The Fear/Anxiety Contagion

Coping with COVID Series

How to avoid being infected by the emotional contagion of fear and anxiety, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.  Special coronavirus podcast episode.It’s highly contagious.  You can catch it from a single interaction with one person.  You can catch it much faster in a crowd.  You can pass it on to someone else in an instant.

You can also catch it from just reading, watching, or listening to something.

In 39 milliseconds, you have it… and you didn’t even see it coming!

Coronavirus?  Nope.  That is certainly serious, and you absolutely want to do everything you can to avoid catching or spreading it.  I do not want to minimize the risks of this pandemic.

But that is not the contagion I am focusing on here.

This contagion is fear and anxiety.  Yes, you can catch fear.  Yes, you can catch anxiety.  And you can also spread them.

Humans have a natural wiring (we share it with the animals at the watering hole… and all the others) to pick up on fear and anxiety.

Many times, people have said, “Should I panic over this?”  The “this” has been lots of different things.  And my answer is always, “Panic is never a better option.  Should you respond?  Should you choose an action? Yes.  Panic?  No.”

That is easier said than done. But on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I share why fear/anxiety is contagious, along with how to limit the infection.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Fear
Attacking Anxiety
Self-Care
Order, Disorder, Reorder

Lee’s Thrive Books

How to Hope in Tough Times

Coping with COVID Series

How to have hope in tough times — coronavirus and other times.Let me just say, I am a bit weary.  How about you?

This has been a wearying time for so many of us.  Nobody is unaffected by this pandemic.  And we can’t even point to an end to the crisis.  Take a guess, and your guess is probably as good as any other.

What do we do?  Everything seems to be upside-down, inside-out, and topsy-turvy.  It’s hard to figure out what happens next and what to do next.

Which means that some people are beginning to feel hopeless.

Early in my career, as a hospital chaplain, I saw what happens when people have hope… and when they lose hope.  But I didn’t really have any way to help people who were hitting hopelessness.  I just saw the damage.

Thanks to other researchers, I am more clear about how we can build and hold hope, even in tough times.  If you can’t hold it in tough times, it just needs some boosting, and some knowledge.

Let’s talk about hope, tough times, and the Hope Formula.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Stress
Dealing with Loss and Grief
Dealing with Depression
Dealing with Fear and Anxiety
Lee Baucom’s Books

 

Paths to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is such a buzzword these days that you may find yourself “tuning out” when you hear the term.  Ironic, since that is quite the opposite of being mindful!

Simply put, mindfulness is the state of being present with your body in the present moment.  In other words, you are aware of your bodily experience of this immediate moment.

The nice thing about mindfulness is that it is easy to practice, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.  It is simply a matter of calling yourself back to this moment, in your own body.

And then… it slips away again, through distractions and thoughts.  Thoughts about the past and future pull us from the present.  We distract ourselves right out of the experience of living in this moment.

Joanne King, Pathways to Mindfulness.  Mindful eating and ending dieting.My guest on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, Joanne King, offers a number of pathways to mindfulness.

Of particular interest is Joanne’s approach to mindful eating.  How often do you find yourself scarfing down a meal, not even noticing the taste, texture, spices, smells, and ingredients… the experience of eating?  I have.

According to Joanne, this means that we often eat beyond what we need… and not necessarily even what we need to eat.  When people shift to mindful eating, Joanne reports, they eat better and naturally lose weight.

And… it is an opportunity to enter into mindfulness.

Join me as I discuss pathways to mindfulness with Joanne King.

RELATED RESOURCES
Joanne’s website
Using Mindfulness to Thrive
The Importance of Being Present
Confidence… in the Moment

Comfort and Joy: Deepening the Holidays

Finding your comfort and joy in the holidays!In the hustle and bustle, people lose sight of the Holidays.  Sure, we go through the motions, show up to the events, and try to put on our holiday joy.  But many times, internally, its a flat-line.  Nothing.  Nada.

Or worse… stressful.

Over the years, I have given a number of presentations about this, with title, “Merry Stress-ness and Happy Blue Year.”  Stressed out and depressed.

That’s not a great way to spend the Holidays!

It misses something… deeper.  More significant.  Something that nurtures the soul and feeds the heart.

How do you deepen the Holidays for yourself (and for those close to you)?  We discuss it in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Holiday Stress
Finding Calm
Give yourself the present of thriving – Book:  Thrive Principles

Why Thankful?

Why Thankful?  Practicing thankfulness and gratitude this Thanksgiving Day and every other day.In the States, this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.  What’s the point, right?  Let’s just jump on into Christmas season!  The stores are already bustling and everything seems to be bursting with green and red.

I have nothing against Christmas.  But I do think there is an important pause, a moment.  A time to be thankful.  Not to just say a quick word of thanks, then dive into a gut-busting meal.  But to be thankful.

To practice gratitude.

Why?

Because our brain’s default is on scarcity, not abundance — what we DON’T have, not what we HAVE.  Where we AREN’T, not where we ARE.

It’s a matter of mindshift.  A choice to shift to abundance, gratitude, and thankfulness.  Not just allowing our default setting to take over, looking at the scarcity and the lack.  At what scares us.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss “Why Thankful?”  Why should we even make the shift?

I wish you a very thoughtful, thankful day filled with gratitude, wherever you are!

RELATED RESOURCES
What Thriving People Know About Gratitude and Appreciation
Giving Thanks
How To Guarantee You DON’T Thrive
Living Your Engaged Life
Book:  Thrive Principles:  15 Strategies for Building a Thriving Life

Break Free From Your Prison

What prison holds you?

We ALL have some prison in our lives.  Maybe there aren’t any real bars and locked doors.  But it still keeps us stuck, trapped and unable to grow.  It might be a way of thinking, a relationship, a job.  It may be just your own view of yourself and your capacities.  But something keeps us stuck.

Is it possible to break free?  To escape the prisons in our lives?

Marian McSpadden on how to break free from your own prison.  According to my guest on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, is not only possible… it is crucial!

Marian McSpadden discovered that she was trapped in a life… a belief system… that kept her from becoming her truest and best self.

So, she planned her escape!  And she broke free.  In her case, quite literally.  Was it easy?  No.  Was it worthwhile?  Marian says, “Absolutely!”

And so, Marian is out to help others find their freedom from their own prison.  If you are stuck, caught in a belief system, a relationship, a job, or something else, discover your path out, your escape route!

Listen in as Marian McSpadden and I discuss the power of breaking free from your prison.

RELATED RESOURCES
Marian’s Website with Helpful Resources
Getting Un-Stuck
Dealing with Fear
Fear and Courage
KNAC Protocol

Life After Loss

Living Beyond Grief

Sarah Nannen on life after loss.  Dealing with Grief.Long ago, way back in one of my college classes on death and dying, the professor told us that our death rituals — the funeral, visitation, etc. — were our ways of “reweaving the cloth of our community” after a loss.

Grief has a process.  It is our internal response to loss, that is about how we move through and beyond that loss.

Yet in our culture, we tend to have an impatience with grief and the grieving.  With the best of intentions, we sometimes push people to move through their grief.  And we push ourselves to move through our grief.

We want those grieving to find happiness again.  And as we grieve, we want to stop hurting.

Which often only serves to disrupt grief, prolonging or curtailing the healing that needs to come after a loss.  In our attempts to “speed it along,” we slow it down or cut it off.

My guest on this episode, Sarah Nannen, knows this first-hand.  With 4 young children, Sarah was widowed when her active-duty husband died in a training accident.

In the aftermath, Sarah had to follow her own instincts to find space for her grief… and then she found herself once again among the living.

Since then, Sarah has been helping others do the same.  She wrote a book, Grief Unvealed, and helps others to find empowerment as they process their own grief.

Who is this episode for?  If you are alive… you!  Because every single one of us will be (or have been) confronted by loss.  Every single one of us will (or has) pass through grief.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Sarah Nannen’s Website (and free Peace Meditation)
Moving Through Grief
Order, Disorder, Reorder
Grieve Losses, Celebrate Gains
Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

The Power of a Challenge

How to challenge yourself and grow!Are you up for a challenge?

In the last episode of my podcast, I discussed how to hold on when life is tough.  That’s when life is challenging you.

But what about when life isn’t so challenging… where life is copacetic?  Just cruising.

It’s my observation that we work hard to keep life flat.  We work hard to keep things smooth.  Cold out?  Turn on the heater.  Hot out?  Turn on the A/C.  Keep things even… even-keeled.  Flat.

We spend LOTS of energy to save the energy of dealing witb challenges, big or small.

But does that help (or harm) us?  Does it keep us safe or make us fragile?

What if taking on small challenges actually gets us better prepared for bigger challenges?  What if making choices to expand into life helps us deal with life encroaching upon us?

One of my “things” is to find little challenges for myself… new things to try, new activities to do, new tastes or sounds to take in, and new ways to try life.

How about you?  What challenges are you taking on right now?

Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to discover the power of a challenge.

RELATED RESOURCES
Learning and Life
Ways to Expand
Growth Mindset
Lessons in Jiu Jitsu
Book:  Thrive Principles
 

Look Up!

Look up!World got you down?  Maybe even looking down?  It can feel overwhelming, like you just need to keep plodding ahead, keeping your head down.

But often, that is just the time we need to look up.

To the sky.

Physically and metaphorically.

When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and flustered, when it seems there is just too much going on, too much to get done… I take a step back and look up.

And then I have a little more perspective.  Little ol’ me in this big ol’ universe.  In a world with lots more troubles than I have.  Not that mine aren’t important.  They just aren’t as grand as I can make them feel.

And metaphorically, I look up.  To a higher perspective.  My higher Self.  I remember that it really isn’t all about me, but how I bring myself into the world.

It also reminds me to be grateful.  To be grateful for being in this moment, in this space.  Who I am, with what I have, where I am.  And to see that as “enough.”  It is too easy to let the “not enough’s” call out to me, call me down, scare me.

But then, I look up.  To pivot me out of my little thoughts and into bigger thoughts.  From a higher perspective. From a place of connection.  From awe.

Look up.

I discuss this more in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Meaning/Purpose Triad
Finding Your Meaning
Finding Perspective
Dealing With Stress
Everyday Spirituality
Book:  Thrive Principles

 

Playing Life For Real

David Wood, Playing Life For Real, playforreal.lifeHow’s your life going? The way you want?  Or not quite?  Do you want to “level up” and play a bigger game?  Have a bigger life?

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I chat with David Wood, successful-entrepreneur-turned-life-coach.  Nope, not a business coach (although he does some of that), but a life coach.  Helping successful people “level up” to more success.

While David had been successful in his work, something was missing — connection.  Tied to an early childhood trauma (we talk about it), David decided to “play it safe” with relationships… and then realized that “playing it safe” kept him disconnected and distant.

How?

Playing bigger.  Taking risks.  Daring.  And Caring.

David starts with a question, “What if we are living in a maze, running it every day?  We can keep doing that, or we can step back and decide to play it bigger.”

Using his 3 Pillars and 4 Point Plan, David points the way to anyone wanting to play on a bigger field.  To play “full out” in the game of life — which David notes is a very important game!

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
David Wood’s Website (Free Assessment and/or Free Session)
My Interview with Jack Canfield
Fear and Your Life
Showing Up