Rewiring During the COVID-19 Crisis
We are living in a time of great uncertainty and profound loss. Uncertainties about our futures and loss of many dear people, along with ways of life. What we know for certain is that these uncertainties will not go away. We only get to choose how we will react to them.
A few weeks ago, one of my psychologist friends sent around her personal mantra for these trying days. The mantra was a sentence long and spoke of strength, faith, and love during these times of uncertainty. She explained that she said it multiple times a day, both when she was feeling under control and when she was feeling out of control.
Last week, Rabbi Yisroel Roll on his “Believe in Yourself” podcast, spoke about writing a script for yourself. That script included sentences such as “There are no certainties in life. I have been living this way my whole life. I have learned to cope.” Rabbi Roll suggests reading the script 7 times a day.
Why are psychologists suggesting mantras or scripts? How are they helpful in these frightening times? The answer lies in how our brains are wired.
We all speak to ourselves. Sounds funny, but it’s true! We all have a voice in our heads that is constantly in conversation with ourselves. What does this voices say? Well, sometimes the voice can get stuck in a loop, especially when we are anxious. Therefore, we when repeat mantras or scripts, we are providing new material for that voice. In essence, we are rewiring our brain toward a more hopeful and less anxious inner monologue.
What are some mantras and scripts you can say? It’s best to personalize your mantras and make them your own. A mantra that has been working for me lately is one I read on a NEFESH email, “Abandon Perfection, Welcome Reflection, Nurture Connection.” If you need help rewiring your brain and coming up with a mantra, reach out to a friend or even to a mental health professional. These days, everybody can benefit from a slightly more positive voice in their head.