During the tough times of pandemic, it has become important to feed our minds with immunity boosting thoughts that prevent us from pathogens like fear, anxiety, self doubt, despair etc. With exponential increase in Covid cases, there is panic among the masses. It becomes imperative in these moments that we become immune to the mass anxiety, fear & rumours that are preventing us to live at our fullest. Living in a constant state of uncertainty, stress and panic can lower our physical immunity as well. Deepak Chopra is known for his work on understanding mind body connection. The more mentally strong we are, the better we are able to handle physical body problems. The article by Deepak Chopra, talked about building psychological immunity which is an essential part of wellness today.
As per the article, the elements of psychological immunity, unlike physical immunity, are ours to choose. The major elements are:
• Emotional resilience, the ability to bounce back from difficult situations like a divorce or the death of someone close.
• Self-reliance, the freedom to be oneself despite external influences.
• Emotional honesty, the ability to feel the emotions that actually arise, without fear or denial.
• Detachment, which places a distance between your sense of self and the turmoil around you.
• Emotional intelligence, the capacity to foresee how emotions will work out in a given situation
Deepak, in his article has a test to understand how strong is your psychological Immunity.
He said that, "our psychological immunity is equal to our power of attention, that is, how long we can sustain our attention on a task or topic in an observant manner, letting it reveal to you what it is, not reacting with your mind's conditioning, your personal opinions, or second-hand beliefs."
The more psychologically strong we are, the better we are able to handle not only physical ailments or illnesses but also the collective negativity in the form of fear, scarcity, criticism, anxiety, fear, rumours & hatred. To build psychological Immunity, the following tools can be helpful:
1. Reduce Media
Be it news channels or social media, they are filled with scarcity, apathy & death news. Although staying up to date is essential but watching the news 24*7 can create panic in our minds. In fact news channels follow the principle of "News that bleeds, leads!". So the more panic and anxiety creating news they will show, the more trp they will generate. The more we feed garbage and fear in our heads, the more paralysed we become in thinking rationally. So limit the usage of both news and social media to just half an hour a day. Stay informed but not anxious.
2. Read or listen to Inspiring Stuff
Instead of watching news, feed your mind with inspirational stuff that helps you grow and makes you psychologically strong. You can listen to podcasts, read biographies of inspiring people, follow people who are purpose driven etc. When you follow people who drive change, it Sparks hope in you and instead of feeling dismal about the situation which is not under your control, you feel hopeful & inspired.
3. Meditation or Yoga
Meditation & Yoga both have profound benefits on our mind. It makes us calm & peaceful. It reduces anxiety and we become more observant of our thoughts rather than being influenced by it. It helps to increase our focus on any task at hand which as mentioned previously is a test for your psychological immunity.
Journaling is a kind of meditating tool. It helps you observe your thoughts objectively. So practising journaling daily can help you analyse your thoughts and be insulated from the panicky ones. You can start by freely writing whatever comes to your mind. Then analysing what it means to you and then taking action that can help you grow from it. Also listing things you are grateful for in your journal almost everyday, can help you shift your focus from what is going wrong everywhere to what is going right for you in the moment.
5. Take Rest
Finally, since mind and body are deeply interconnected, a well rested body through proper sleep is helpful in keeping our mind balanced. There is scientific proof that our neurons repair and build during our sleep which aids in better memory and function of the brain. So the more your mind is healthy, the better insulated it will be from negativity. Rest can also be in the form of doing leisure activities that bring you Joy like gardening, cooking, playing with kids or pets, walking in nature etc
These tools can help you in the current pandemic situation by developing resilience and emotional grit in you. This can prevent you from getting affected by outside circumstances which you can't control; and shift your attention to your inner being and reconnect to it which will make you immune from pathogens like fear, anxiety, depression, despair, anger, greed, jealousy etc. What are your thoughts regarding mental wellness amidst pandemic? Comment below & share your knowledge.