She ran out of toilet paper, so she called 911. True story. While you can’t control the uncontrollable, you can control your mindset. Mindset is a belief that determines how you handle a situation. When a crisis like a pandemic hits, fear can spread well, like a virus—triggering you into fight or flight mode.
Your fear may be caused by anxiety. You worry whether your family has enough food to eat if quarantine lasts longer than expected. You worry about how long you can afford to pay the bills if customers are forced to stay away from your business. Your anxiety causes you stress which, under appropriate circumstances like these, can be incredibly helpful and life saving. Continued stress however, especially in the absence of a trigger is called negative stress and can be horribly damaging to the body.
The right mindset is key in managing negative stress! With the right tools and daily practice, you can create a safe space that is available to you at all times, in your mind. Here are 5 insanely helpful ways to improve your mindset and maintain control when all hell breaks loose.
1. Make the decision to take control of your response in any situation
While you may not be able to control the environment in which you find yourself, you can control your response to it. Taking control of your response is not only empowering, it also takes away some of the uncertainty from the situation, thereby reducing your fear.
2. Practice Self-Reflection
Look deeply within yourself and acknowledge how you are feeling at that time. Try and take time to correctly identify your emotion. For example, if your heart is racing and your palms are sweating profusely, your fear could be due to anxiety or it could be excitement. Your thinking process should be to consider what is the most plausible reason based on your specific situation.
3. Try digging a little deeper
For example, fear due to anxiety could be because you are worried about the impact a crisis could have on your business or it could be because you do not have an education plan if your children are homebound the next 6 weeks.
4. Calm your anxiety and stress
Engage in self-soothing activities such as meditation, mindful breathing or exercise. You can research great self soothing activities on the internet.
5. Reduce resistance to new ideas
Trying to generate ideas in the midst of racing thoughts is much like trying to create classical music in the middle of a band parade. When there is no resistance to new thoughts, you may find yourself thinking of your problems in a different way and how to solve them.
Moving from steps 1 – 5 you should feel a growing sense of control over your situation. For best results practice daily.