This blog idea was definitely prompted by everything going on with coronavirus and home isolation but the premise of the blog, that we choose our reality, is something I’ve been practicing for a long time and I’m excited to share these concepts with you here. I hope they help you through this highly emotional and confusing time. They do take practice, but they work and are so worth it! I promise if you do these things you’ll be happier!
Letting Go of Control
The biggest factor in controlling your own reality is letting go of control. When something causes a negative emotion in you, immediately ask, “can I do something about this right now?”. If the answer is no you have to let it go. If you let something out of your control bother you then you are wasting time and energy feeling negative for no reason. Our minds are very determined to have control over everything, this is why we always think about potential future outcomes. You may think of hundreds of “what ifs” everyday. But the thing is, every single one of those is just that, a What If, and what ifs should not take up space in your mind because it takes us away from the present.
Letting go of control is hard. Trust me I’m a Type A and I really like to have control. But if having 3 babies under 3 has taught me anything it’s that things almost never go to plan, life can change on a dime and all we can really do is roll with the punches and laugh along the way.
The only thing we have control of is ourselves. What CAN we control? How CAN we use this time? Spend it with the kids, your family, connect with friends via FaceTime or Zoom, workout. Finally start that project you’ve been thinking about! These are the things we have control over right now.
You know what complaining is? Super easy to do!! It’s incredibly easy to pick apart any situation. The weather isn’t good enough. The schedule wasn’t seamless enough. The food wasn’t good enough. The traffic was slow. Unfortunately complaining comes naturally to us, myself included. It’s like if we are too optimistic and positive we risk being disappointed so instead we decide we are disappointed to begin with. Further, most of the things we complain about are completely out of our control which is why we complain about them more! Like the weather. When we complain about something that is in our control then we are likely either looking for compliments/affirmation from others. Otherwise the obvious response to complaining about something we control is, “well do something about it” which no one wants to hear.
Again, complaining is easy. I get that. But it’s also negative. A good starting exercise is to go 24 hours with no complaints. An entire day! When you catch yourself complaining just recognize it and rephrase.
“Ugh, the toaster burnt my bread”
“I’m so grateful we have more bread in the panty cause I just burnt this!”
“My dog shit on the floor”
“Good thing it wasn’t on the carpet!”
“I can’t even do 10 push ups, I’m so weak”
“I can do 3 full pushups in a row and 10 from my knees!!”
In almost any case you can switch complaining for gratitude. I know complaining feels good, and there is a time and a place to vent. But in your day to day consider the energy you are putting out each time you complain. If you swap that with gratitude I bet you’ll feel better about the situation!
We Choose Our Emotions
The most amazing thing about being human is that we can control our emotions. We have the psychological capability to feel feelings and recognize them when they are happening. Anger, annoyed, tired and sadness all have their roles just like happy, grounded, grateful, excited and proud do. When it comes to the negative emotions it’s about deciding how long you want to stay in those emotions and learning tools to pivot when necessary. Ask yourself, can I control this? If the answer is no, practice letting it go.
It’s okay to worry, to feel fear and all of those things. But you cannot let it consume you. Negative emotions are contagious but just like corona we can stop the spread if we act accordingly!
To pivot toward joy/happiness the easiest thing to do is express gratitude, when you feel sad or defeated simply start listing things you’re grateful for. We can also connect with a loved one, even if you don’t feel like calling, you’ll feel better after! You can also just do something that brings you joy. If you’re getting anxious or annoyed with work at home, take a break, make a coffee, take a walk, listen to a podcast, do something joyous to help you reset.
Our Choices Make Us Who We Are
Who we are as people is just a combination of a million tiny decisions. What’s awesome about this is at ANY time you can start making different decisions. What type of person are you? What type do you want to become? You decide if you’re the type of person who works out 5 days a week, or 6 or none. You decide if you’re the type of person who put their phone away during meals. You decide if you are the type of person who chooses gratitude over complaining.
Choosing Happiness During Corona Virus Quarantine
As we’ve established only you are in control of you. Internally we are creating our reality with our thoughts and our beliefs. Regardless of the current events you are the only person who can look at things from a negative or positive point of view. You can dwell on the death toll, the jobs lost and the devastation. Or you can thrive in your home, take care of yourself the way you deserve, enjoy quality time with your family and come out of this the best version of yourself. The world needs you at your best!
Take it day by day. Our true colors show in times of crisis, we can cower and act out from fear, or step up, support, and lead. Our true colors show in times of crisis, but amazing leaders also emerge in times of crises.
How we handle this is making us strong. Stronger as families, stronger as communities and stronger as a Nation. You can’t get stronger without struggle.