Who is in control here anyway?
Vanda North writes about the pandemic impacts and discusses how to improve your personal resilience and get in control of yourself using Mind Chi.
In our present circumstances, this is a question you are not really sure you want to ask!
The politicians say that it is the scientists; the scientists have many different opinions; the data from the scientists can be viewed many different ways; new information is constantly being added that affects the suggested behaviours and all of these behaviours are also impacted by politicians and the general public. This is before you factor in that many people get their ‘news’ from social media, where conspiracy stories and fake news greatly proliferates.
So, who is in control?
Most people feel it is definitely NOT them. Things that are normally under your control are suddenly not. You can’t go out as and when you used to. You required to dress in a mask and keep 2 metres apart from other (non-family) people. You may have to shield. You may have lost your job, through no fault of your own. You can only travel limited distances, you must wash your hands frequently, and on and on.
At The Change Maker Group, we have been sharing the ‘unwanted change curve’ and feeling the pulse of the situation. If you are like many of us, you are vacillating between Experiment, Frustration and Depression. And this ambivalence is becoming draining. In a recent survey, James Hamblin, a medical journalist, said that the new and burgeoning pandemic is the emotional health of people. He said that people are suffering from ‘numbness, powerlessness and hopelessness’. This is a whole new major crisis.
And why is this so?
Back in 1954, Julian Rotter coined the phrase, ‘Locus of control’ this refers to an individual's beliefs about the extent of control that they have over things that happen to them. The issue being that if you feel you do have control, and therefore some power to influence what happens you are more likely to manage a situation well. If you feel you have no or little control, this majorly undermines your total well-being and rapidly leads to lack of resilience and emotional robustness.
These days so many feel that they do not have any control, and this is what leads to the additional suffering many of us are experiencing.
You can be in control…
...of you. There is a way you can grab the reins of control and exert your influence. It is to control YOU! And how? Here is a very simple and extremely practical and effective action you can take. It is to check and choose your BEAT.
BEAT is an acronym for your Body, Emotions, Actions and Thoughts. Here is an explanation:
Touch your thumb to your first finger, representing B for Body
do a quick mental scan of your body, looking for any places showing the strain from stress
Next, thumb to middle finger, representing E for Emotions
note your current emotional state e.g. frustrated, afraid, tired, overwhelmed
Now, thumb to ring finger, representing A for Action
here you check how much energy you are using for the task you are doing
Finally, thumb to little finger, representing T for Thoughts
check in to your internal dialog, is it supporting or undermining you?
Once you have completed your BEAT check, now comes the power to control, because you, in this moment can chose to change any of those aspects that are not serving you well.
Body – release any tension, move, stretch take a break Emotion – select an emotion that is helpful for the task you are completing Action – become aware that you are only using the energy the task requires and Thoughts – ask that internal chatter to support and assist you with your activity.
BEAT is based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) one of the widely used and proven effective psychological processes. And this is a very fast way to regain control over yourself. Checking your BEAT makes up 2 of the 8 steps of the Mind Chi 8-step resilience routine. This is a part of the new ‘Resilience for Change’ programme offered by The Change Maker Group.
We have little control over much of what is happening now, but we DO have the potential to control our responses to what is happening. Next time you feel a newscast making you tense, or have a meeting with unknown outcomes, or have some upsetting news. STOP!
Do your BEAT and have a fresh attitude about the situation.
You can create a world that can sustain or deplete your resilience.
You can be in control of you, it is easy and highly effective, will you try it out?
Contact Vanda at firstname.lastname@example.org