Be your own emotional First Responder
If we could say that COVID-19 has wonderful things to teach us, and I do, one lesson that springs immediately to mind is that personal freedom is merely a state of mind. If we spent our time exploring feelings that arose for us during our time in isolation with curiosity, we might learn that it is within our power to free ourselves.
Indeed, freedom starts with the way you think, and your thoughts are within your control. As some of us are unable to get away from the constant chatter in our heads, I thought I would set out a short method to help you find some relief whenever you feel some anxiety or other more negative emotions creeping in. Try this:
1. Take a deep breath and feel that breath move into and out of your body.
This is important so you move out of your head and connect with your feeling body.
2. Whatever you are feeling in your body, feel it deeply. It will present itself to you in a part or parts of your body. Go there in your mind. To identify the feeling further, it can be helpful to give it a shape, colour, texture or weight. Sit with it for a few moments and then let it wash over you. Soak in it. Own it. You have been trying to run from this feeling for so long and that’s counterproductive. Its been trapped (like you) and needs to move through you.
In the wild, a deer will shake of the fight/flight trauma response after being chased by a lion. We humans, however, seem to like to hold onto those emotion in our bodies. They need to move through, that’s why they’re called e-motions (energy in motion).
3. A thought creates a feeling and then the feeling confirms the thought. It’s a loop effect. If the feeling is negative, it’s because you’re thinking thoughts that you know at a core level are out of alignment with who you really are. Acknowledge the feeling and thank it for showing you that you have created for yourself a thought or belief that’s not true.
A belief is nothing more than a thought you keep thinking. It’s a rule or law you’ve created.
4. Choose a thought that feels better. Any thought at all that gives you some relief. You may also like to put on some music or do some other self-loving activity.
5. Acknowledge that how you feel is within your control only. No one else has that power over you. No-one can control how or what you think.
It’s helpful to you, to move through the above steps in turn. We have tried to run from our emotions and they want to be accepted as a part of our experience. That way they can move though you. Welcome them home.