Corona virus. Right now, this word can evoke anxiety in some, in others it can lead to panic. With so much information floating around, some of which is inaccurate, how are you supposed to deal with it all? There are people who belief anything and everything they read or hear and then there are those who doubt it all. What are you to belief if you see stores with empty shelves of toilet paper?
Here are some tips that you can use to stay educated and, at the same time, avoid the panic so many people feel. These are tools I use and that can be applied to other situations too.
1. What is true for me?
How do you differentiate between the misinformation that is circulating and valid information? Anything that is true for you, even if it is not necessarily what you would like to hear will create a sense of lightness or expansion in you. Anything that is not true invokes a feeling of heaviness or contraction.
If this is new information for you, play with it. Have a friend say something to you that you know is not true. Be present with the feeling that gets evoked in your body. Then do the same with a statement you know is true for you. How does that one feel in your body? Repeat this a few times until you have a good sense how true feels for you.
2. Ask a question!
How often do we just accept what we read in the media, online, or hear from others. Utilize what you found out above and ask a question. Here are some suggestions (in no particular order):
- Does this information have value for me?
- Who is putting out that information?
- Will this event be important in 10/20 years?
- Is there fear mongering going on?
Trust your knowing based on the above tool of finding what is tue for you
3. Resist the herd mentality
There are people who will belief anything if, for them, a sufficient number of people belief it. Then there are people who initially don't belief most of it, yet over time start doubting themselves and go with the crowd. And there are the eternal contrarians. What if you find out information from a variety of different sources, ask questions, use what is true for you, and follow that. In short, slow things down and think it through. There are others who see things similarly.
4. Be aware
Utilizing the above tools, what 'picture' is emerging for you? Ask questions that may seem crazy like: Is there someone who is making money off of this situation? Is there a purpose for focusing on this with such intensity? Is there something going on that falls by the wayside because we are sidetracked by this? And then forget about it. You will stumble across the information, often in a way you would have never expected. For me it is so often that within a day or a week of asking a question, I come across information that I know is what I have been looking for.
5. Take care of yourself
What does taking care of yourself mean for you? For me it could be going for a walk. It could be stopping to listen to the news or specific news. It could be to do whatever it takes to get my thoughts off the subject like watch a movie that makes me feel good or get together with friends to watch / play a game.
Utilizing these tools allows you to not go into panic mode or have anxiety. Being able to discern between valuable and invalid information enables you to take the actions that are required for you and not pay any attention to the rest.