Along this roller coaster ride we call life and specifically in the past two years since Covid-19 entered our lives there have been many ups and downs. The hardest thing to do is to keep focusing on the good things we have in this moment – to be mindful. The hardest part of all of this is keeping our focus on those things despite the current chaos and confusion – it has been a very long struggle.
Before Covid-19 when I was off work on medical leave due to my worsening dis-ease I was spiraling down that dark path of hopelessness and helplessness to what I thought was my body attacking itself and harming me which consequently was affecting my mental health, very common. My body was not harming me though, it was talking to me and I wasn’t listening correctly. Dissociation from the body is a very common response to trauma and the symptoms and sensations I was experiencing were not just a result of trauma, but were warning signs that I needed to get back into the present moment so I could stop living in the fear of the future and the emotional pain of the past.
One of the most beneficial ways I learned how to deal with those feelings of overwhelm and sadness was to count the milestones every day, as well as every positive interaction and feeling. Gratitude is one of those things we forget about over time, because we don’t usually practice it everyday, or we seem to think there has to be a big event or reason to be grateful.
The reality is – if you find things to be grateful for, more will begin to enter your life to be grateful for. Start lifting yourself up and focusing on what you can do, what you are good at. These things could be loving friends and family in your life, the roof over your head, the food on your plate or the funny video you just watched. Seek and you will find…
After awhile, it’s like miracles and abundance keep happening once you stay in an attitude of gratitude. When we are living from a place of high frequencies, the universe will match it and then you will be able to manifest the things you want. When we focus away from the things we don’t want and start focusing on the things we DO want, just that little shift in thinking makes all the difference in the world. The brain will give you more of what you focus on, and if you’re focusing on physical pain, it will give you more of that physical pain.
For example, I remember back when I was thinking, “I don’t want this pain”, “I can’t handle this pain”, “This pain is getting in the way of my life” (Notice all the negative thoughts). Now I also understand how hard it is to ignore our suffering when we are in it, but I had to find other distractions – positive ones.
When I was working through my debilitating dis-ease it was very easy to get out of the habit of gratitude because I was focused on the things I didn’t want, which ironically gave me more of the things I didn’t want! The brain plays tricks unconsciously and if you say to yourself, “I can’t deal with this pain”, then you will be certain to create more pain. Why is this? You are focusing on it so much and not wanting it so much that you focus on nothing else. When I started to realize like Dr. John Sarno had said, “Pain is your brain’s opinion” it made a lot of sense to challenge that unconscious opinion and create new neural pathways to create a new unconscious opinion. Pain are just neural pathways that have gotten out of control because they repeatedly get activated and this is the chronic pain or fear loop.
So, whatever dis-ease you are currently dealing with, whether it’s of the mind, body or spirit..find all the things that connect you to your wants. Instead of saying like I did, “I don’t like this pain” I had to re-frame my thinking into something more like, “I’m grateful I did not have a leg cramp today.” or “I’m thankful I was able to walk the block” or if you struggle with finding a way to re-frame your thinking at first, then try a simple compliment to someone and be grateful, because maybe you just lifted their spirits up, which in itself is enough reason to be grateful. If they smile at you, even better!