing Your Coronavirus Fears
A friend wrote, “This coronavirus is just unbelievable. It’s bizarre. I am more concerned about this than my breast cancer.” And a client wrote, “This (Covid-19) is big time. I am trying not to worry but I am!”
Life is often hard, and it’s not easy for any of us right now. It seems every day there is a new unpredictable challenge. Fear. Panic. Anxiety. When we listen to the news our minds conjure up fearful thoughts about our future. Then we feel powerless. We think and think some more on ways to cope. But it is so darn hard. Here are three practical, actionable ways you can rise above your fear that have worked for me and my clients!
Name your emotion
First, it’s ok to acknowledge your emotions. Tell your family and friends, “I am so scared right now.” “I am so fearful right now.” David Kessler, the world’s foremost expert on grief, tells us emotions need motion. He says we must acknowledge what we are going through. He recommends to not stop or bottle up your negative feelings, but to feel them. And, remember it is ok to feel your sadness or fear whether or not someone else is feeling the same.
If we allow our feelings to happen, they’ll happen in an orderly way and it will empower us. Then, we are not victims. Rather we are victorious! I have found going for a “Discovery Walk” with my emotions seems to soothe me. I ask myself, “What do I need to discover today about___?” I usually come back from my walk filled with a little hope and less anxiety.
Develop a mantra
Our words become things. What do you tell yourself all day? For reasons I do not remember any more, when I was 35 years old, I created my mantra, which is:
“Every day in every way my life gets better and better.”
Thirty years later, I repeat that same mantra daily – especially when I am in “Chere worry mode.” Research shows that silently repeating a positive personal mantra counteracts our tendency to dwell on negative beliefs, and this is why it is such an important second action to take to face your fears.
Research shows that repeating a positive mantra can actually change your brain state. You may develop a mantra you can use when you feel Covid-19 fear setting in like, “I am stronger than this fear.” “My life is filled with blessings.” “I trust the universe to provide what I need.” Your mantra is a reminder to yourself that life will be ok.
Focus on the positive!
Turning on the TV lately is like watching a Sci Fi movie and every day it seems to get scarier and scarier! Negative. News! What can you do to counteract this? The third action is to use the Positivity Ratio. For every negative thought, Barbara Frederickson suggests thinking of three positive thoughts. For example, when something goes wrong in my life, I ask myself, “What is good, right and beautiful right now?” When we are positive, we are able to maintain a broader perspective and see the big picture which helps us identify solutions. Negative people, on the other hand, maintain a narrower perspective and tend to focus on problems. And often those problems continue to grow!
Put the three steps into action
Get comfortable with naming your negative emotions. Develop a mantra. Think of 3 positive things when you feel scared or anxious and you will be stronger than your fear.
I am trying to use the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen my greatest asset – my ability to create my thoughts and be a deliberate creator of my life. I hope you will, too!
Here to help! I am praying for all of you that have been affected by this crisis.
What do you do to calm your fear? I really cannot wait to hear!
You have one life to live, just imagine it is one you truly love!!!