During recent conversations, I have noticed that people are experiencing a wide variety of emotions due to the current situation with Covid-19. Some people are feeling nervous, while others are feeling good, some feel sad, and others feel loneliness. I am also noticing that people are saying to themselves that they shouldn’t feel the way they do because someone else has it worse than they do. This thought can be a glass-half-full view, but it can undermine our feelings. In a sense, it is saying it is ok for someone else to feel their emotions but not ourselves.
I believe part of the reason we do this is because some point in our lives someone told us we shouldn’t feel the way we do, or we overheard it. Telling someone, they shouldn’t feel or think a certain way only makes the person feel worse. The brain likes certainty and starts looking for answers. Why do I feel this way? What’s wrong with me feeling this way? How should I think? I refer to this as the monkey brain, and some people call it the lizard brain.
How do you silence the monkey brain about how you feel or think? Start with cultivating self-compassion. Know that your feelings are normal just like everyone else’s. Visualize yourself as a child and consider how you would treat your 5-year or 10-year old self. What would you say? What would you do? Another way is to wish for yourself what most fellow human beings want. Most want happiness, peace, laughter, and good health. And while you are at it, try wishing well for other people, including those you find challenging.
What do you want to wish for?
Photo by Ve.Ro