There’s good and bad to everything. When you feel stuck in a crisis, it’s important to remember this. One of the best ways to deal with a difficult time is to use psychological flexibility. When you are able to view a situation from mutliple angles, you can choose the viewpoint/stance that makes you the least anxious. To every bad situation there is a silver lining. Even with the current corona virus pandemic, there are some good things have transpired:
Two pandas at Hong Kong zoo have finally mated after ten years of trying. The zoo has stated that this may be due to the fact that the zoo has been closed and the pandas have had some privacy.
The planet is healing in many ways too – pollution has decreased and even in Venice, the water is clearer and wildlife are returning that haven’t lived there for ages. So even in the midst of chaos and anxiety, there are a few good things to focus on.
Being forced to slow down can’t be a bad thing. We work too hard and often don’t even take the annual leave afforded to us. Maybe this is just what the planet needed. Many of my clients have been telling me how great it feels to be catching up on things they never normally had time to do. Perhaps this will be a useful lesson to all of us to slow down and enjoy the present moment more instead of working so hard and letting life pass us by. Many of us are rarely ‘present’ in our lives – we are too busy fretting about the future or regretting the past. Mindfulness (appreciating the present moment in a non-judgemental way is so underrated).
Consider the lives of wealthy people. We may look at them and feel they have everything but being wealthy and having access to everything dulls the senses. If you have too much of a good thing you need an even higher does the next time round to feel the same high. Imagine having clean sheets every night. I love the feeling of clean bed linen but if I had it every night, the lovely new feeling would soon wear off.
Think about the rice farmer in Asia who has very little and lead a relatively simple life. If you could give him something that he really appreciated, imagine his satisfaction levels. What would a rich person have to do to gain that same level of pleasure? A wealthy person may not know who his true friends are either. In fact, I have seen so much unhappiness and toxicity when it comes to people and money.
So just remember, nothing is all good or all bad. Often, it’s not what you are experiencing that is freaking you out, it’s your thoughts, attitude and behaviours that decide how well you will cope. Of course, the trigger will be that bad situation/experience but you still have a choice about how you wish to respond. You can focus on the negatives and feel even more stressed or you can get your thoughts to work for you and focus on the thinking that helps you feel less helpless and empowers you to feel more hopeful.