Are your “pandemic thoughts” troubling you? Do you see graphics and memes telling you that you should be doing more—you’re homebound after all? Do you see graphics and memes telling you that you should just feel how you feel and not worry about getting anything done?
Do all of these shoulds and thoughts have your head spinning?
In this episode of Think-Feel-Eat, I examine two popular social memes to get to the bottom of Your Thoughts About Your Thoughts—and give you the freedom to Think and Feel whatever it is you are Thinking and Feeling during this time.
I cover what these two memes represent in terms of judging others’ thoughts—and how we apply them. Then I delve into the Think-Feel-Act cycle and how we have the option of changing our Thoughts (either slightly or massively—depending on what we want to do or feel that we can do).
Next I touch on the Thoughts surrounding Maslov’s Hierarchy—how when our basic needs are not met, we are unable to Think about a Thought that requires more than we have to give as we try to meet our basic needs—and how this applies to our Thoughts during this Pandemic.
There’s nothing wrong with being in survival mode! But if we want a different Thought, we also have that option in most cases as well.
I go into some “big picture” Thought work like “accepting that life is 50/50” and feeling like we have no control right now (compared to two months ago when we also had no control!). And how we can “grab” a new Thought if we want to (and if it is believable).
Finally, I suggest some practical Thought tips to get us through this time. These include not laying our thoughts with an imagination that is running wild, creating a Pandemic Protocol for listening and reading information, coming back to the present moment with gratitude, counteracting negative input with positive input, understanding the role your Thoughts have, and designing your Pandemic Manifesto. (There is a graphic you can use/share for a Pandemic Manifesto!) Find documents related to this episode here.
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Thoughts About Your Thoughts During a Pandemic
a. Each meme is a thought you either think or dismiss
b. Each thought you have about the memes makes you feel a certain way
2. Introducing Think Feel Act
a. Thoughts drive our Feelings
b. Feelings drive our Actions
c. Most major religions have some sort of consensus that we should try to control our Thoughts—Think on these things; As a man thinketh, so he is.
d. You can put in your Thoughts or Feelings or Actions right now and see what is driving them
e. Think Feel Eat Episode 1 introduces these concepts
B. Not a Right or Wrong Thought
1. Maslov’s hierarchy says that when we are hungry or do not have basic necessities, we can’t move up the hierarchy because our basic needs are not met
2. What we think about the levels of the hierarchy will determine if we are still in survival or not
3. Nothing wrong with being in survival!! Nothing wrong with those thoughts
4. Important to note that we can choose our Thoughts—and if our first thought is survival, that is where we will stay and it is acceptable and fine during crises to stay here.
5. The memes are in our action line—what feeling did we have before them and what thought did we have that gave us that feeling?
C. New Thoughts During This Time
1. Accept that life is 50/50
a. We want to control things (and spin out of control with feelings of worry) when we do not accept that life is 50/50—
b. We want it to be a way that it is not
2. Stop thinking we have no control right now—we never did; we never know the future
3. Thoughts are the “drama” of life
4. “Trust an unknown future to a known God”
5. Grab a new thought if desired
6. Must be believable
D. Practical Thought Tips
1. Don’t let imagination go overboard either way—these “layering of Thoughts” can be hard to process as they are so deep
2. Reduce input that causes your thoughts to run wild—develop your own “Pandemic Protocol” where you determine how much and when you will listen or read COVID 19 and Pandemic info—and stick to those times so that both the total number of hours of Pandemic input is lessened and the frequency in which you interact with it is reduced
3. Come back to the present—to what absolutely is with “anti anxiety exercises” like breathing, grounding, physical surroundings, etc. then with gratitude
4. Come back to the present with a pandemic manifesto
My Pandemic Manifesto
“I am grateful for my health, my family’s health, my home/shelter,
food, clothing, and the many luxuries I have.
During this time, I want to show up for those I love,
for those I serve, and for people I do not even know.
I will show up for those I love by speaking truth to them, checking on them,
being available for them, and listening to them (virtually if called for).
I will show up for those I serve by giving them value in my teaching
and content and trying to bring brightness and hope to their days.
I will show up for those I do not know by social distancing,
thinking about/praying for those who are sick and those who care for them,
and considering the hardships of others during this time.
I will show up for myself by having self-integrity even when it is hard—by doing what I tell myself I will do.
I will show up in love. Because love covers everything…”
5. Tips for your own Pandemic Manifesto
a. Write six to ten sentences
b. Break up so it’s easy to read if you print/copy it
c. Use powerful words like grateful, gratitude, thankful, show up, be there, serve, love
d. Make it other focused as much as possible
e. Put a little about everybody so it covers many situations you will find yourself (ie.. getting angry at the drive thru or upset at the grocery clerk, etc.).
6. Don’t debate on socials!
8. Understand the role your thoughts have
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