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You are stronger than you think you are!

I'm aware that we are in the midst of a global pandemic and anxiety levels are higher than normal for many people.  Some people are able to cope well, others less so.   Even if we are fortunate not to have experienced illness or loss, it doesn't necessarily mean we will be less anxious.    The What If's can kick in, triggering unhelpful speculation and doubts that we will be able to cope.  The truth is, we simply don't know what will happen because we cannot predict the future.   We can take steps to lessen risk, and reduce the risk we present to others.  We do have this under our control.

It is important to remember that we humans have coped with and survived previous pandemics, wars, economic downturns, and many other threats to our survival.   We are fragile but remarkably resilient.   If you doubt your ability to cope, you may very well surprise yourself!

I talk to my clients a lot about resilience.  Some people take it to mean that you must always be able to show strength and sail through life with a carefree manner and no obstacles.   I don't see it this way.  For me, resilience is built through embracing ALL of your experiences and emotions, positive and negative.

It is about being honest with yourself, showing yourself compassion and allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling - without judgement.   It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling - and take the appropriate action.   If you want to have a good cry, do it.    It is not a sign of weakness.   If you want to spend all day in your pyjamas, just do it.   If you don't feel like talking to anyone - don't.  If you feel miserable, worried or distressed, allow yourself to feel these things without necessarily trying to change them.

What you might notice, by developing a non-judgemental sense of awareness, is how fleeting our feelings are, on the whole.   We are equipped with huge emotional range, and we are able to withstand intensity.    What is not helpful however is if we spend too long in any one negative state - that might signify a condition such as depression which should be addressed with help from a qualified medical practitioner.

Developing the ability to sit with negative emotion and befriend it is a good way to develop greater resilience.   You may learn that there is a connection between your thoughts and the negative emotion.   You might even experiment a bit with changing your thinking to alter your mood.   The more tuned in you are, the greater your ability to shift at will.  It takes a lot of practice....but it can be done!

Give yourself permission to feel whatever you are feeling today - it is okay.   You may very well wake up tomorrow feeling something different.  You might even feel something different in the next hour or the next minute!  We wax and wane, we fret and worry, we love and laugh.   We are human....

I hope you stay safe and well xx

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