By Michael Stern
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives, communities, and economies, the uncertainty inevitably triggers our “fight or flight” response. This is normal and may even be beneficial in certain situations. But remaining in a hyper-activated state for too long is neither healthy nor helpful.
Using the skills of Emotional Intelligence can help us connect more deeply with ourselves and others. These skills can enable us to come through the ordeal with more insight, empathy, and resilience than we had before.
Our habits and routines have been forcefully interrupted. While this can be uncomfortable and disorienting, it is also an opportunity to step back and consider essential questions that may get overlooked when things are going well.
Some questions I’ve been asking myself recently include:
- What is most important to me? How much does my life truly reflect my values?
- What is actually within my circle of control or influence?
- When I look back on this moment at the end of my life, how do I want to remember the way that I showed up?
Social distancing measures increase our risk of feeling isolated. But physical interaction and meaningful social connection are not the same thing. One of the best ways to regulate our emotions and make sense of the situation is to share our experience with others.
Reach out to the people you care about and who care about you. Let them know you are thinking of them. Offer your support where you can and ask for support when you need it. Summon the courage to be vulnerable and respond to others with compassion.
Our nervous systems, immune systems, and social systems are being overwhelmed. Just as these systems have a tendency to self-correct, we must also take meaningful action to course-correct.
We are being forced to evolve as the world rapidly changes. Mindfulness-based emotional intelligence helps us identify choices and make wise decisions, so we can adapt and thrive in the face of adversity.
A Silver Lining
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused incredible suffering. Yet, the upside of a crisis is that what is essential in life becomes clear. Now, people can rediscover their shared humanity. With courage and compassion, we make the best of it. We create new possibilities for healing and growth for ourselves and the people around us. We are all in this together.
Michael Stern (www.IntegralAlignment.com) is a certified Emotional Intelligence coach whose mission is to support others in creating a better life and a more beautiful world.
Originally published on crediblemind.com.