What do you do, when the whole world seems like it’s out of control? As a global community, we are faced with a situation that seems out of control – the spread of the coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19. And as international health officials, epidemiologists and virologists work 24/7 to get a handle on the virus, local and regional government officials are working to contain its spread.
So, as the outside world works to assert some control, what about the inside world – the one that goes on in our own minds? It deserves some attention as well, and it is attention that each of us can apply to our own mental well-being. The key to maintaining our positive mental and emotional health is to monitor our self-talk, that constant thought-conversation that goes on in our heads, 24/7/365.
Remember, our thoughts accumulate to become our beliefs. These beliefs direct our awareness network – the Reticular Activating System (RAS) – to seek out information that confirms that these beliefs have value. Now, these thoughts we have are influenced by the world around us, and how we understand our place in it. If this is true, and it is, then it behooves us to be mindful about who and what we listen to.
We have control over what we take in, give sanction to, and believe. Until we do give sanction to something, it remains outside – in the metaphorical cold and rain. Minute by minute, decision by decision, we take control over what we allow in our minds, just like the decisions we make about what we take into our bodies. Healthy self-talk is a positive nutrient to our minds, and provides us with a critical perspective toward what we hear and see.
News outlets, social media posts, information passed on from friends and family – all of this needs to be rinsed through that critical perspective. Does the speaker have credibility? Is the person dispensing the information a professional with the education, experience and credentials to back up what is being said? Question their authority. If you have doubts about the speaker, then think again before passing along the information. Misinformation and disinformation have found a second life on social media. You have control, from your corner of the world, over whether or not you buy into it, allowing it to control your thinking.