If you’re pretty “normal” you think 60,000 thoughts a day. 90% of those thoughts are the same thoughts you had yesterday and unless you work at it, 80% of those are most likely negative.
In case you hadn’t noticed the world you live in can sometimes present itself as quite negative. So, at any given time there could be a lot of negativity running around in your head.
Some of those negative thoughts are based on reality and others are based on a brain that evolved to look out for danger and not necessarily for happiness.
Your brain is designed to keep you safe, not happy. And so, deep inside it a small structure called the amygdala stores all the negative things that have happened to you (and other members of your tribe) so its readily available to reference when something appears to be threatening.
If you’ve ever heard me teach, you know I refer to it lovingly as “The little database of horrors.” It’s a handy reference point for anything that has every hurt us in any way. It’s really useful.
But in the technicolor media-saturated world we are living in now, sometimes it’s hijacked as many as 50 times a day. That was before the Corona Virus.
The fight-flight-freeze reaction is a short term life saver and that is what nature intended it to be.
When we really need to fight, flee or play dead because we are being attacked by a real predator, all the non-essential systems in your body shut down for a good 6 hours or so. Makes sense – while you are trying to look for an escape route – your body doesn’t need to be digesting, it need to be running.
Here’s the challenge. It’s estimated that Americans activate that response not once a week or month – but daily – up to 50 times a day.
If that’s the case (and even if it’s only half true) dozens of times a day your body essentially shuts down it’s immune function, digestive and elimination systems – anything not essential for “FFor F” – for approximately 6 hours, give or take.
Same thing for anger. If you allow yourself the luxury of anger for more than 5 minutes – down go all those precious bodily functions – the ones that keep you safe and healthy.
So now we are faced with a real threat. And we are being tasked, as responsible citizens, to respond.
Some are making sure they have enough essential living supplies in the case they get contagious, having “sanitizing supplies” to take reasonable precautions when out in public, and taking lots of Vitamin C and other immune boosters to stay healthy. Many are getting ready to work from home and stay out of public places for a while.
Precautions are necessary and panic is not.
So I’m coming to you today, as your happiness coach, to make suggestions for staying in the state of body and mind that will build your immune system, help make you a calming – and not catastrophic – influence on others, and give you what you need physically and emotionally to stay in a state of well-being no matter what.
Be Intentional – Set the intention, hourly if you need to, to be present to the situation in a calm and rational manner.
The odds are if you are reasonably healthy and take reasonable precautions you may be uncomfortable for a while, but you will be fine.
Be Vigilant – Pay attention to your attention. Notice what you notice. Notice where that attention is going for where attention goes, energy flows. Self-correct as needed.
Be Accountable – Until new behaviors become habitual keep a list of the new healthy habits you are installing to help keep you strong. If you make yourself accountable to self and others to meditate, exercise and eat clean and nutrient-packed foods (while eliminating junk, sugar and even alcohol) you’ll be more able to present as a leader to team and family. And you will be a great example.
Be Grateful – Are you warm, fed and dry right now? Do you have caring people in your life? Are you safe at this moment? Sink into a state of deep gratitude and appreciation and focus on that.
Be Aware and Be in Choice – Especially during a time like this, when your energy is being hijacked constantly by all the scary things that could happen, it’s important to be clear about the choices you make. You can choose to feel positivity, happiness or joy even in the midst of chaos.
You can choose perspective and optimism despite what you hear from the media. When you feel yourself moving into fear – ask yourself – where would I rather be?
Fear will get you motivated – but if you let it hang around it will get you marinated in chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline that will – over the long term – shut down your vital systems often enough to make you sick.
Arm yourself with positivity and choose it – every 10 minutes if you have to.
Be Truthful – If it’s hard to find these “turnarounds” then call for help. There are many people – including me – to help support your positive intentions and teach you the skills of optimistic people.
Be Giving – Once you’ve got your own mask on, help others. Once you have found the state of mind that helps keep you calm, present and positive, share it with others. Be empathetic and giving to others who are traveling on a different path.
Positive emotions BUILD immunity. Positivity increases your production of T-cells which build your immune function. It increases your serotonin , the “rest and digest” hormone, endorphins – which are the body’s natural opiods to help with pain and coping with change. It increases oxytocin with is the “tend and befriend” chemical and helps deepen connections between people. They release norepinephrine with plays a role in keeping us out of depression!
If you are concerned about your team’s reactions to the current state of affairs, I’ve got a great WEBINAR for you! It’s called “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” and it can be delivered in an hour over lunch! Call for details 561-279-0027. The time is right for this program!
So much of what I teach is about how to employ mind mastery to stay focused, intention and open the space to lead with your heart.
I practice these things in strange ways! I opened up the video vault and am now willing to share a movie that’s only been seen by a few close friends. This was my first – but not my last – with using my mind to outsmart my body. JoAnna Challenges Her Beliefs
Call me 561-279-0027 to discover how I can help you and your team stay positive in crazy times!