The Mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. We are collectively experiencing uncertain times as the world together is collectively navigating a Pandemic. Who has mind training to deal with a Pandemic? Not many! What we have to realize is that we can never control the outside world, we can only control our reactions; our thoughts. Now is the time to finally integrate our unprocessed trauma and lack of security, bubbling to the surface. Everything and anything we have not dealt with in our past, is now rising to the surface, and we are magnifying the wounds as fear and anxiety. Now is the time to feel what we mostly run from in our daily lives, we are so busy being busy, that we can conveniently get through days and years without feeling. But energy cannot be created or destroyed. And emotions are energy. They must be integrated and expressed – not pushed down and not to run from at marathon speeds.

We are being asked to sit. We are being asked to go within. All healing is an inside job, and the root of the majority of symptoms begins at a mental/emotional/spiritual level. Now is the perfect opportunity for cellular purification of our stuck emotions. They have not been created by the Pandemic. Yes, of course, some emotions are because of the Pandemic. But a large portion of what we are experiencing is a magnification of our unprocessed emotional world bubbling to the surface. Unprocessed fears and anxieties. And in an attempt to curb these fears, the mind will go into overdrive. It will try to control the entire external world, via racing thoughts, non-stop news watching and researching, thinking about the future ‘what-if’s’. All on overdrive. This is the Monkey brain.

Tips to Settle the Monkey Brain and deal with anxiety:

  1. Breathe: I have said it before, but the most effective way to calm the Monkey mind is to breathe. Chances are with a heightened state of panic and anxiety and fear, there are multiple times an hour where you hold your breath. Catch this pattern and rewire it. Begin to breathe a deep belly breath, each time you catch yourself holding your breath, contracting your stomach, clenching your jaw. All of these are a result of fear state contraction. It is very difficult to have a racing mind and deep breath at the same time. Catch how many times an hour you stop breathing and reprogram it.
  2. Movement: If it is still permitted to walk outside; and you are following all required precautions. Go for a walk outside daily as a non-negotiable. If unable to go for a walk, and you have a backyard, walk there, ideal if you can walk barefoot. If you are unable to walk, sit on a chair outside. If you have a skipping rope, skip in your home. If you have kids, tell them you are having a dance party. All movement gets the heart pumping, gets us breathing and most importantly gets us into our bodies and out of the mind. This will break the cycle of ruminating Monkey brain thoughts.
  3. Journal: It is important to FEEL and integrate the emotions and anxiety as it arises. Not only switch the feeling by breathing and dancing. The part of you that is trying to control the situation via racing thoughts is actually trying to help. This is how it helped in the past, likely originating from childhood. The most important question to ask as fear or anxiety bubbles to the surface. I want you to take a second, close your eyes, put one hand on your heart, put one hand on your belly and as: “How old do I feel right now?”; “What memory is coming up for me right now?”; “What do I most need right now to help me integrate this feeling?”. We spend our entire life running from potentially feeling pain. The pain simply wants to surface, be acknowledged and it will subside. Our mind feels like this pain will never go away, thus it flips into a mad dash to ensure it never bubbles to the surface. If journaling is not enough. Ask a friend/family member to hold space for you to process. Preface the share by asking them just to listen and not offer advice.
  4. BONUS HOMEWORK: For my facebook live starting the week of April 6th. Let’s do something fun! If you have a Netflix account. I would like you to find the show Chef’s Table – Season 3. Episode 1 – Jeong Kwan. Please watch this episode and write down 3-5 points of what you learned from her and how you can bring those lessons into your life while in Self-Quarantine. We will discuss it on Facebook Live. Please watch the show prior to and bring your points to discuss!

Stay Healthy Everyone!

Dr. Neetu