First you need to understand about the subconscious mind
(Read more about this and fully understand it by downloading my free plan)
Your subconscious mind is the part of your mind that holds your thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is also the part of your mind that operates all the actions that you don’t ‘consciously’ control – such as your breathing, the blood circulating around your body, your muscle movements to move your joints etc.
This part of your mind is programmed for your survival. However, as it uses thoughts, feelings and emotions to communicate with you i.e. if you are stood on the edge of a cliff it sends you ‘fear’ so that you don’t walk right off the edge – during this Corona Virus crisis, your mind is going to be working overtime sending you anxious thoughts in a bid to get you to take action.
However, these thoughts show up as fear, worry, severe anxiety and may in this instance work against you. They work against you because they don’t produce a list of viable actions for you to take – certainly not with this virus threat. And if you have too many bad thoughts in your mind, each is causing your brain to release the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ which isn’t good for your brain and your physical body. Negative thoughts without a solution if allowed to get out of control can actually cause negative physical changes in your body and that’s the last thing we need right now as we must keep our immunity operating at its best.
Therefore, you have to learn to take control of these feelings. The way to do that (and this is the way I help people overcome addictions to substances) is to open up dialogue with your subconscious mind.
To do that, you need to understand that each one of us is composed of three parts: a subconscious mind (working in the background), a conscious mind (us talking, making decisions, us in the present moment) and a body.
To talk to our subconscious mind we have to visualise stepping outside of ourselves and looking back in on our mind and body; as if we were completely separate.
To really understand this well and learn how to do it properly, read my very short Beat Addiction Plan in which I explain how to open up dialogue with your mind and self-talk to ask for change.
Things to talk to your mind about:
When you feel anxiety build up – speak to your mind:
‘Feeling fearful and anxious is of no benefit to me at this time. Please work with me to send me useful thoughts. Let’s look at all we’re worried about and identify the things I can’t do anything about – I can’t do anything about the virus being a threat and being real. There’s nothing I can do about that so I am giving myself permission to put that thought to one side; because it is of no benefit to me. What I’d like to focus on are practical tasks and actions I can take that will help me get physically and mentally stronger and make life more pleasant whilst we’re in lockdown’.
And then get pen and paper and write down a list daily of things you can do to improve your situation in terms of your environment, routines, physical health such as eating better and exercising for optimum immunity and get on with them.
If your mind continues to send you fear, worry and panic without giving you practical tasks to do, just talk back to it politely and say ‘thank you for that thought, but I don’t need to feel those things right now as they are of no benefit to me’.
Give yourself permission to be happy
At this time, if we catch ourselves laughing at something or being pleased about something – we immediately remember the virus situation and become concerned that perhaps we shouldn’t be enjoying ourselves. That we should be taking it more seriously etc. If your mind throws out virus thoughts and fears whilst you’re trying to spend time with family, enjoy a moment, a conversation an experience, the sunshine outside …just reply by saying:
‘I know you are trying to help by reminding me of this, but that thought is of no benefit to me at this time. On the other hand, it’s good for me to laugh. In fact, laughter is really important to my wellbeing and boosting my immunity. Once again, let’s put aside the things I cannot do anything about. I have permission to enjoy these simple pleasures’.
If you feel like you cannot breathe
First and foremost if you genuinely are unwell and cannot breathe – you must of course call NHS 111 or the emergency services.
But sometimes we become short of breath when we are agitated or panicking about being short of breath and this is something that through self-talk, we can relieve.
If you begin to feel panic or shortness of breath – you can use self-talk to calm your mind and in so doing, this will calm your body and help it focus on nothing else but your breathing. You can do this by offering reassurance to you mind:
‘Please keep calm. I know I can breathe, my lungs know how to breathe, they’ve done it before, since the moment I was born – it’s not a problem. Just focus on breathing in and out. Nothing else matters right now. Put it all to one side. Don’t panic as this brings on shortness of breath even at the best of times. Just keep calm, keep still, let’s find the best position to sit or lay down and focus on inhaling and exhaling’.