Here we go again – another piece of overwhelming news that in our lifetimes none of us have ever experienced… A nationwide lockdown. That rush of deeply unsettling feelings on hearing this, was just another reminder of how effective our operating system is.
When we are threatened in this way the very core of our nervous system is called into action. It rises so instantly that it immediately produces one of those three states that we hear of frequently – the fight, the flight or the freeze modes. And we know that once in this state it is virtually impossible to respond from a rational place at all. We simply react according to which of those three states we find ourselves in. That’s normal, its ok – but it’s not the end.
That very same operating system, designed to protect you, is also capable of shifting you back into a calmer, rational state and sometimes faster than you may imagine. As soon as we began to process the information around the decision to lockdown – our thoughts gathered and we assimilate sufficient information to ‘rationalise’ the need for the lockdown, which is when we ‘buy’ into the lockdown decision. Here we are using our emotional intelligence. That process can take place very quickly or it can drag. It occurs when we use our pre-frontal cortex – and as soon as we do, our system knows that and begins to restore itself and the balance resumes. If we fail to engage our PFC’s we can end up circling around and around in a state of indecision. Which can only create further worry and anxiety.
Now more than ever before, we are going to have to use our PFC’s – frequently!
So, although we have been asked to physically lockdown – we must be vigilant of not entering into a lockdown of our minds. In fact, in this moment of time we should be working hard at opening our minds. And that will be our ongoing challenge during this difficult period. Which is why using our emotional intelligence is more important than ever.
Are you willing to operate from a growth mindset or will you go into lockdown and a fixed one?
We all know how the one supports all things positive and forward leaning, while the other traps us in past events and rapidly fading irrelevant positions. The choice will always be ours. Do we panic buy? Or do we trust in our supply chain systems, which have worked fabulously to this point?
A growth mindset is the leveraging of emotional intelligence – fixed mindsets demonstrate the absence.
So, use the EQ tools – ‘What’s in my control and what’s not?’ Three slow big deep breaths, reframe mind. Deliberate reflection engages the PFC. Moments of mindfulness and meditation restore and calm us.
Yes, we can do this. We can successfully function in lockdown, whilst mindful of unlocking our minds.
Be safe – be kind – be mindful