Finding Happiness During Uncertain Times
One of my biggest “ah-ha” moments, as I was studying Positive Psychology, was understanding how our brains react to uncertainty. I was intrigued to learn that uncertainty triggers a strong threat response as part of our survival instinct. This happens in the primitive part of our brain that’s all about keeping us safe. It’s immediate and takes no effort on our part. Most of the time, we don’t even realize it’s happening.
This threat response goes something like this. “This winter is going to be horrible! No one knows what’s going to happen with the pandemic. It’s probably going to get worse and we’ll all have to go on a stricter “lock-down,” and I’ll be isolated. And the economy will get worse. And I won’t be able to pay my bills. And I won’t be able to find toilet paper again. And I’ll be depressed. And life will suck! It’s totally hopeless!!”
This is a normal internal dialogue because our survival instinct says, “If you’re going to stay safe, you have to assume that the worst is going to happen. If you expect the worst, then you might find a way to survive.”
If we don’t override this survival instinct, it will dominate our thoughts and keep us stressed and discouraged. But we all have the power to intercede. We CAN notice this negative thought pattern and take action to shift out of survival mode. We don’t have to let it control our minds and run our lives.
I recently had the privilege of sharing some of my favorite positivity strategies at The Monona Terrace Wellness Talks. And what’s great is they have publicly shared the recording so you can check it out here. I hope you can find time to watch this virtual program and see what some of the audience shared for their ideas to add more positivity to their days (via live polling).
“Sometimes it feels like life has buried us in the dirt; In reality, we’ve been planted with an opportunity to grow.”