I’m still in Dallas this morning, waiting for my return flight home tonight. Last night my son called from Utah where I live, and said, “Mom, I’ve never seen anything like this!” He works in film and spends 12-15 hours a day on the set, and just learned yesterday that his shoot has been cancelled for two weeks. Anyway, he decided to stop at the grocery store and stock up on a few things on his way home.
What he found at the grocery store was many empty shelves, and to his horror, the only bread left was gluten free….which he bought…even though he hates it LOL!
People are panicking a bit.
Our primitive brains are so wired to try and keep us safe. Their most pressing job is to help us avoid any type of pain, so when they encounter a fear like experiencing a pandemic, they totally freak out.
So if you find yourself feeling this way, you are perfectly normal.
The good news is, you don’t have to feel this way if you allow your prefrontal cortex, or evolved brain, to manage your thinking.
This one little tip will help you find some immediate relief:
Find the facts of the situation.
If you remove ALL of the drama (the opinions, adjectives, story) of whatever it is that is causing you stress, you will see only the facts. Once you have the facts, you can decide what you want to think about them.
So if we look at many of the people in our communitie’s situation, they might walk into a grocery store and think, “Everyone has gone mad, there is no food on the shelves, this is the end of the world as we know it.”
Do you see how that thought creates a panic in our brains?
Whereas we can manage that panicked thinking by seeing ONLY the facts.
There are 15 loaves of gluten free bread. There are 19 jars of pasta sauce, there is ground turkey in the meat department, the store is out of oatmeal and sugar, fresh produce etc… JUST THE FACTS.
How do I want to feel about those neutral facts? That’s what I create when I choose my thought about those facts.
Do I want to think, “This is terrible, how will we survive?” (makes me feel panic)
Or “Let’s see what I can make work with what is still available.” (Let’s me own some control of the situation.)
The facts are neutral. Just sauce, just bread.
What we CHOOSE to think about the facts is optional.
There is a LOT of story and drama surrounding our facts today.
And just like we do when we boil water to remove the pollutants, we need to boil the story of our situation down, to find the simple facts.
Some thoughts I’m choosing to think right now are:
“I’m so grateful for wise health officials that are taking preventative measures in order to minimize the damage as much as possible.”
“I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family.”
“Thank heaven for technology that allows us to keep working and stay connected.”
“This is just part of life and life is always going to be 50/50.”
“How can I show up today in a way that makes the world a better place? How can I be part of the solution and not part of the panic?”
“Who needs my help, what can I give?”
“Gluten free bread is better than nothing.” (But is it really??? LOL!)
This too shall pass my friends, be of good cheer.
If you need help managing your stress and panic, please reach out to me, I can help you!