See and savor the good in 2020

Aug 27, 2020, 5:45 PM
essential workers show signs of less stress during pandemic when getting gratitude...
Essential workers who were shown gratitude managed stress in healthier ways than those who didn't receive gratitude. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Coming to terms with your fears and anxieties during the pandemic can make a big difference in your life. On the latest episode of Let’s Get Moving, Clinical Psychologist Dr. Liz Hale, speaks with Host Maria Shilaos. Dr. Liz says don’t suppress your fears and feelings, instead learn from them and put a focus in to see and savor the good things through all the negative. 

Accepting the new normal

We are all turned upside down due to the events of the last year, Dr. Liz Hale explains how important it is to keep your fears in check so they don’t get overblown. 

“I notice that whatever I resist, persists,” stated Hale. 

The more we can learn to accept the changes, without fighting against them the more control we will have towards our minds, according to Dr. Liz Hale. 

“I am going to accept it, I am going to accept that these are my worries about it, I am going to try to make some peace with it, and I am going to move forward,” Hale stated.

Keep your fears in check

“I am so interested in the mind as a physiologist, what we know about the mind is we have glitches,” Hale explained.”We just have to know what they are so we can compensate.”  

“The glitches that we have make it really hard to appreciate the things that are good, because we are almost programmed to notice what isn’t good,” said Hale.

See and savor the good

According to Dr. Liz Hale, caregivers explained those with Alzheimer’s were happier if they could find one thing that was good.

“It might have been that they savored a great cup of coffee. It might have been that they stepped outside just to watch two hummingbirds fly around their yard,” explained Hale. 

“Take a moment and look around your house and your family,” Hale stated.”We have got to stop, not noticing, and pause to pay attention to the details.”

“See and save the good,” Hale emphasized. 

Don’t push down the negative

Savoring the good is not pushing down the negative. There are still many things happening in the world that are not so positive, according to Hale. 

Hale explained recent studies show when we can have the negative go alongside the things that still are good, we are going to have stronger and healthier immune systems. 

“We don’t suppress, we don’t pretend, we simply allow the positive to live alongside the negative,” stated Hale. 

Social Contagion: the spread of emotion from one to another

“Emotional affection knows no boundaries and is not contained by distance,” Hale explained. 

It is important to be aware of the negative social contagion that we are all surrounded by.

“Thanks to social media anyone can sneeze on your brain from anywhere in the world,” Hale said. 

“The positive contagion would be kindness,” explained Hale. “We have a chance to go to school and be kind to our peers be kind to our teachers, be kind to administrators, be appreciative of everybody risk that everyone is in the same boat, we can treat people well.” 

“Too much negativity on social media is difficult,” Maria Shilaos chimed in. “Positivity can go further than the negative.”

According to Shilaos, positivity goes so far in really changing your perspective and making you feel better. 

“When I see kindness, I want to be kind,” Hale explained. “We are kind to others, not because it’s right but because it feels good.”

Be kind to your mind

“Something else I really try to encourage is to be kind to your mind,” Hale stated. “We have all kinds of worries and thought and fears going through, just be gentle.”

Hale explained it’s important to acknowledge different anxieties instead of pushing them away. 

“Whatever comes up for you, what’s the lesson in it?” Hale asked.

“What if we looked at depression that way, instead of a disease, what is depression here to teach me?” Hale outlined. “Am I needing some new boundaries? Do I need to make some changes?”

How to manage anxieties that make us feel out of control

Hale advises when the feeling of anxiety strikes, it’s beneficial to work through the worst-case scenario. 

“Take the worst-case scenario, take it all the way through to the end, and work backward,” said Hale.  

According to Hale, when you see your anxieties all the way through to the worst thing that could happen, you may realize there is not so much fear needing to be focused on. 

Dr. Liz Hale explained the stories we tell ourselves every day will have a big impact on our mental well being. 

“The stories that we create in our mind,” Hale explained. “A lot of problems that we have are in our heads.”

“I am convinced that I know what is going on and usually I am very wrong when I live inside myself,” Hale stated.”Watch what you say to yourself.” 

Overall, staying in tune with yourself, and acknowledging your fears will be most beneficial when it comes to feeling out of control. 

“Go through the worst-case scenario, accept what is, make peace with it, and work backward and live life.” Dr. Liz Hale stated. “We all have a story of our actual life story.” 

“Don’t forget to go out today and savor the good things,” said Maria Shilaos

Listen to the full episode: 

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