We are now 6 weeks into Stay at Home and Social Distancing and have been living through this Covid-19 pandemic for most of this year.
We are unable to always have control of life's experiences however what we do have control of is how we perceive that experience. We are the ones who choose how life's expereince's affect us.
We may not be able to control events, but what we can control is how we react and respond to them.
Our own perception shapes our reality, everyone's reality of a situation is different because of their perception of it.
Challenges can be seen as opportunities and therefore our engagement with difficult situations can be different.
It is to do with our Mindset, do you err on the negative or the positive.
We will often focus on negative events, our survival instinct wants us too. If we remember the bad things we will be prepared if it should happen again for us and we will know what to do.
However through difficult times. like the one we are experiencing now, we will first of all unconsciously look at how we can survive, for example the panic buying we saw when the pandemic was first announced. But then we will move through survive and then thrive.
A mindset shift to look at the positives from life's experience's is a conscious decision and will help change the way you experience the current situation we are going through and future bad experiences.
We can take inspiration from others who have been through bad experiences and how they coped and came through them.
Terry Waite was an English humanitarian who was sent to negotiate the release of hostages from Beirut and was himself taken hostage.
He spent 1763 days in confinement, that's nearly 5 years, 4 of those years were in solitary confinement where he was chained up in the dark, bind-folded and only allowed to go to the toilet once a day.
He said of his time in solitary confinement
'It was on of the most formative and creative periods of my life, it bought out both the best and the worst in me. Although suffering is hard it need not destroy'
Of the experience we find ourselves in now he has said
'In this time we can learn to make things better not only for ourselves but for future generations'
From the experience of Covid-19 you can look to take the following positives.
1. You could gain new appreciation of life.
It may be you are focusing on all the things you can't do at the moment.
Have you focused on the good things about this moment
a) a chance to live a slower pace of life
b) a chance to appreciate and build better bonds with family
c) a chance to appreciate the amazing NHS and the care they provide to the country
d) a chance to change how you organise and live your life.
e) a chance to get more in touch with nature from only being able to go out once a day.
f) trying out things you may never have tried before
If you look for the good things each day, however small, you can move your perspective.
As you discover those new things to appreciate you can carry them forward into your life after the pandemic is over
2. You can build Inner Strength.
You are surviving a stressful life experience currently.
When facing tough times the ability to draw on our inner strength can be found and you may find parts of you you didn't know existed
The unknown can be a catalyst to enhancing the skills and abilities you have.
Hardship can serve as a reminder of our vulnerability to tragedy, but although things may be tough we find the capability to cope, as humans we have the capability to adapt and survive.
3. Your Relationships may grow stronger
Currently we are seeing a renewed sense of community through the support that we are seeing around us.
A crisis serves as an opportunity to support and be supported, and through this support you can find a deeper sense of connection with others.
Families spending more time with each other may start to recognise each others strengths
Through this pandemic Strangers are stepping up to help others and new friendships are being made. Small acts of kindness are making huge differences to others lives.
4. You can start to recognise new possibilities
Often a crisis can open our eyes to a new found purpose in life.
We have seen this all around us in this current crisis.
Often we find that people who live through tragedy find the possibility to help others. Many charities are born due to the tradegy people have gone through which enables them to see the possibility to help others through their own experience.
Pensioner Tom Moore saw a possibility through the crisis to show his appreciation of the NHS and found his own inner strength to decide to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th Birthday and through his act he has made new friendships and miraculously raised 28 million pounds for the NHS and got a Number SIngle.
What a truly incredible thing to come from his own experience of this crisis
5. You can find spiritual change.
Currently we are very aware of our own mortality and this can cause us to think differently about life now and in the future.
You may find a renewed spiritual belief or strengthen the belief you have.
Life altering events can give new meaning to life.
As you experience these things it is your own responsibility to carry these forward to use in your future and continue to look at the positives in life.
Laura Knight Dip.Couns MBACP is an experienced and qualified counsellor and CBT therapist who runs her own private practice SeeClear Counselling in Poole, Dorset.
She is an Anxiety UK approved Therapist and specialises in working with anxiety and Panic attacks, helping people find ways to lead a calmer and more contented life.
Laura can offer Face to Face, telephone and online counselling and during the Coronavirus Crisis is offering a number of discounted counselling sessions.