Thursday, March 19, 2020

Don’t Let the Coronavirus Ruin Your Day

You may not realize it right now, but you have the power to not let anyone or anything get you down, and that includes the Coronavirus.
            There are many things you can do to take back your power and be less stressed about this pandemic, or anything else going on in your life right now. Below are three of them.

There is a classic story of two salesmen who were sent to a far-off country where no one wore shoes. 
            One sent back an email to his company stating, “Don’t send any more shoes. No one wears any.”
            The second salesman’s message was very different, “Send all the shoes you can. No one here has any.”
            Both men experienced the same situation, but each had a different reaction. So it is not the event that can ruin your day, it is how you react to it. Things are the way they are. You are the ones that give them meaning.
            To begin to turn your fearful thoughts around, ask yourself:
                        -Does being upset serve me?
                        -Does being upset or fearful contribute to my well-being?
                        -Does being fearful bring more or less joy in my life?

      Fear is a powerful force. It can help us deal with danger. But often it is our imagined fear that is the real danger. I once heard someone say that the acronym for FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. I love that because often our fears are in our mind. And they not only ruin our day but also ruin our life.
      Author, speaker and presidential candidate, Marianne Williamson, notes that, “If your mind is in a loving place…your experience will reflect that. If your mind is in a fearful place…your experience will reflect that.”
      Perhaps it is time right now to examine your fears and see how they are impacting your life. List a few of them and then ask yourself:
                              -Where did these fears come from?
                              -Are they real? Are they necessary?
                              -Are they contributing or diminishing the enjoyment in my life?

The Zen poet, Masahide, once wrote,
                  Now that my house has burned down,
                  I can see the moon better.     
      Not-so-great stuff happens to all of us. One of the ways to get through it is to find the positive in the negative. It is always there if you seek it.
      Looking for the good in the bad is not to deny your pain or your upset; it is about not letting your setback prevent you from recognizing the positive potential in your situation.
     In the world of comedy, there are good-news bad-news jokes. A classic example:
                Doctor: I have good news, and I have bad news. Which do you want first?
                Patient: I want the good news first.
                Doctor: Well, you have 24 hours to live.
                Patient: That's the good new. What's the bad news?
                Doctor: The bad news is that I should have told you yesterday.
This week, see if you can do the reverse of this popular joke setup. Start with some bad news and see if you can find the good news in it. For example:
                The bad news: The Coronavirus is keeping people 6-feet apart.
                The good news: It’s better than being 6-feet under.
                                                                                                             ©Allen Klein, 2020
Excerpted in part from You Can’t Ruin My Day (VivaEditions, 2015) by Allen Klein
Also helpful: Positive Thoughts for Troubling Times (Mango Publishing, 2019)