If you’re not, or just want a little lift to the low operating frequency that’s out there at the moment, here are three ways to stay sound, grounded and, dare I say, even grateful for the opportunity that is being presented for personal growth.
Focus on the Basics
In this day and age, with all its bells, whistles and never-ending choices, all while we are running around to do the zillion things we need to do within each twenty-four hour period, it isn’t often that we stop to think about how utterly fantastic it is to be fortunate enough, healthy enough, financially well-off enough to be able to do whatever and go wherever, whenever we want. We can drive to the store and get what we need. We can choose restaurants, activities and gatherings to attend whenever the mood strikes. We can pop laundry squares in the dishwasher to avoid washing dishes (my thought the other day) and can run to a local store to pick things up around our own personal schedules.
These aren’t thoughts we often think on a daily, weekly, or even yearly basis, not for most of us anyway. During times like these, when whole countries are being quarantined, for goodness sake, these kinds of thoughts — i.e., Maybe I should get a few of these next time I go to the store?
What would we eat if we had to stay inside for 14 days in a row? — are now entering our minds.
And that is a good thing.
Stay with me.
Instead of thinking in terms of panic and lack, stop and consider lucky we are to live when we do, how we pretty much have everything we need at our fingertips and that life is really, really good.
Take the opportunity to think of all the little things we take for granted, and how we are so much more able to focus on personal development when we have these things in place.
Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t.
Keep it simple, law-of-attraction style.
What you focus on is what you’ll see.
Feed that frequency, let it rise, and of course (which I hope you were all doing before this media reminder) wash your hands.
Are you remembering to laugh? Have you really laughed lately?
Maybe you could turn off the news and turn on say, Sanford and Son, King of Queens, Modern Family, or Impractical Jokers. (My son just texted Family Guy, but he’s twenty so I can’t vouch for that.)
But something guaranteed to make you laugh so that you not only relax your body but also boost your immune system.
Remember…Laughter is the best medicine.
Norman Cousins, in his book Anatomy of an Illness (highly recommend), described healing himself through high doses of vitamin C and humor. Laughter causes our body to produce endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain that produce the “feel good” feeling.
And if that doesn’t do it for you, consider this:
Dr. William F. Fry, a psychiatrist from Stanford University, California, examined the physiological effects of laughter in the late 1960’s. One of his studies confirmed that 20 seconds of intense laughter, even if forced, may decrease your chances of respiratory infections.
Yes, even when your plans are changing and prior commitments need to be rescheduled and your children’s entire rest of the academic and athletic year may be spent on-line, indoors, at home until schools and universities are cleaned and cleared and everyone is proven to be well, which is overwhelming and a huge-deflated-balloon disappointment.
But here’s the thing: If we stay on that plane, if we choose to focus on what we don’t want, on what is awful, then we feel awful. If we feel awful, then we behave awful. And if we are tough to be around, we are losing sight of the very thing that we do have in the moment of frenzy, and that is one another.
We have connection.
We are all in this petri dish together.
We can share our thoughts and feelings and yes, complaints. But after we complain…
We can also laugh.
We can find the good by focusing on the basics we have become so accustomed to and will return to once again.
Lastly, we can choose to be grateful for all the things that are also going right.
Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist and creator of the infamous Hierarchy of Needs, once said, “Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
All good things,
Jill Sylvester is a licensed mental health counselor and author of the self-help book, “Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways to Transform Anxiety and Depression for Stronger Mental Health.” Her work has been featured in Well+Good, Bustle, SheKnows, WorkingMother, Parenthood, TeenMentor, and OprahMag.com. To receive her free weekly blog containing tips to better your life, subscribe at www.jillsylvester.com.