Crowning your mind: How to manage your thinking during this COVID-19 period

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have. Every minute, thoughts are being processed by your mind. Some are amplified and some are aborted. Whatever happens with the amplified thoughts, you find yourself making decisions and eventually acting out of what your thinking guides. Your thoughts also influence your perception and hence your interpretation of reality. This can be a make or break. Generally speaking, the mind needs to be crowned and empowered with effective thought strategies for it to flourish.

In this article, we are focusing on you making the decision to crown your mind and are using the word crown to signal the ability to empower and work with one’s mind to overcome mental and thought related obstacles for more effective results in life.

Imagine yourself:

  • Being genuinely happy.
  • Celebrating your own achievement of having a worry-free day!
  • Saying NO to unhelpful patterns of thinking, because they don’t help anyway!
  • Making better decisions because I am managing your thoughts and feelings effectively.
  • Convincing your mind NOT to look at everything as negative.
  • Experiencing a huge energy boost because everything, or most things make sense!
  • Staying confident that you can do what you can; You am aware of what is not in your power and you know the difference.
  • Viewing yourself, your life and people around you positively.

At a time as this in the world’s history when COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, you may be faced with fear, uncertainty, doubt, threats and negative events, all which can have an impact on your mental health. You may notice that because your mind is still working, you are:

  • Not happy, genuinely.
  • Processing thoughts that feel toxic and out of your control.
  • Worrying about events and situations that I honestly have no control over.
  • Ruminating and feeling terrible about past failures and events.
  • Struggling to move past a hurt, fear, trauma or pain for significant periods of time.
  • Struggling to see anything positive.
  • Low on energy and feeling discouraged about the turn of events.
  • Feeling helpless and demotivated.
  • Experiencing your thoughts as toxic.

How do you crown your mind?

Here are 7Rs that can help you manage your thoughts more effectively.

Recognize: You can catch yourself thinking positively, and you can nurture that thought through to action. You can also catch yourself thinking negatively, and question what is on your mind now. What are you thinking about now? You can actually stop these negative, unhelpful thoughts right now by focusing your attention elsewhere. You can take a stroll or take some action if required or helpful. You can actually turn the unhelpful thought into a solution!

Root: What makes you think this way? What actual consequence do you fear? Do I fear deadlines no wonder I’m struggling with this task? Am I afraid of being cross examined so I don’t want to make that presentation? Am I lacking knowledge and that makes me fear action? Are there past hurts that I am still nursing and which have become your ‘crutches’ for this type of thinking? Being aware of these things will help me focus on a solution and can engage your mind more proactively.

Record: You can put down your thoughts in a journal. You can even randomly write them as though You are talking to someone. You can set aside time to do this. If you don’t fancy writing, you can talk to someone you trust; or at least draw, sing out, dance, and put the energy into some productive physical activity and so on.

Rule it out: It is not so sometimes… Your mind is easily influenced sometimes, and it can be ‘pressured’ into thinking in certain negative unhelpful ways. You just need to stop that thinking because it may not be true. You may say this out loud, or speak yourself into an alternative, more positive, helpful thought.

Reframe: Recognize that the meanings and perspectives you attach to circumstances in your life can either make me move forward or hold me back. You can retell your story and change some of your mental narratives.

You can for instance, say ‘I am glad I have internet and can connect with my friends during this time of COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions’ instead of ‘I don’t have the freedom to move around to go see my friends.’

You can also discover powerful tools and resources that shift your thinking. For example, “I woke up to devastating news updates about the coronavirus and now I feel negative. I am grateful for being healthy and aware of my role in preventing or managing the virus.”

Resourceful: You can do something. You are a huge resource. The time that seems idle and makes you feel bored is actually a resource that can never be exchanged for anything else. You only need to put planned action into it, and you’ll be good to go! During this time, I have knowledge I can share with teenagers, for instance, instead of being too idle. I can help my younger siblings with homework and spend more time being helpful in place of worrying.

Retrain & Reclaim: Your unhelpful thoughts are historical. And your results are just the same- repetitive and unhelpful! You can build your mental power to enhance more positive and helpful thinking for instance “I went out and did not observe proper social distancing. Now that I’m experiencing some flu-like symptoms, I need to go into hospital to get checked.” This is better than “whoever brought about this coronavirus should be cursed!” This way, you reclaim your power to be more pro-active.

You could also remind yourself of achievements, moments, successful situations and times when you did well and felt more empowered. These are likely to elicit a positive response, and more important, a realization that you have succeeded before and you still hold that power within!

You can CROWN your mind!

“Don’t let anyone/thing rent a space in your head, unless they’re a good tenant”

-Author unknown.

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