OPINION: Mindset matters in times of crisis

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
Peter Fiorenza.
Camera IconPeter Fiorenza.

How are you travelling? The last couple of weeks have been very different and affected everyone in one way or another.

COVID-19 is having a huge impact at the moment, but there is no doubt it will have long-lasting implications for our world.

I’m certainly no expect when it comes to psychology, but the impact this pandemic is having on us mentally is something, I believe, cannot really be measured properly.

Why do I say that? Well, I reckon, it’s because it is messing with our personalities.

For instance, our professional sports people would be going stir crazy because their training and playing regime has had to be drastically altered.

There are also our politicians, whose work, structure of debate and community involvement is relatively non-existent.

And, don’t forget our fantastic health workers, who are having to continually think on their feet in pressure-cooker situations.

For me, and many others who suffer from anxiety, there is no safe routine to fall back on for reassurance. In fact, the compounding issue of job losses would only be adding fuel to the fire, contributing to excessive worry for many in our community.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I tell you I am currently waking at night with my mind all over the place with a degree of self-doubt and loss of confidence in meeting the challenges ahead.

When will this be over?

It is important to remember that lows in life are always counter balanced with highs, and that’s what we need to constantly keep in mind and focus on.

At the moment, more than ever, I think we need to work on mindset.

We all know that the mind (brain) is very powerful especially in respect to attitude and, indeed, health.

In actual fact, you could say that a mindset plays a major role in who we are as individuals.

I have to keep telling myself that challenges in life are a positive rather than a negative, mistakes are needed lessons of growth, and setbacks are exercises of character.

I stress, these are always a work-in-progress.

I’ve found in recent years, that the more I talk to others about my struggle with anxiety, I discover I am not alone, and that is a source of comfort and reassurance in itself.

So, in this current climate of uncertainty, I would like to share some gems with you.

Happiness is a choice, not a result ... your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.

Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

You can’t calm the storm ... so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself, the storm will pass.

And. Don’t cry over the past it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Live in the present and make it beautiful.

If you need to talk to someone, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. See page 12 for mental health tips during COVID-19.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails