27th April 2020

THOUGHTS ON THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19

Thoughts on the affects of Covid-19

The Coronavirus disease is affecting us all in different ways.  It confronts our survival instinct which triggers anxiety and panic.  This is the most fundamental instinct we have which keeps us alive.  Linked to our survival instinct is our need for support, contact with others, safety, affection and money.  All these drives are what propels us in our daily lives which are now being threatened and challenged.

Managing anxiety

When we are stressed and anxious most of us have a tendency to live in the future, and create “what if” disaster scenarios in our minds.  It then becomes more important than ever to live in the present which means from moment to moment.  This is what is called Mindfulness.

Mindfulness means:

  • Paying attention on purpose
  • Living in the present moment without judgement
  • Learning to BE rather than to DO

and learning to engage fully in what you are doing at the moment.  By doing so, difficult thoughts and feelings have less impact and less influence over us.  Also learning to sense our body, particularly our arms and legs and continually focusing and sensing our feet being on the ground and taking deep breaths to ground ourselves in the present or the “Now”.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, or more commonly known as Tapping, which draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming and energy medicine can help.  Tapping can help the body to create a balance in the energy system and is a technique for managing anxiety.

Disconnection from ourselves

Most of us are so disconnected from our True Self when we often feel lonely, dissatisfied, bored or discontented with our lives.  We tend to fill this lack of connection with ourselves by keeping busy, buying goods that we don’t really need, eating or drinking too much or socialising with people who we don’t feel are nourishing for us.  Now is a good time to reflect on our lives, and to consider what we need to do more of and what we need to do less of to make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling.

Many people are fearful that they will discover horrible things about themselves.  However, invariably the opposite is more true.  Most people have greater difficulty in seeing, recognising and valuing their own goodness.  Most of us feel vulnerable during the pandemic with the lockdown that stops us living a normal life.  Now is a time to turn in towards ourselves and learn to be gentle, caring and considerate towards ourselves rather than judging or blaming oneself or others or denying the problems.

Learning how to have positive thoughts is very important at the moment.  Yes, we are in a pandemic and there are lots of distressful things happening to many people.  However, there are many wonderful stories of compassion and care.  For example the 100 year old man walking in his garden and who has raised £29 million and rising, for the NHS or the delivery man going the extra mile to deliver your groceries when he would really like to go home after an exhausting shift.

The importance of gratitude

Having a daily ritual of gratitude can be very important.  For example gratitude for the sunshine, that spring has arrived, for the wonderful courage and selflessness of the frontline workers and the care workers, the police, ambulance drivers, the supermarket staff and all the hundreds of people working tirelessly to keep the country functioning and keeping us healthy and safe.  Who would have thought that after the divisive Brexit vote that the country could have united so quickly and with such commitment to supporting each other within families, communities and the country.

Will there be positive aspects?

Is this a “silver-lining” to this most severe global pandemic?  Will there be other positive outcomes?  Let’s hope so. According to scientists there seems to be a positive effect on the natural world.  People in cities are hearing bird song, fish and wild life are now recognised, swans and dolphins now swimming in what was polluted rivers and the carbon emissions have decreased.  The planet earth is having a rest from us humans and without our interference it is helping to balance itself a little.  It will be up to us when we recuperate from this pandemic how we want our world to be.

We are learning steadfastness, discipline and right action during this pandemic and also the value of caring and being supportive to our neighbours, the community and to everyone in the country and around the world.  We are valuing our health and our preciousness and the value of others too.  This will need to continue if we are able to make a new way of living when this pandemic ceases.  So often in the past most of us have been concerned with “ME” and “what I want” with little regard to how it impacts on others.  Now is the time to change this egotistical part of us and embracing not only ourselves but other people’s rights and value too.

The Power of Love

Albert Einstein, the scientist famous for his theories of Relativity wrote a letter to his daughter in 1938 that there is a powerful force which includes all others called Love which enlightens and gives light to love.  He says that each of us have the power of love, to give and receive this energy which can transcend anything, including hate, selfishness, greed and fear.  This means living each day in love, for ourselves, the environment, and the natural world.  David Attenborough, in his new film, advocates that we all need to live simply and cut down on waste, which includes waste of plastics which would be a most loving thing that we can do for the planet and for our continued survival on the planet.

We will get through this.  When, who knows?  The world will be different from before.  Let us hope that we will make different priorities after this is all over.  The one thing that we all have is HOPE and the power to connect with love so that we can do our bit to change ourselves and the world.  We all have a part of play in how we want to be different and what sort of country and world we want to live in.

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