“A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.” – Unknown
I have created this anti-anxiety and anti-stress tool kit, proven by science, to help you reduce anxiety and stress. I guarantee you that if you implement some of these ideas and use these tools; you will navigate this uncertainty boat like a highly skilled Captain.
The Emergency Broadcast System
Back in the day, there was a system in place in the United States to communicate to the American public in the event of a grave national crisis. It was called the Emergency Broadcast System and was used from 1963-1997.
Radio and television stations were required to run this test weekly.
“This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test.”
It was eerie and immediately got your attention.
As a child growing up, I used to get fearful when the EBS interrupted my television show with the weekly test. I always waited anxiously until I heard the last 4 words of the message,
‘This is only a test.’
Then I could breathe a sigh of relief.
This is Only a Test
We are slowly coming out of one of the most unprecedented times in modern history; our lives, our country, and the entire world have been held hostage by a deadly virus.
But, the truth of the matter is, Covid19 has only been a test; a very ugly, difficult one that took the world by surprise, but a test nonetheless.
During this quarantine period, most of us have had more time on our hands than we’ve been accustomed to. Whether you realize it or not, that, in and of itself, is a tremendous gift. Time is a non-renewable resource so we want to make sure lessons were learned during this test that can help us all moving forward.
The world is in the process of transitioning into lifting restrictions. Before life gets amped up again, and I guarantee you it will, I want to encourage you to be still; to stop and reflect on what you’ve learned during this test.
This exam is not a pass/fail nor is it graded; A-F. No, this quiz is a test of insight and growth. It’s one that comes with gifts that are hideously wrapped in the most unattractive packaging.
The purpose of this blog is to help you intentionally reflect on this unplanned time-out in life so that you can see the gifts you’ve been given, and to recognize the importance of incorporating stillness into your everyday life.
Despite living in this turbulent time, many people have unwrapped gifts that they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience under normal circumstances.
A worthy key to your health, well-being, and mental fortitude is to learn to recognize the gifts in your life situations. It is easy to identify gifts in positive or top of the mountain experiences; however, the truly resilient people understand and appreciate the valuable gifts that were revealed during crisis and difficult times.
I’ve had the opportunity to hear back from some of you and am amazed at the powerful insights and gifts that people have discovered or received during quarantine time. Here are a few:
- Realizing the importance of relationships; I had taken the time I had with my friends for granted.
- When the place I worked for closed, I become an independent contractor; I now own my own business.
- Time in the morning to do my daily devotion and plan my day and actually enjoy my coffee instead of rushing off to work.
- Realizing the importance of downtime and the value of making time to do nothing. The ability to think without interference or deadlines, and the quiet to contemplate where we are and who we want to be.
- Recognizing that I can be agile; learning to be flexible to find new ways to get things done.
- Using the downtime to do something I’ve always dreamed of: working on getting my Private Pilot’s License.
- I’m capable of creating really beautiful, delicious, life-sustaining meals every single day. I have the capacity to put nutritious food on the table without relying on anyone else to make it; that’s been very powerful.
Agility, appreciation of beauty, downtime, and a sense of empowerment are but a few of the gifts found wrapped in this ugly package.
How did you grow as a person during this time? What gifts have you discovered because of the challenges you faced?
The Gift of Time
It’s safe to say that prior to Covid19 we were all living life in the fast lane; endless motion 24/7. The majority of people lived in chaos; life was filled with constant chatter; internally and externally. It was hard to “hear” anything or to slow down.
Many were struggling with stress, burn-out, fatigue, and were unable to get a handle on work-life balance. Studies show that this type of chronic stress causes various adverse effects on the immune system. In other words, life at the speed of light was making us sick.
Then just like that, the world went on lockdown; we were forced into slowing down.
But that may just prove to be one of the best gifts we could have received; the gift of time and stillness.
The Power of Stillness
When you infuse a sense of stillness into your everyday life, it becomes a natural part of who you are; not something you HAVE to do. The benefits of cultivating stillness into your life are deeply powerful and life-changing.
Those who take time to reset during the day feel a greater sense of calmness and peace despite what is going on around them. They are also able to more easily tap into what the VIA Institute has identified as the character strengths that fall under the category of Transcendence. These include:
- Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
Nurturing stillness allows you to develop these strengths that you already have inside of you. The Transcendence strengths help you better connect to yourself, others, and God; you are able to see the greater picture.
Research shows that these strengths rejuvenate you; they help you to unwind, reset, and more easily recover from whatever your days throw at you.
In addition to that, creating stillness helps sustain your authentic energy; the energy you have when you are on point; the energy that defines you when you are at the top of your game.
Human energy is like a battery; it can become depleted over time and needs to be recharged. Stillness is one way of recharging yourself. Energy, unlike time, is renewable. According to Positive Psychology Experts, human energy can be defined as vitality, vigor, and zest (Spreitzer and Grant 2012).
Built-in Emergency Alert System
The Emergency Broadcasting System was replaced in 1997 by the Emergency Alert System. It is used by state and local authorities to give important emergency information such as weather or Amber alerts.
You may not be aware of it but you have your own built-in emergency alert system; it is stillness.
Stillness is a gift that has the power to take you away from the noise and chatter of the world. It provides you with perspective for the here and now; and allows you to experience peace in the moment and sustain your energy for all the tests that life hands you.
“Silence is not empty; it contains insights beyond measure.” – Rita Hudgens
Make it a courageous day!
- Coaching Yourself COURAGEOUSLY – Using the Power of Stillness - April 28, 2020