Coronavirus pandemic is leading people to remain confined to their homes which is causing more anxiety and uncertainty. It can be hard not to feel overwhelmed by the state of the world at the moment where borders are shut and people are facing extreme economic instability. But even in times of stress and uncertainty, one can take proactive steps to lift your mood. We asked Ayesha who is an energy and meditation coach as well as a co founder of Singapore-based The Happiness Ftt to share some tips how to remain positive, happy and calm during these trying times.
In this time of stress and uncertainty what proactive steps can we take to lift our mood?
During times like these one needs to keep moving forward by maintaining some form of structure, be it in the form of regular exercise (at home exercising or walking by yourself) or cooking, baking or maybe finishing up a project within your home. Wake up each morning and get dressed and then go about your day doing one thing at a time. And do listen to some music.
What advice can you give to feel less overwhelmed and stressed?
Let all planning and control go out the window. Live by the hour. Enjoy the little things. Stay connected with all your loved ones. And please think good thoughts. That means not bombarding yourself with news at all times. We all know what the situation is. Keep up to date but do not stay in that space. Try finding positives around you - there are also some very endearing and compassionate incidents being reported. They always leave me with a big smile and a warm, happy heart.
Does meditation work for everyone - if not what is the substitute?
“Prayer is when you ask from God, Meditation is when you listen to God” Meditation is all about connecting with our breath and going within to “listen” With regular practice one begins to gradually calm the mind , connect within and be in the flow. But yes consistency will be the key. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. But if you feel meditation is not for you then maybe try and just start with breathing exercises for five minutes and then move up to 10 minutes then 15 and 20. Or just practice more mindful in everyday basic activities. Like while having a cup of tea you may want to use all your senses and be more aware of the present moment.
How does breathing elevate your physical and mental being and change your circumstances
Most people take half, shallow breaths. Without realising that they are not taking a complete breath which goes from your nose to your abdomen and then back out, exhale. Once you start breathing properly and fully, oxygen starts to reach all the organs, cells of your body not just certain parts. That itself helps with physically and mental health. Plus you will realise that in time you start becoming more aware and mindful of each moment. This brings a lot of gratitude.
Some people are obsessing over staying positive and happy - can it lead to reverse effect?
Yes I feel it does. It’s not about always trying, putting in so much effort to be happy. That’s not how it works. It comes from within very naturally only after you start acknowledging your other emotions. This by the way may be far from happy. If we cover up feelings that need to be felt and then slowly released over time, we just unknowingly start creating a monster inside us which sooner or later will raise its head, scaring yourself and everyone around us.
What is a core ingredient in the recipe of successful coping in a crisis.
First of all acknowledging that it is a stressful situation however you are not alone in this particular crisis. The entire world is going through and feeling a lot of what you are feeling. Understand that no situation remains the same. This time too shall pass. The biggest coping ingredient here is having gratitude. Just take a moment and write three things you are grateful for. You will see how instantly your mood will shift to that of hope and positivity.
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