POSITIVITY CORNER

WOW! We’re all being tested now with our mindfulness and positive mind-set, aren’t we? However, those of you who have endeavoured to follow some of the practices I have written about will now definitely be reaping the benefit of how to use your positive mind-set to help get you through these difficult times.

It is hard for even the most optimistic among us to remain positive when surrounded by a virus that threatens severe illness, along with temporary life changes to how some of us live and work – it could even cripple the economy. It’s easy to allow ourselves to stay focused on these issues that the media are constantly commenting on every moment of every day. But these thoughts are NOT counter- productive.

Researchers are continually finding more evidence pointing to the many benefits of optimism and positive thinking with one of the major benefits being an improved immune system. A person who focuses on positive information over negative information will be better able to cope with stressful situations, may take a more positive long-term outlook on life, and may maintain positive social interactions, so reaping the immunity benefits.

Obviously, we need to keep updated about how COVID-19 is affecting us, but we do not need to become COVID-19 experts, nor do we need to hear every unpleasant detail from dawn until bedtime. Instead, focus on the positive in order to retain your energy and resolve needed to weather this storm.

Here are positive actions that I have taken in my normal everyday life for many years, so I can totally recommend them, having been personally tried and tested.

LIMIT YOUR INTAKE

  • Rather than watch every news item on television, listen to warnings on the radio, or visit websites bombarding you with the angst of the moment, limit yourself to only one single news source to view or listen to at a set time once a day, in order to update yourself with the latest news and actions taken.  This way, your anxiety will be reduced, rather than peaking every time you hear or see something relating to COVID-19, so giving you constant highs and lows of stress and anxiety throughout your day.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEWLY FOUND TIME IF SELF ISOLATING

  • Use the time in a productive way by focussing on tasks that have needed doing such as sorting books, clothes, etc., for recycling, gardening (if the rain should stop!), taking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try your hand at – you can order the necessary items online or by phone and have them delivered to your doorstep, sorting out old photos and writing details on their reverse side so that future generations know who they are and where they were taken, writing about your life – whether young or old – your children and your grandchildren will be so interested to read about it – especially the year 2020 which they will learn about in years to come and that their ancestors lived through! The list is endless – the feeling of satisfaction will be huge.

MAKE A DAILY INVENTORY

  • Close your day, every day, with a positive acknowledgement of something you accomplished, learned, are grateful for, or just made you smile.  Write it in a specially assigned notebook when you’ve got into bed as I do, so ending your day on a positive thought before going to sleep

In times of constant negative images and talk, we need an antidote so that we can maintain our positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope.  Be deliberate in activities that are positive, heart-warming, stress reducing and laughter inducing.  Together, we’ll get through this.  Stay safe, stay positive.

Janine Gibson

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