When The Bad News Becomes ALL News

{ on Jul17 2020 | in: Don Compbell “BLOG” }

Hey, did you hear there’s a pandemic

going on? The answer

is, obviously, yes. Given the

daily government announcements,

the focus on death rates, the neverending

arguments about what we

should be doing to flatten the curve,

the almost competitive comparison of

one region vs the other. And that’s just

the media and government sources.

Then you get bombarded by the

conflicting opinions of friends and

family. Those who tell you “it’s no

big deal, get on with your life” while

others you trust are saying “take this

seriously and lock yourself down.”

The situation has got to the point

of overwhelm for many. Emotions

swing from fearful to elated depending

on that hour’s latest story. People

are feeling confused, tired, sleepless

due to this never-ending stress

inducement. The high rates of stress

combined with the lack of great sleep

increases the body’s stress response

even further.

These Are Important Days

Sure, there are days when the feelings

can get so overwhelming that the bad

news spiral takes over. It can feel like

‘the world’ has turned against you and

nothing goes right. The days you feel

this way can become major positive

turning points in your life, if you allow

them to be.

When you allow ‘negative momentum’

to grow during your day, like a

snowball rolling down a hill, it accumulates

more anger, pain, victimhood

and frustration. As the momentum

grows it’s as if you become a magnet

for all that is wrong. You see wrong,

pain, hurt, everywhere and in every

situation. You’re quicker to anger,

quick to complain, quicker to judge

others and sadly quicker to say things

you’ll regret in the future.

The metaphoric lens you begin to see

the world through filters out the good

and focuses you on the bad. Then the

momentum, quietly and unnoticeably,

gains speed and control.

You even begin to create hurt/pain/

frustration even in the most innocuous


“Hey, that guy stole “MY” parking

spot!” (as if it was yours). “I can’t

believe they didn’t TEXT me first.”

“Wow, I left them a message and they

didn’t immediately respond” “I can’t

believe they …….” Looking and judging

external situations and making

every situation about you and how it

is obviously directed at hurting you.

Like the world is “Out To Get You.”

If you let it, the negative spiral gets

so tight that it becomes incredibly

destructive. So much so that people

DO begin to avoid your phone calls

and texts, people DO begin to not

appreciate you, people DO start to

say things like “Wow, what’s up with

them? I think I’ll avoid them for a

while.” In other words, IF the spiral

is allowed to continue it becomes


Can You Be Honest With Yourself

And Stop The Spiral?

Our job as mindful, thoughtful and intelligent

human beings is to identify,

then STOP, the negative spiral in its

tracks before it gets completely out

of control. When you feel it gathering

speed, it is important to stop, take a

few breaths and be aware that it is

taking over.

It is in that moment, right after your

3 deep breaths, you have a choice to

make; the choice whether to let the

negative spiral continue or to take

steps to stop it. By the way, making

NO choice is making the choice to

go down with the negative spiral. In

other words, you must choose, there

is no choice.

If your choice is to arrest the negative

spiral, then you can’t start immediately.

There are many ways to begin

here’s a very quick exercise you can

do right now while you are reading

this paper. Take a moment to stop

what you’re doing and tell yourself

3 things, small or large, that you’re

grateful for. OK, go ahead try it. I’ll

wait right here until you’re ready to

continue reading……………………

………………… OK, welcome

back. By taking those 30 seconds

to think about the important people,

situations and items in your life, you

slowed the negative momentum. You

may not have stopped it but slowing

is the first step. You can do this, and

many other, exercises as often as

you’d like during the day. The more

mindful you are, the more control

you create.

You’re worth the 30 seconds it takes

complete the exercise and reset your

perspective. The world right now is

filled with enough stress and negative

emotions generated by the continual

pandemic news, there’s no need for

us to add even more. These regular

virus updates are not going to disappear

anytime soon and when they do,

they will be followed by the negative

economic news updates. Just knowing

that fact helps you se why this a

great time to become aware of the

destructive power of negative spirals

and that you can stop them if you

choose to do so.

We can all begin by being present

and aware to the good in your world.

Forcing ourselves to battle against the

negative tide is not easy and you may

not be successful at it everyday, that’s

OK. Keep working at it. You’re fighting

a big force, so it will take some

effort, but winning this battle can be

life changing.

Are you there, happiness? Or are you

hidden around the next bend?

For many the belief is that happiness

is just ahead around the bend. The

feeling of happiness being just out

of reach gives us an excuse to be

unhappy, angry, and negative. People

with that future happiness mindset

miss out on being present to the large

and small moments of happiness they

can create right now in mid pandemic.

In fact it is a great time:

To be present to your habits and

thoughts with the goal of managing

them in a healthy manner.

To be thankful for what you have, and

hopeful for what may come. While

remaining realistic about the ups and

downs of the journey ahead.

To break old habits that no longer

serve you well and replace them with

new ones.

Start today and proceed one day at

a time.

Please beware of destination addiction

which is defined as a preoccupation

with the idea that happiness is the

next place, the next job, the next year.

Until you release the idea that happiness

is somewhere else it will never

fully arrive where you currently are.

Be Well, Be Safe, Be Compassionate



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