covid-19 emotions greg warburton resilience wellness

By Greg Warburton

I remain compassionately aware of the need(s) of millions in the world of sport who are isolated in the no-regular-sport-activity-indefinitely desert without the oasis of having practices to stay mentally and emotionally fit and strong.

As I reflect upon this current-moment need in our whole wide world for real, effective and doable practices, I am remembering experiencing a life-threatening traumatic below-knee amputation while riding my motorcycle and being hit by a car. Somehow, I knew, at age 27, to practice one of the skills I teach. Instead of living in the “land of anger, anxiety, worry and fear,” I asked myself a quality question. The beauty of this skill practice is to know that the instant we ask ourselves a question our mind goes to work answering it. If I had asked, why me…why now? one can see that I would have traveled a very different pathway than the one I began walking as soon as I asked, What do I have to do now to live a productive life?

Resilience practice…fostering the growth of our marvelous ability, as humans, to bounce back from big-energy-body-mind-system disruption that thrusts one into uncertain and uncontrollable moments…is rooted in a decision. I believe we all have the ability to decide to hold our heads and hearts high and take decisive action again EVEN THOUGH… At the same time, we can provide some starting places.

During this disruption of your sport performance, I am offering the practice of asking quality questions to facilitate your ability to decide to take resilient action right now in your moment-by-moment life performance.

You can start by asking:

When I tell myself the truth, how have I been thinking, feeling and behaving during this pandemic challenge? I encourage all to practice radical self-honesty to gain awareness because nobody can decide, for now, what they want to do about their life performance nowadays unless they notice and admit how they are currently thinking, feeling and behaving.)

In this self-honesty practice, you begin by telling yourself the truth about what thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. You will learn to watch one thought at a time without judging or getting mad at yourself. In fact, do yourself a favor right now by completely dropping out of the self-criticism business. Practicing telling yourself the truth is a courageous act that leads to awareness about your thought/feeling habits. I call this practice self-honest self-observation. It helps you become skilled at reading your own mind and reading the related physical sensations in your body.

As important as recognizing thought habits is, it is equally important that you recognize feeling habits, although this typically doesn’t come naturally to us. So what are feelings for this purpose? Simply put, feelings are thoughts linked to a physical sensation in your body. Feelings can be the best inner guide for helping you decide whether or not you are ready to bounce back to being your best.

To understand what you are feeling, practice observing the physical sensations in your body stemming from anxiety, worry, fear, doubt (for example: tense shoulders, nervous stomach, rapid heartbeat, ragged breathing, blurred vision) and also the physical sensations of relaxation as they occur (for example: slow, abdominal breathing, even heartbeat, calm stomach, loose muscles). One key for effective practice is to sometimes start observing and admitting what is happening in your body, not what is going on in your head. Consider the word picture below:

Awareness affords one the ability to take resilient action. You can ask:

Is this a thought/feeling experience that will work for me or against me in achieving what I want during this time?

Other questions:

Have you made up your own mind whether you plan to drive your own life or be a passenger in life during these uncertain, life-totally-interrupted times?

Do you plan to hold a solitary focus on what you have lost and are missing out on or are you considering focusing some on how you can discover new opportunities and ways to contribute during these uncertain times?

I believe it will be the resilient, compassionate spirits who carry us through this most challenging time.



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