Don’t become an Awfulizer*

We live in strange times. There are lots of awful things happening right now. We are afraid of what is going to happen next and the temptation is to become an Awfulizer*

We are fearful of what is happening and then our imagination grows it into the worst case scenario:-

“Cornavirus is spreading. What if I am infected? What if I already have it and I don’t know yet? What if I spreading it to my family? What happens if we all get it? What if I die from this?”

The fact is that our fears can spread quicker than the virus and we are taken to our most extreme what-if scenarios. We quickly start on the downward spiral of imagining the worst.

Break the spiral by trying some simple steps:-

  1. Get factual data – Filter through what you read, hear and see each day. Is it a fact? Is it opinion or is it rumour? (e.g. All our toilet rolls are imported from China -RUMOUR, NOT TRUE.)
  2. Have a good perspective – Remind yourself of the troubles you have faced in the past and survived! You may have over-worried in the past about things that never occurred, the same is true today.
  3. Don’t become a news addict – Do you feel butterflies in the tummy when you turn on the news? And then a wave of fear when the initial excitement fades? Do you turn on the news channel at breakfast and turn it off at bedtime? If so you need to wean your self off news binging. Limit yourself to just watching the news a couple of times a day. And never, never, never get your news from social media!
  4. Give your self a good talking to – Remember as a child when you had a nightmare or were scared? Remember what your grandmother said to you? Tell yourself the same thing now!
  5. Practice gratitude – List three things to be grateful for each day. Spend time thinking about them rather than worrying. What we focus on grows and so we find more things to be grateful for and less to worry about.( I use a simple mindfulness journal. Contact me if you want to know more.)

As humans we continue to evolve. We learn new things as we face crises and overcome problems together. The same is true in the present crisis, we will overcome it, we will learn and we will be stronger.

For the present look for the helpers. Connect with those around you. Allow the uncertainty of the days to bond us together as we explore ways of being church when we can’t go to church.

Julian of Norwich reminds us that “all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” written during a time of pestilence, around 1370.

God bless and keep safe,

Alan Smithson.

(* Not a real word, but it sound good!)

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