I came across this article in Forbes Magazine and I am delighted to share this with you as a different way to look at things. I have always said that “There is a seed of something positive in every negative situation” and this article highlights this very well.
“The coronavirus is deadly serious. It’s wreaking havoc for individuals, companies, municipalities, and the world. The news is filled with stories of sickness, job loss, disappointment, and death. There’s no shortage of bad news when it comes to COVID-19.
It is impacting our ability to be productive and engaged in our work. Exposure to all this negativity is making even the most optimistic among us feel frustrated, deflated and even depressed.
Making matters worse, this negativity is highly contagious. We’re taking major precautions to protect our physical health, so why do we resist protecting ourselves from things that can harm our mental health? Part of the reason comes from a built-in negativity bias we human beings possess.
In the field of psychology (and defined in Wikipedia) negativity bias is “the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than neutral or positive things.”
So the way to override that primal alarm (which now does us more harm than good) is to drown it out with things that are positive, heart-warming and encouraging. One study suggests we need at least 5 times as much positive stimuli to counteract the negative.
Now’s the time to fill your heart and mind with all things fun, optimistic and kind. When we look for them, there are many positives to these otherwise tumultuous times. You just have to be intentional about it. These four ways, along with some examples are a good start.
Focus on the stories that remind you of the goodness of humanity and the power of human connection. In Rome on Friday, March 13th, everyone was encouraged to go open their windows or go out on their balconies to play music and sing. It prompted the hashtag #EverythingWillBeFine.
A North Carolina woman wanted to share her engagement with her grandfather who was in a nursing home that did not allow visitors. She found a way to show him the ring by pressing her hand to his window.
Time may be the greatest gift of this devasting crisis. If you are now working from home, you’ve just been gifted your commute time. If some of your work is postponed or cancelled, or if you’ve unfortunately been furloughed or even laid off, you surely have less wealth, but you do have more time.
How can you spend that time in a way that will bring you joy and happiness—now and for the future? Back when you were working overtime and longed for a break, who were you missing? What did you wish you could do in order to restore the balance in your life?
Fill your time with reaching out to people you love or dabbling in things you have always wanted to try. Learn a language. Reconnect with old friends. Develop a new meditation habit.
Human beings are wired to be generous. And being generous is good for your health. When you give, you increase your self-esteem and self-worth. It also gives your immune system a boost.
Oprah magazine highlighted a story that showed that “simply contemplating generosity boosts your immunity. When Harvard students watched a film about Mother Teresa tending to orphans, the number of protective antibodies in their saliva surged.”
So help those who need it, and share in the positive benefits for yourself. The stories of doing good could fill a library. NBA basketball stars are paying the salaries of the stadium workers who no longer have stadiums to staff.
Delta’s CEO is giving up his salary to help keep workers paid during a crisis that is having a disproportionate impact on travel industry workers. TV shows Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, and The Resident have decided to donate their show wardrobe—surgical gloves and medical gowns—to the real doctors and medical professionals who need them.
Doing good doesn’t require fame or privilege; generosity is even more infectious than the disease itself. Ordinary citizens are getting in on the act. The San Francisco Chronicle shined the spotlight on Sharky Laguana, the owner of Bandago, a San Francisco small business that rents vans. Laguana is working with City Hall to offer free use of his vans to transport homeless people to shelters or whatever else is needed.
It may seem hard to find the humour in such a widespread, devasting crisis, but there’s humour all around if you pay attention. According to mental health and wellness exprerts, “Laughter relaxes your body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, protects the heart and burns calories.”
The next time you want to check for another crisis update online, reach for something funny instead. Stop feeding your mind a diet of doom. Check out funny clips on YouTube, watch a comedy or a funny box set.
Laugh. Give. Appreciate. Acknowledge. Support. Reduce the negativity and lift your spirits to new heights.”
A healthier planet
Another unexpected side effect of coronavirus is the positive impact on the environment. The canals of Venice, normally filled with pollution from people and boat traffic, recovered. They’re now sparkling with sea life, including dolphins.
And the sky is clearer over much of the world, thanks to fewer cars on the road and aircraft in the sky. The planet is recovering.
This coming week I am excited to be delivering my new Mental Resilience Mindset Masterclass to 2 organisations live online. There has been an excellent response to the programme which will greatly help people working from home and the special price I have for my Blog readers is inspiring companies to book. This is my way of helping out at this difficult time.
Request details on this special price here: https://www.jdmindcoach.com/mindset-programme/
Thoughts for the week
- Seek out stories of humanity and the good that people are doing.
- Think about the extra time you have available – how can you make the best use of it?
- Who can you help, who can you call, who can you encourage?
- See if you can watch or listen to something funny every day.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and stay as positive as you can in these very challenging times.
Warm and healthy regards
Off the Wall – How to Develop World Class Mental Resilience available HERE
http://www.jdmindcoach.co.uk/product/off-the-wall-how-to-develop-world-class-mental-resilience/ (Special offer. Put in code 10POUND when prompted to receive a signed copy for £10 including postage and packing – UK only