The Dalai Lama has good advice for these times. He urges:
- Get calm and clear. Use any means that works for you – yoga, meditation, cognitive therapy, you name it. There are hundreds of methods for this. But his point is that when our minds are calm and clear we can take in information more fully, understand it more deeply, and make better choices. In this day of coronavirus rumors, hard fact, and misleading messages, this seems spot on.
- Be compassionate. We’re all in this together—those of us staying in our homes, and those who are out providing essential services, plus everyone else. The virus sees us all as opportunities to spread. And those of us who live on the edge are particularly vulnerable. Be kind.
- Act in whatever way you can, from compassion. Each of us has our unique skills set, sphere of influence, abilities, and strengths. Act now, in whatever will help the most people, starting with yourself, but rippling out to an ever-wider circle.
With these in mind, I looked at my own skillset. I’m a psychologist by training, and an expert in emotional intelligence (or EI). The first part of EI strengthens our self-management skills. The key here is resilience, being able to recover quickly from upset.
And lord knows there continues to be a stream of upsetting news – everything from the virus in your town, to people you know coming down with it, to having to stop work or work from home. And what about the kids?
But resilience means managing our reactions to the coronavirus news litany: it’s rapid spread; it’s invisibility, so people can be carriers and not even know they have it; and there is no sure cure. The potential triggers are endless.
There are two enemies here: the virus, and fear itself. We have no control over what we learn and hear, but we can be in charge of our own minds and what we do once we feel an upset.
That’s why my partners at Goleman EI and Everwise decided to offer our one-week course in emotional resilience, free to all.
This online resilience program shows you how to use a breathing technique to calm quickly, to scan your body for signs of tension so you can deeply relax, and regroove your mind to tone down negative thinking and boost positivity. And you’ll do this all with fellow learners who you can chat with for mutual support.
Here’s wishing you calm and clarity, an open heart, and good health.