They often say, don’t be fooled by a smile, even if it’s a genuine honest smile. A smile doesn’t mean that there is no pain behind that smile. A smile rather means that the person smiling at you had to push themselves through a lot of painful heavy moments to be able to produce this genuine smile. That’s how raw and truthful smiles are born!
And From One Second To The Next My World Stopped Existing.
Phrasing the headline in this way definitely brings up resistance inside of me as it directly fuels the ever-present issue of considering one’s own pain not painful enough because someone else has it worse. But this article is not about pushing down one’s own emotions but attempts to make room for each and every single pain that we are experiencing in life. Because while it’s sometimes a very sensitive practice to put things in relation, in most cases your pain won’t just miraculously disappear by comparing it to someone else’s pain.
So, let’s put it as it is…or as it was! When the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020 from one second to the next my world as I knew it stopped existing…just like that! And, I am confident to say that this was probably the case for most of us. In complete disorientation about this fact, I couldn’t even grasp it at that moment. And, even more so, did not have a clue in the world what a journey of psychological exhaustion I was in for for the months to come.
How Your Mind Will Move You Away From Pain At All Costs.
It’s a fact that’s built on our evolutionary coding that our mind will do everything in its power to move us away from pain at all costs. While this sounds rather cryptic let’s translate it into easy terms. You might have recognized how throughout the pandemic you often felt drained and lethargic. And, while I could be diving into all the different psychological concepts why that was, this is not the point I intend to make right now. The point I intend to make is how the pandemic was able to get a hold of your mind without you noticing.
Let me challenge you to this. Throughout this past year, you might have often been tired and frustrated but when really sitting down you couldn’t quite break down what exactly was causing these emotional states. And, even more so when observing it the next day you suddenly felt fine again. Until you didn’t. Having spent every single day of the last year checking in with my mind trying to understand these mechanisms, I uncovered the obvious.
- The information load of changes that have occurred throughout the last year has happened to an extent that is simply impossible for our mind to progress all at once.
- Based on the evolutionary pain & pleasure principle our mind needs to drive us away from painful feelings and thoughts at all costs…and has therefore simply been pushing away the negative load of information throughout the pandemic.
Now, where does this leave us? In a really bad state, I would say!
How Healthy Are You Really?
Asking myself this question became the ground for one of the boldest biggest steps that was about to change my life and save me from my detrimental pandemic state. Because here is the sad truth, the pandemic has impacted the lives of every single one of us and the big question though is how much have you actually noticed these critical changes inside of you? With awareness comes understanding. And, with understanding comes clarity.
And, my clarity showed me that the pandemic had not only kicked off major identity and role conflicts inside of me but also fueled anxious and depressive periods to an extent that had caused such a state of disconnection inside of me that I couldn’t even truly feel myself as ME anymore. I was simply a shell of my own being. That destructive psychological state paired with physical symptoms that started communicating my psychological imbalance to me on a daily basis pushed me to a point where I had to say “Enough”. Having ‘operated’ in an environment of social isolation consumed by the toxic spiral of my own irrational thoughts for far too long, I had reached a point where I had to put things into relation. I was healthy in terms that I didn’t have a virus inside my body, but how healthy was I really? And, I came to the conclusion that the safety of remaining isolated at home locking myself away from a virus was simply not in relation anymore cause I was locking away my precious healthy inner balance and strength of my immune system along with it.
Translating Fear Into Faith. Translating Faith Into Action.
Being a Mental Health Expert I don’t think I have to emphasize how frustrating it was to find myself in this destructive mental state during the first year of the pandemic. And here is a magical truth that I realized in response to that frustration. It is not about never experiencing pain, mental exhaustion, and psychological challenges. It’s about being able to detect them. It’s about knowing how to work with them. It’s about knowing how to grow from them.
And, how I grew from mine was to produce the courage to acknowledge my inner state & progress from it. One big step within that progress was choosing to relocate from Germany to South Africa where I knew that my heart would feel at home. Making this decision from a completely fear-based mindset was a struggle I almost didn’t battle. When all you can feel is fear it’s tough to produce faith. And, I only overcame this challenge by relying on all the proof that I had gathered throughout my life. Knowing that whenever I was faced with the next big scary step in the past that the reward had been waiting in a distant point in the future. The problem is our mind doesn’t like the distant future, it wants proof right in the second it’s faced with challenges…which is also the no. 1 reason why change, in general, is so hard for us!
Your Environment Can Consume You. Or, It Can Ignite You.
While not following our heart’s desires will directly fuel anxious and depressive states, finding oneself in a destructive environment will increase that mental load on top of that. I checked both boxes. And, my answer to that was controlling the few things that I could still control which was moving to another continent and putting myself in an environment that was matching my role as a Founder of my Global Mental Health Business & Citizen of the World.
And suddenly the unexpected happened with rapid speed. I started living again instead of just existing. I started taking deep breaths again instead of just gasping for air. And, I suddenly was translating that new feeling of aliveness into a level of productivity that I hadn’t deemed possible anymore. Lethargy suddenly became Aliveness. And, that aliveness sparked a wave of progress, creativity, and innovation that I hadn’t believed in anymore. Days started feeling like weeks again. Moments became memories again. And, the flow of life kept fueling me where lethargy had consumed me before. Not only did that allow me to finally function again but became the building ground for one of my biggest passion projects.
And, that’s actually the story of how the back then called “Mindmastery Members Lounge” was born (which I have by now re-vamped and re-launched as the “Health Hacking Hub“). And, saying that I am pouring my heart, soul, and mind into this project would truly be an understatement. It’s the embodiment of my Mental Mastery that not only carried me through the psychological challenges of the pandemic but is the collection of all my answers to having been dictated by my own mind and having run on autopilot without noticing for years. Trust me, life is not fun that way! And, no matter how strongly you think you’ve got it all together…if you have never actively dealt with your mind, I am sorry to say this, but you simply don’t have IT together. Our mind can be a sneaky little bastard and if you don’t know how to deal with it it will simply rule your life…without you noticing.
An Open Wound Needs Time To Heal.
Now, it would be easy to just keep riding this wave of excitement and productivity outlined above, wouldn’t it? That would definitely be more comfortable but that would completely disregard the nature of a proper healing process. ‘Cause an open wound needs time to heal. So, let this be your trigger to start investigating and locating your open wounds that the first year of the pandemic has left you with. Because while we were busy reading through endless corona regulations and adjusting to countless changes on a weekly if not daily basis, we forgot something valuable and essential in the process…OURSELVES!
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