Finding strength during these days of social distancing and unpredictability has created a whole new ballgame for all of us. Each day we are trying to steer clear of the hazards and protect ourselves and our loved ones. The emotional stress of facing an uncertain future can take its toll, if we lose focus on maintaining the strength of balancing our lives.
What gives us that basic sense of strength? Strength comes from many forms, restraint, patience, determination, grit and letting go of the smaller things in order to win the bigger battles.
Inner strength is not all or nothing. It’s like a muscle that takes shape and builds and overcomes adversities and pain and creates endurance.
When you recognize the source of strength, within yourself, you can cope, prevail, endure and persist in all you do and all you face. You have the power to hold your experience, in awareness, without feeling overwhelmed. Embrace your strength and you will feel stronger.
I, personally, think back to a time when I lived in San Diego, during fire season and fearing the worst, despite, frequent, reassurances that all would be okay. When we discovered the back of our house was on fire, I kept telling myself not to panic. Be Mindful, stay in the present and breathe. This helped me make the best decisions in keeping my family and me alive.
Inner strength starts with breath. Deep inhales through your nose, belly in, and long exhales from your mouth, belly out. This will center you. You are in the moment, changing brain chemistry. You will be more responsive and less reactive. Practice breathing in the morning and at night. Sustaining attention to your breath is a powerful tool.
Another tip for strength to consider is Letting Go. What does Letting Go mean to you? Sometimes, in life, we hold on to physical and non-physical stuff. For example, holding on to my daughter’s hand when crossing a busy street, is necessary. I hold on to important paperwork: legal papers, work documents. Etc. I remember writing my dissertation and storing all of my important notes in the freezer, just in case there was a fire. How crazy is that?
On the other hand, some stuff we hang onto can, ultimately, create problems for us. These include: “should haves,”, “could haves”, guilt, past resentments, anger, bad habits, and toxic relationships.
We can only focus on what we can control in life. Holding on to memories, words, people and activities that cause suffering adds to our stress and feelings of hopelessness. These emotions get attached to thoughts and “wire” themselves in our brains.
Limit your social media and television intake. Wear a mask and wash your hands. Listen to music and find relaxing actives unrelated to the virus. Keep a journal. These are tasks you can control. Letting go little by little will decrease your anxiety and increase your happiness.
And, remember… BREATHE!!!