Self, Health And Wellness

Coronavirus Panic Will Not Save You — Only Gratitude & Positive Thinking Are Powerful Enough To Heal

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Coronavirus Panic Will Not Save You — Only Gratitude & Positive Thinking Are Powerful Enough To Heal

Desperate times require desperate measures, they say. What's interesting about this kind of idea is that we automatically assume "desperate measures" refers to some overt rebellious act, one which might be both negative and perhaps even... illegal.

It's human nature to focus on what's negative; it gives us a false sense of control. If we can vent hate, fear or judgement, we feel we can at least give ourselves a channel for all the extreme emotions we're going through.

Unfortunately, focusing on the negative all the time not only brings us down, it literally dissolves our healthy resistance. And that is not an option during the coronavirus experience we are all going through.

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If you're reading this, you're old enough to have heard about the healing benefits of both positive thinking and gratitude. How is it that we should feel gratitude, of all things, during harsh times like these?

While it may alleviate pressure to spout out nihilistic, defeatist statements, these kinds of reactions are cheap — and far from helpful.

You may feel that humanity is due for a global cleansing, and that we're all worse than the coronavirus itself, but the truth is, this isn't a movie. This isn't The Matrix, nor is it Mad Max. This is life on earth, 2020, and though it's fun to see it as one big ruinous cinematic moment in time, it's not. It's our lives. Our children's lives. The lives of our parents, friends, coworkers. We must either rise to the occasion, or die of stupidity.

How can we possibly feel gratitude at this moment, and why on earth should we?

Because gratitude reverses the overwhelming feeling of negativity, dread and hopelessness. Gratitude is the magic wand that makes your personal life one that feels worth living, rather than something we give up so that we can feed our need for nonstop negativity.

In other words, if these really were our last days on earth, why would we want to spend them hating our fellow humans and our human condition? What a waste of energy — and energy is exactly what we need right now. Good, solid, positive energy.

It's time to reverse our energetic output and get to the mental and emotional healing that is our birth right. Gratitude for what we have now. This is the way.

What can you be grateful for?

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That this virus isn't a death sentence. Yes, people have died, and more will, but if you're reading this, you're still here. Be thankful.

The life you've lived so far. You've seen good times and you'll see good times again. Life hasn't always sucked. Remember that. Hope springs eternal!

It's a virus, not a bomb. Worst case scenario? Pneumonia. Which is awful, but it's not radiation fallout. We're not going to be roaming the streets, blind, with our skin falling off our bones.

We have food. That hasn't changed. We're not starving. Essential shopping is still available to us. Food is coming in, and fresh produce continues to be farmed. We're OK!

We're all in this together. If you're feeling it, someone else is feeling it too. We are now a true community, all vulnerable and all equipped with the inmate ability to survive and rise above the worst of disasters. You are not alone. Be grateful.

Scientists are working 'round the clock to create vaccines and helpful medications for us. This isn't forever. It's a virus — it's rotten and debilitating, but it is not forever. We will get through this, as we always do.

Be grateful that governments will be shaken to the core, which will cause the removal of awful laws, terrible politicians, and horrendous healthcare options.

Our future looks bright, let's just keep an eye on the prize.

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Feel the gratitude that you are smart enough to adapt. We will go through some changes in our day to day life. That's OK — we are meant to survive adversity. Humans are adaptable creatures; it's a sign of our intelligence. Honor that intelligence by rolling with the punches, knowing "this too shall pass."

Be grateful that the sun still shines, that the wind still blows, and that nature is just as gorgeous and alluring as it's always been. Listen to the birds chirp. Feel the sun on your skin. We may be indoors more often, but we will step outside here and there. 

Breathe deeply of earth's magnificent atmosphere. The air is beautiful; allow it to bring you peace.

When I had cancer in 2001, my mother shared with me the best advice ever. She said, about her own cancer, "I have the good kind." And so, when it happened to me, that became my mantra. "I have the good kind." And, of course, "the good kind" was a mental construct that meant, "I have the kind you don't die from." 

Our minds are the forefront of our defense right now. What you believe is what you experience. And if we collectively believe that this is a temporary condition, one which will pass and leave us stronger, smarter and more loving, then, perhaps, that is what we will experience.

Be grateful that you have your mind, that you can change your life by changing your perception.

Save despair for the movies. This is reality. We're still here, we're all fighters, and we all have it within ourselves to rise to the occasion.

Share hope. Share gratitude. Share stories of your life, your good times. Share love. Write letters. Stay humorous. Be grateful that we have food, communication tools, community boards, helpful strangers, lovely healthy animals, and hope for the future.

It's no longer cool to be the nihilistic emo. If desperate times require desperate measures, then make those desperate measures positive.

Desperate times require hope, gratitude, love, selflessness, community, kindness and, sooner or later, everything is going to be alright.

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Dori Hartley is a portrait artist, essayist and a journalist. She's been published in The Huffington Post, ParentDish, The Daily Beast, Psychology Today, XOJane, MyDaily and The Stir. Her art books ‘Beauty’, ‘Antler Velvet’, and 'Mads Mikkelsen: Portraits of the Actor' are all available on Amazon.