5 Ways to Stay Positive During a Pandemic
How often would you say you complain?

According to an article on entrepreneur.com, research shows most people complain about once a minute during a typical conversation. That's a LOT! 🤯

Most of the time we complain because we want to "vent", and it just feels good to know that other people feel our pain and empathize with our situation.

When we complain, our brain builds pathways to ease the flow of information, which just makes it that much easier to complain again and again.
And again...

Eventually complaining becomes our default behavior, which not only damages our relationships, but it can also physically damage our brain as well.

Stanford University ran a study that shows complaining can damage the hippocampus. The hippocampus is what Alzheimer's primary destroys, so let that sink in for a minute.

You can cause the same type of damage that Alzheimer's causes just by complaining.

Complaining can wreak physical havoc as well. When we complain, cortisol is released in order to prepare our bodies for fight-or-flight mode, and this raises blood pressure and blood sugar. The extra cortisol released also impairs our immune system which makes us more susceptible to a whole host of issues.

Have you heard the saying that you are the sum of the 5 people closest to you? That's because our brains tend to subconsciously mirror the moods of the people we spend the most time with. If you're around people who complain a lot, you can experience the same damage as if YOU were the one complaining.

Likewise, when you complain, you can damage those you love and are closest to you in those ways as well.

In this season of stress and unrest due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, it is more important than ever to protect ourselves against anything that can damage our immune systems, our bodies, and our minds.

Fear makes it so much easier for us to complain under these circumstances, though, right?

So what can we do to keep ours hearts and minds positive and avoid the damaging effects of complaining, when our worlds feel like they're in a tailspin?

1. Be grateful. 
We've all heard the suggestion to start our day with gratitude, but I would challenge you not only to start your day, but maybe set a reminder for throughout the day to think of more things to be grateful for. The floors in your home, the roof, the people who built it, coffee, your family, your pets, a safe environment, anything you can think to be grateful for.

2. Hear truth. 
Recognize that our feelings are NOT truth. We may feel scared, we may feel hopeless, we may feel lonely, but we have to remember that God promises to protect us, to give us hope, and to never leave us. Focus on TRUTH.

3. Practice self-care.
Take some time to participate in some soothing self-care. Take a bath, go for a walk, search YouTube for some quick workouts, read Scripture, pray, listen to worship music. Just enjoy some relaxation and peace.

4. LAUGH! 
Watch a funny movie on Netflix, search YouTube for comedians, Google jokes you can share with your family. Laugh together, play some board games, just have fun.

5. Stay connected. 
Make sure to stay connected with the outside world however you safely can, whether by phone, social media, video chatting, or sending snail mail. Now is the perfect time to handwrite some letters to loved ones and brighten their day. Staying connected and doing something kind for others will surely brighten your day and lessen any need to complain.

The next time you feel tempted to complain or release any kind of negative energy, keep in mind that our goal right now is to stay healthy.

Try this: keep a rubber band or hair tie on your wrist and snap it when you notice yourself complaining. You'll start to see just how often it actually happens, and it can be surprising!

Which one of these tips will you try today to help yourself break the habit of complaining and get through this pandemic successfully?


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