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COVID-19 And Your Mindset

There is no doubt the current pandemic is affecting us allnot just in terms of our jobs and daily activity, but also in intangible ways and causing a great deal of anxiety. 

In this post we want to share with you some insights from renowned Psychologist George Kohlrieser, and some practical advice to deal with fear and worry. 

It is very easy to feel fear and feel powerless in the face of what is going on with the pandemic right now. At times like this it is critical that we are able regain our sense of power and security, so that we don’t become a psychological hostage to the situation. 

To succeed in this, we need to look beyond what is obviously there and be able to gain control over our mindset. We can do this by refocusing on the present and the here and now, and by managing our own perception. If we pay too much attention to the coverage in the news media, it is easy to feel despair and fear.  

Obviously, we still want to know the truth and we do not want to deny how serious this situation is. However, we still need to manage our perception and focus on what the reality is without focusing only on the negatives and losing hope. 

In addition, we need to be able to manage emotions because the emotions end up guiding our mindset. The question is, if we are feeling fear, sadness, or grief, how do we come back, take a deep breath, and regain control? 

First, we need to realize there are four basic emotions: anger, sadness, joy, and fear. All these emotions have a role to play in our lives and they are essential to our wellbeing. It helps to be able to put words to emotions and label them and right now because of Covid-19 there is a prevalence of fear, anger, and sadness throughout society. 

We need to start by noticing our emotions and being aware of them and to recognize these emotions have a role to play in our lives. Secondly, we need to accept these emotions. If we don’t accept this is reality, then we are limited in what we can do. And thirdly we need to take action. We need to be able to react and do something to overcome the negative emotion because there is a link between action and emotionsThe worst thing we can do is to let these emotions take over us which can paralyze us or make us do or say things we later regret. 

Professor Kohlrieser uses the example of Nelson Mandela, who despite being in prison for 27 years, was able to feel free even if he was not physically free. It is important to keep in mind that this crisis will pass and that something good will happen at the end of this. Even the most difficult situations can provide us an opportunity to learn something, such as learning to go through this challenging situation, which can end up making us stronger.  

If we focus with our mind and manage our emotions, we are able to change our action and behaviour, and this in turn allows us to lead ourselves and then lead and help others. If we manage to do that and overcome a negative frame of mind filled with fear and despair, then we can be a positive influence on those around us as well.