Our tendency during times of threat—perceived or actual—is to shift into anxiety or survival mode. We’re hardwired for this. Our negativity bias goes on high alert and is on the look out for threats, what’s wrong, what’s out of place, what isn’t working. As part of this, today we may find ourselves fixating on social media or news reports or other stimulating media that can support activation of stress and anxiety in our hearts, minds and bodies.
So, how do we remain connected to our best resources—a vibrant, healthy body; a clear mind with access to deep wisdom; and an open and loving heart—to meet and navigate through difficult times, particularly extended ones, such as the Covid-19 situation?
Anxiety is a necessary and important part of our body's survival system. It helps us think about and prepare for the future. It's the part of us that squirrels away resources for the winter and prepares for the worst.
But if bouts of anxiety either paralyze us and keep us from our daily activities, or occur so often we're plagued by them, then something may be amiss in our body's survival systems. It may be an important time to reach out for help.
From a mindfulness perspective, anxious thinking can be seen as another thing that brings us out of the present--most likely safe--moment. In fact, using our mindfulness practice can help assuage spiraling anxiety. With mindfulness we can also come to understand that anxiety really isn't about us, personally, it's a survival mechanism that happens on it's own.
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