During uncertain times, it can be easy to fall into catastrophic thinking, ruminating thoughts, and negative habitual behaviors. Our Mindfulness or Meditation Practice can help us break free of some of these habitual patterns so that we can show up as our best selves, staying as steady as possible. Here are three tips to help you find your calm in moments of uncertainty:
1. Recognize and acknowledge ruminating thoughts
When we are facing something that seems out of our control, such as the coronavirus, it can be easy to let ruminating thoughts take over. If you notice your mind spinning, try to:
- Redirect Your Attention: Changing your focus can help interrupt negative thought patterns. Try calling a friend, taking a walk, or reading a book.
- Make a Plan: Write down a few small, actionable steps you can take right away to address the problem. Being proactive can help ease your fears and keep you from that tipping point when problem solving turns to panic.
- Examine Your Thoughts: When you are spiraling into fear scenarios, try to ground yourself by observing what’s happening in the present moment. Once you’ve done everything you can do to keep yourself and your family safe, let go of what might happen in the future.
2. Build your resilience
In order to become more resilient, we need to better understand our relationship to fear and uncertainty. The next time your mind starts to ruminate, notice what triggered your ruminating thoughts and observe your emotional reaction to them. The better you understand your patterns, the more calmly you will be able to relate to things that feel out of your control. It might mean turning off the news for a little while so you can gain solid ground again.
3. Double down on self-care and mindfulness
In times of uncertainty, it’s important to take extra good care of yourself. This means getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, exercising, and keeping up with (or even increasing!) your meditation practice. When we meet uncertainty with our best, most resilient selves, we’re more likely to stay calm, courageous and in the present moment.
For more information on how you can be more mindful and resilient as it relates to the coronavirus and other life uncertainties, listen to our latest Untangle podcast with Dr. Mark Bertin.
If you’re concerned about your health, your family, or your community due to coronavirus, here are a few steps you can take to prevent illness, as recommended by the CDC.