The Emotional Consequences of COVID-19

Perhaps one of the most emotional challenges of our lifetime, the COVID virus has created an environment of stress, worry, isolation, uncertainty, and fear.  Domestic violence and suicides have increased, showing firm evidence that many are all being pushed to the ’emotional brink’ of coping with life. It is also evident each day with our interactions with other people… Have you noticed that many people that you deal with seem angry, confrontational and focused on arguing the “Side” that they are on?

If you can relate to feeling of being emotionally drained, I’d like to offer some help.

Think of things this way…  If you were to fill a glass jar with water, the more water that you put in to the jar, the less air there is in the bottle… right?

The same is true with our brain and emotions.  There is a “FLOOD” of negative thoughts and energy entering our minds.  With all of the additional stress and negative thoughts going into your “bottle”, there is less room for happy thoughts and the positive thinking that usually keeps us going.

So what do we do?  We can’t make the virus go away.  While that’s true, there are things that we CAN do to manage our emotions.

First of all, recognize that there has been a change in the negative information that your brain has been receiving. This has occurred through no fault of your own, but rather the environment that we are in. The water is quickly filling our bottle, replacing the air.

So, let’s discuss the ways that we can balance our “bottle” content.

We need more air, right?  This can be accomplished by limiting the negative thoughts or actions that you have control over.  If the news that you are watching is depressing, stop listening to it. If the discussions at work or in your home are all about the terrible things in the world, try to limit your involvement with those conversations.  Many negative things in our life cannot be changed, however, avoiding or minimizing the ones that we can will make a difference. Limit the negative.

Just as important, or even more so, increase the light that you let into your mind. Forcing air into the bottle will push some of the water out. This will lead to a better sense of feeling that your life is ok, and that you are emotionally strong enough to handle your day. So, how can we do this?

Have you ever listened to a motivational speaker?  They make you feel so pumped-up and ready to take on new challenges.  This is positive light.  Meditation, self-help books and talks, peaceful music, spiritual studies, helping others, are just a few examples of bringing more light inside of you.  By doing these types of things each day, you will notice a substantial improvement with your emotions.  You will feel a greater sense of peace, and happiness. Take charge.  You manage what things enter your mind, and what stays there.

When you catch yourself pondering negative thoughts in your mind, it’s time to replace them with some of the positive light as mentioned above. Grab a book, watch an inspiring movie or podcast, meditate, and so on. Taking action by doing these things can overcome you being stuck in the grasps of negative thoughts. Spend time involved with the things that give you peace. Go there are often as possible.

Many people, (especially those with anxiety), think that worrying about something is an important tool in dealing with the problem, which will eventually cause it to go away. So not true!  Thoughts are important to give us direction on how to proceed with a problem, but once we have that decided what to do, it’s time to let the worry go. Don’t let yourself stay there… Move on into the light.

So try this management tool. Give yourself a daily dose of NEW positive light.  And, in those times when you hit the despair level, force the negative out by doing something that gives you light.

We can’t control the world, but we can MANAGE OUR EMOTIONS! Let more light in.

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