The words below are not mine, but written by Bob Schwarz, director of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology. His advice is sensible and useful, and I highly recommend you read to the end:
Let's take a breath, step back, and take a look at the general situation with this virus. We'll also include some simple steps you can take today, so that you can respond with a more positive perspective. Like everyone else, I’ve been watching and reading the news about the covid-19 virus. How should we understand and respond to this virus? As I’ve been thinking about this, I remembered an incredible video of Tony Robbins working with 2,000 people in Hawaii the day after 9-11. This was the most incredible change work I've ever seen and I can't recommend it enough. During the workshop, Tony pointed out something that most of us know. It’s not the outside event that determines our response. He said that if you were an angry person, you’d be angry at the people who caused 9-11 and you’d want to attack back. If you were a fearful person, you’d be afraid. If you were a person full of guilt, you’d feel guilt and wonder what we did wrong to bring this upon ourselves. If you were a positive and hopeful person, you would respond to 9-11 with that energy. The point is that our response to any external event, including the covid-19 virus, is in large measure based on our beliefs and our patterns of thought and feeling. Speaking of patterns of thought and belief, there is a pattern in the United States with the populace and news media. That pattern is drama and fear. While this has existed for a long time, it has grown exponentially since the advent of the 24 hour news channels (eg, CNN). When 9-11 occurred, people who came into my office were anxious and traumatized. My number one intervention was: “Turn off the TV.” When people are scared and there is a great deal of confusion, not only do they watch the TV, they do it with their boundaries down. So whatever is on the TV goes right in. It happened in 9-11 and it is happening now. While stations such as CNN claim that they want people to remain calm, their actual behaviors engender the opposite response. In other words, they're messing with your head. Just to be clear, I'm not a person who believes that there is a media conspiracy about this or that. I've always watched the media with the eye of someone trained in hypnosis and sensitive to the flow of energy. As I've been watching and reading, I've simply become aware of this disturbing pattern of fear mongering. Let me give you two examples. CNN was regularly using the phrase, “the deadly virus”. For instance, they said, “When we come back (from commercial) we’ll discuss the latest developments with the deadly corona virus.” Is the use of the word “deadly” really helpful? Of course not. It is accurate that this virus leads to more deaths than the flu. But, 98% of people recover. So... what’s the point of using that phrase? All it does is create more fear. What it’s designed to do is hypnotically suggest that you should not change the channel and listen to them more. By the way, you never hear people saying “the deadly automobile” despite the fact that it kills 1.25 million people a year, every year. The second thing that has been going on is the media’s relentless procession of “We've just had the first case/death of the virus in Los Angeles.” “We’ve just had the first case/death in New York, Philadelphia”, and so on. OMG - talk about creating drama and suspense and the “approach of doom.” Alfred Hitchcock, Freddy Kruger and Jason please take a bow. I’ve gone on at some length because the media is how we find out about this stuff. It's deeply laced with fear and drama, and it's indirect and hypnotic. Just like we're supposed to take certain precautions to defend against the actual covid 19 virus, we need to take precautions against the virus of anxiety and fear that is being passed around. So how can we respond with a high level positive energy? Here’s 7 steps you can take, starting right now.
1. Reduce your intake of fear based media.
This is one of the recommendations of the World Health Organization. To the extent that you do expose yourself to it, keep your boundaries up and your fear filters on. For instance, before watching the news make sure that you do the zip up to strengthen your boundaries. To learn how to do the zip up, go to minute 7:15 of this video by Donna Eden.
3. Focus on the overall picture, not just the drama.
For instance, yes it’s true that people with compromised immune or respiratory systems are at risk for more serious illness or even death. But the vast majority of people who get this virus do not and will not have severe symptoms.
4. Be aware of the historical precedents.
There have been other viral outbreaks in the past. There were lots of fears during those times and the world did not come to an end. Despite all the fear in the stock market, the fact is, viral outbreaks such as this have never created a recession.
5. Keep your anxiety and stress low.
6. Strengthen and support your immune system.
Keep your anxiety low (anxiety/stress lowers the immune system). See above for some simple tools that can help. Energy approaches can help support your immune system. Here's a link released by Eden Energy Medicine to boost your immune system.
[From Sharon: I would also look at adding immune boosting foods or supplements to my diet, such as proposed by Lynne McTaggart]
7. Take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of germs with a light heart.
Wash your hands often, for 20 seconds Wipe down high traffic areas Instead of shaking hands, do the elbow bump (Do it with a smile. It’s different and fun!) If you're sick or compromised stay home until you're well.
In closing, there is a great Taoist teaching tale about a man who loses his horse. His neighbors are all upset for him, and tell him how it is such bad luck. He replies, "Perhaps it is and perhaps not." Then the horse comes back with a second wild horse and the neighbors all say it is good luck. The man replies, "Perhaps." This goes on for many iterations. You can listen to a wonderful song by Joe Crookston about this. The point is to remain more detached about what's happening in the moment. We can't know the eventual meaning of events. We all need to take good care on many levels. This is a wonderful opportunity to stand in love, to take action from a place of greater awareness, and avoid feeding fear.
Robert Schwarz, PsyD, DCEP