We are living in extraordinary times currently, aren’t we?
▶For some of us, we find ourselves feeling nervous, uncertain and even fearful.
▶For some of us, we find ourselves seeking answers.
▶For some of us, we find ourselves feeling lonely, bored, isolated, anxious and stressed.
▶For some of us, we find ourselves theorizing conspiracies, pointing fingers, and not believing that this is real.
▶For some of us, we find ourselves feeling calm, cool, and collected.
So, why so many variances?
Well, because in the absence of data, we will always make up stories. It’s how we are wired. In fact, we do so more when we feel hurt, lost, sad, guilty, afraid, etc., because it’s part of our most primitive survival wiring.
Meaning, in our biology we come up with a story that makes sense, feels familiar, and offers us insight into how to self-protect.
Because we are compelled to make stories, we will do so by taking incomplete stories and running with them…………finishing them, so to speak, so they make sense to us.
According to Robert Burton, a neurologist and novelist, he says, “we earn a dopamine ‘reward’ ever time it helps us understand something in our world---even if that explanation is incomplete or wrong.”
With so much information being shared via social media, news stations, and various other sources, sharing “real-time” (according to them) information, there’s no doubt the information is incomplete and quite possibly inaccurate, right?
Did you know that our senses pick up over 2,000,000 bits of information per second? Our brains then have to filter those 2,000,000 bits down to a manageable 126 bits.
By deleting bits and generalizing (and distorting) the input.
Perhaps another great question to ask is “Why”?
The brain uses our beliefs and expectations, and what we’ve been focusing on, to determine what to delete and what to save. Within nano-seconds, our brains organize that saved data, store it, draw conclusions, tell our bodies how to react and respond (i.e., flight/fight, calm, paranoia, etc).
Ask yourself, “What headlines are screaming out to me?”
Why is this question so important?
Because your brain seeks what you seem to be seeking. If you are focused on what’s wrong, it won’t even bother to register the good news, positive ideas or opportunities to see ways of getting through our current pandemic.
Your most potentially valuable asset, along with your optimal physical health, is your brain. How are you keeping it optimally healthy, useful, and serving you?
Here’s some ways to keep it and you well not just during this pandemic but in the days to come.
Limit your exposure to the information you are absorbing. This includes who you are spending time with, and what you’re talking about.
Daily gratitude – writing or logging a daily list of things you are grateful for.
Physical activity – walking, running, riding a bike, doing yoga are all great forms of physical activity. More importantly, they are activities you can still do during this time.
Feeding your mind with uplifting information. Maybe that’s reading a spiritual book, listening to inspiring music, or repeating healthy/supportive mantras during meditation.
Asking for help/support. I cannot iterate enough that there’s no shame in the game of asking for help/support. There is, however, struggle if you don’t.
If you are finding yourself slipping into despair and worry over what’s happening, and could use some help getting grounded through it, then get in touch with me.