How to Keep a Positive Mindset During the Coronavirus Crisis
Ways to cope during difficult times.
Fact: The date for a return to normalcy keeps getting pushed back. Fact: People are dying. Fact: This will end, eventually. But when?
As news cycles continue to broadcast unimaginable content through every possible screen, our minds, bodies and souls are under siege. Words like pandemic, lockdown, and school closure keep coming at us relentlessly. How do we protect ourselves over as this ordeal marches on?
It’s got to be mind over matter, right? At age 95, Dr. Gerald Jampolsky has seen his fair share of crisis, war and even pandemic. Fascinated by the power of the mind during critical times, Jampolsky, founded the Center for Attitudinal Healing in 1975, which is now Attitudinal Healing International, an organization that spans over six continents. He and his wife Diane Cirincione-Jampolsky, Ph.D. have dedicated their professional lives to the study of attitudes and mindsets and the identification and tools for the removal of the blocks that keep us from experiencing lasting happiness and peace of mind. “Your attitude is everything, and perhaps more than anything else, determines how you experience every aspect of your life,” says Diane. “And now, more than ever, it is important to not let fear and uncertainty control our lives because fear can be the most virulent and damaging virus known to humankind,” says Jerry.
“Amidst COVID-19, every morning upon waking, we set our goal to bring more love into our lives and the world rather than more fear. In essence, we remind ourselves that in the worst of times throughout history, some have chosen to act from love and compassion, focusing on what we can give under the direst circumstances versus what we cannot; focusing on what we can do to care for others rather than what we cannot. Even in the face of illness and death, we can reduce suffering and find moments of beauty and connection. Let us summon the courage to reinterpret our fear to be a calling to be better, to be stronger, and to serve the greater good.”
For many, meditation is touted as one of the best ways to adjust your mindset, hence we have selected three women who talk the talk and can offer a few easy steps to do at home, right now.
A nationally recognized thought leader on positive attitudes, Amanda Gilbert has a pretty simple solution to control your thoughts. “When I am meditating, or trying to focus, and my thoughts keep distracting me, Imagine them as true ‘thought bubbles,’ says Amanda Gilbert, a teacher at the The Aging Metabolism and Emotions Center at the University of California–San Francisco. “And I gently push them away.”
Gilbert conducts clinical scientific research investigating the biological and psychological effects of mindfulness and meditation and is a trained mindfulness facilitator with UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and a Certified Meditation Instructor with The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, among other things. Her methods may sound simple, but there’s science behind them, and they work.
With Amanda’s permission, here is her 3-Minute Practice for Shifting Your Energy.
Shift Your Energy
- Start by inviting in a deep breath. If you can and feel comfortable doing so, gently close your eyes.
- To begin, notice how you are feeling at this moment.
- Notice the emotions, feelings and sensations that are most predominantly with you right now.
- And just lightly—see if you know why you are feeling these emotions. If you already know and an answer easily comes, acknowledge this reason and let it go by taking a long breath in and out.
- If you are uncertain of why you are feeling how you are right now, that is perfectly okay, and you can also take a long breath in and out, just letting go of any tension.
- Now, invite in three more deep breaths. You can think of these as resetting breaths. Allowing your nervous system to completely relax.
- As you complete your third breath, place your attention on your heart. Let it rest there for a moment.
- Notice any feelings within you that are not of your existing energy but of a different energy—a feeling of ease, compassion, relief or relaxation. Or even a feeling of neutrality and spaciousness.
- Notice any sensations that are now here and are different then the one’s before.
- Keep your attention on these new and fresh feelings until you feel connected to this new state.
- And when you are ready, you can gently open your eyes.
How to Help:
For organizations to support and resources to help you and others through this difficult time, check out our Better List.
More from Marin:
- Quarantined With COVID-19: Marin County’s Public Health Officer Shares His Experience
- The Ultimate Guide to Cocktails in Marin During the Coronavirus
- Giving Tuesday Now: Here’s How to Donate and Pay It Forward Around Marin
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade and is currently the national editorial director of Make it Better Media. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center and then The EACH Foundation. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine. If you want more, she’s created a website, HawaiiIslander.com.