Now, more than ever, the time we spend managing our thoughts, is of utmost importance. It is no longer “good enough” to calm the frustrations of the office grind or deal with a fight with a spouse or partner.
Today, as we deal with a global pandemic, we realize we manage our mindset because it will support a healthy immune system, decrease cortisol levels, and it provides perspective in an uncertain time.
The first step is to turn off the TV, put your phone on Do Not Disturb, and step away, whether that is out of doors, or created mental space. You must create distance between yourself and the vicious news cycles, pundits, and fear-based storylines.
Once you’ve created space between yourself and the external, it is time to greet the internal.
Here are a few suggestions:
Write. The great Julia Cameron has said that free writing “makes you known to yourself.” Allow your anxieties, your sadness, and the inner workings of your subconscious to bleed out of you and onto the page. No editing.
Pray. You don’t have to be spiritual, faithful or religious to send up a note and connect with something bigger than yourself. Faith is a gift. Lean into it.
Move. Yoga, HIIT, weights, dancing, jumping jacks, you name it, it is available to you. Cardiovascular exercise decreases anxiety within four weeks and yoga calms the parasympathetic nervous system.
Meditate. Find the space between thoughts. If you are new, start with a counted breath meditation (there’s one for free on LIV Pocket Coach on Apple), and feel your way into it. Many argue that they can’t calm their minds and they “don’t do it right,” however, most yogis will tell you it isn’t the quality of the time in meditation, it is the quality of your life outside of it where you find the results.
Listen. Music calms and soothes, excites, inspires. It is emotion set to beat. Start building your own playlists based on your moods. One for calm, one for energy, another to just chill with your loved ones. Have fun with it and if you want inspiration, we have some amazing Vent playlists within LIV Pocket Coach.
Laugh. Whether it is a Zoom call with your bestie or the wide-ranging list of comedic specials and sitcoms on streaming services, allow your entertainment to create positive emotions, rather than fear or worry.
Feel. Seek out sensory moments that allow you to be fully present. Smell the tea as it steeps, watch the wine loll on the side of the glass as you swirl, taste the decadence of chocolate, feel the warmth of a salt bath against your skin, listen to the sounds that rise up while you sit in the silence.
Our mindset is ours. We control input and response. It is wise to remain informed, to understand how we can help the world, and create change, but it shouldn’t also dash you of your hope and your zest for life.
We have a lot of life yet to live.