Calm in Chaos

How to Find Calm in Chaos: My Experience as a Highly Sensitive Person

Who would have thought our world would be experiencing such scary times. Never in my wildest dreams, did I envision my country dealing with a pandemic. Maybe I was ignorant. Maybe I was plain hopeful.

About a week ago, when the ‘buzz’ about the coronavirus started making headlines in my local town, I was interested yet distant from the news. I had a sense of calm and control over the situation unfolding. It’s not that I didn’t believe the virus was spreading, it’s just that I thought people were going to reactive extremes.

Fear Breeds Fear

It hit me when I went to shop at Costco and people had their carts piled with food and paper towels. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found. Sold out. I kept thinking, “Man, people are panicking and being a bit outrageous.” Still, I found myself grabbing a few extra food items “just in case” as I continued to pass by others’ loaded shopping carts.

On the horizon, I knew my family had a trip to Florida planned. To fly or not to fly, that was the question. We decided as a family that we were going to fly and take all the recommended precautions. We used our “CDC approved sanitizer wipes and gels” to wipe down everything around us and we washed our hands probably more than I ever have before.

Travel during Coronavirus

Flying was a different experience. The airport was quiet and every traveler on our flight, that I saw, was wiping down their respective area. The truth is, this is probably a practice that people should be doing regardless of the virus. Perhaps this virus is teaching us new habits to adopt.

As we arrived in Florida, I noticed my anxiety and discomfort levels had risen. As a highly sensitive person, I am very attuned to how my body feels for better or for worse. What I couldn’t shake was that my anxiety didn’t seem to be entirely my own. Despite so many days of feeling relaxed about the state of affairs, this change in my body quickly became uncomfortable.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that a lot of what I was feeling wasn’t my own.

The Collective Energy Crisis

Everywhere I went, there was talk filled with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. As much as I tried to stay hopeful and calm, my body seemed to be changing course without my consent. I was absorbing everyone’s energy, it was quite apparent to me. There was nowhere to hide. I was a part of a collective energy crisis.

As a highly sensitive person, this is a regular occurrence. I take on other’s energy even if my soul is feeling something different. In this case, my soul was saying everything was going to be okay and yet my body was reacting differently. As a result, I found myself having a tight chest, shallow breathing, and an overall sense of uneasiness.

Hello anxiety.

Here I was in Florida without my crystals and palo santo stick, the tools I usually turn to for discharging unwanted emotional energy. What was I going to do?

Calming Tips

It was time to reach into my toolbox of coping mechanisms and get to work.

In times of chaos and uncertainty, I offer these calming tips that I am using myself. If we change our thoughts, our bodies will follow. Together, we can change the collective energy.

Use prayer.

In times of uncertainty, there is nothing more powerful than prayer. When I’m scared or nervous, I tend to lose sight of my faith in God (or whatever higher power you believe in). I constantly have to remind myself of His power and love for us all.

I offer you the prayer I have used the past few days, “Dear God and My Angels, please fill my body with your loving light and remove all anxiety and energy that is not my own. Remind me to trust in you and in your wisdom for this world. I know all that you do is for our highest good. Amen.”

Move Your Body.

Anxiety is often the result of a stagnant body. Even with my tight chest and the discomfort I felt, I forced myself to move. Even if just a little. Moving through your anxiety is very powerful and, in my experience, has always led to a better state of mind. So during this time of social distancing, find an exercise video online you can follow, turn on music and dance, or get outside (if you’re allowed) and go for a walk or jog. Just move.

Boost Your Immunity with Sleep and Nutrition.

If ever there was a time you’d want to pay attention to your nutrition, it’s now! Boost your immune system with healthy, whole, organic foods and calming teas (I like organic chamomile or peppermint for their calming properties).

Finding time to get nourishing sleep is also a major immunity-booster! Perhaps if we are all practicing social distancing and staying home, we can take advantage of this time to rest. Grab a nap during the day when you’d otherwise be away from home. Sleep is restorative and regenerative and proven to aid our immune systems.

Meditate.

Can you imagine the amazing effects that could come about if everyone during this time took time to meditate? The collective energy would be so much calmer and less chaotic. Energy feeds energy, as I have felt firsthand, and I would definitely encourage us all to change our energy fields for the better.

Sitting for 10 minutes and focusing on our breathing is enough to change the energy. If you need help meditating, I encourage you to download a meditation app like Headspace or Calm to listen to. You can also find some decent ones on YouTube that will guide you through your meditation.

Develop and use affirmations.

One of my favorite affirmation teachers is Louise Hay. If you go to her website, www.louisehay.com, you will find a ton of daily affirmations you can borrow. If you’re new to using affirmations, simply repeat your chosen statement aloud, and internally, as many times throughout the day as you’d like.

Avoid news overexposure.

For me, this one is huge. Everywhere I turn, people are talking about the coronavirus. While I do believe it’s important to be ‘in the know’ of what is happening around the world and in our immediate society, I do not think it’s healthy to be constantly consumed with news about the virus.

Media can have a way of instilling fear in us. Dare I say, there might even be misinformation flooding our news feeds. I’m not discounting the severity of the pandemic, but I am encouraging us to limit our exposure to its grasp. I know it’s tempting to want to read or watch as much as you can about it so that you feel more in control and prepared, but perhaps just take ONE time in your day to get updated.

In the early stages of this outbreak, I found myself regularly checking my phone and reading news articles. I wanted to know what was happening in my state, what symptoms of the virus were, how high the mortality rate was, etc. etc. etc. You can see how all of this can feed someone’s anxiety.

After noticing how frequently I was exposing myself to this information and how it truly wasn’t serving me, I limited myself to one time a day of checking my news feed. I have to say, it has helped lower my anxiety dramatically!

Finding the Silver Linings

So, that’s what I have been doing to quell my anxiety and to discharge unwanted energy. I have politely distanced myself from fear-based conversations around me and instead offered silver linings that might come from this strange time in our lives.

I offer you my tips for staying calm in hopes that we can change the collective energy. Stay positive folks. Find your calm in the chaos and spread it to others. Look for the silver linings and trust in your higher power. And as always, be well.

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