Dr. Wilson’s Tips for Making it Through Lockdown
January 5, 2021 | Published by Dr. James L. Wilson
Dr. Wilson’s mantra for living life well, factoring in what he’s learned from the pandemic lockdown
My mantra is “’AUM’ (aka ‘OM’).” Although it is known as the universal sound, or the original sound, to me it is my sound. It is my homing signal. It is my grounding note. Everyone’s AUM is unique. Your AUM sound is like no other person’s sound. I use it to center myself, to relax, to expand my consciousness and to connect to the universe. I use it at the beginning of my meditations to find my center, to let my ego go and to be in the present.
With it being “my sound,” whenever I am off base, uncertain or need to separate my thoughts and beliefs from others’ thoughts and beliefs, chanting AUM helps me realize my essence and separates me from the “noise.” Chanting AUM before key decisions helps me make the best and wisest decisions instead of impulsive or prejudicial ones. Whenever I feel indecisive or unclear, I chant AUM to bring me back to the middle, clear my head and help me be me. It is only from my center that I can act in a way in the world that accesses my deepest skills and knowledge, and does the most good.
Five questions to ask oneself that can help to make life better for ourselves and those around us
- What did I learn from my experience?
- How can I plan so I am much better prepared in case there is a next event?
- Who needed the most help during this crisis and how can we prepare them to avoid the same problems it created for them in the future?
- How much is up to government and how much is up to the people personally to prepare for upcoming disasters?
- What are the most important things in my life and were any of them affected during the pandemic?
Dr. Wilson’s insights for finding happiness despite disruptions in daily routines
How you experience events depends on how you frame them. A severe disruption can be a relief, an adventure, a trauma, an obstacle to be overcome, an opportunity to make changes, or any of a number of interpretations. How you react to a life event is more under your control than most people think. I was once on an airplane experiencing a rough takeoff. To me, this was an exhilarating experience but to the person next to me, it was a terrifying experience.
We were both going through the same event. We just had different subjective interpretations of it and thus different experiences and different physiological/neurological responses. I believe that if you keep life as an adventure and/or a constant learning experience, you have more flexibility in not only how you feel but also in how you are able to react and how your body chemistry responds. My joys are my spiritual connection and the connections I have with my family. My wife is my emotional anchor. I have faith that we can resolve almost any situation if we keep perspective.
Whether life is meaningful or meaningless, it is up to us. I have certain mementos on my shelf that to me are treasures and deeply meaningful, but are only clutter or trash to others. It is not just finding joy in challenging times; it is finding joy in life. In fact, a mental exercise I do during one of my daily relaxation periods. If I am feeling a little flat, is to imagine breathing in joy, as I say “In Joy” over and over as I imagine (create) the feeling of joy inside. I stay with it until I can feel the joy inside.
Joy never went away. It was just hiding and I had to seek it out and let it shine above the other emotions. So crisis or not, the world is a happier place when we exercise our personal power.
Dr. Wilson’s advice on how to turn the loneliness of self-isolation into a positive state of being
Loneliness is already a large problem in the society in which we live. It not only takes its toll psychologically, but is also associated with an increase in overall causes of mortality and is believed to be a causal factor in suicides, clinical depression and other mental health issues. People report feeling lonely even when with others and or in relationships. In fact, sometimes the loneliness is most acute in the midst of people or in an unsatisfactory relationship.
So the real question is not to address loneliness as just an issue of social isolation, but to address loneliness as a current medical issue in epidemic proportions, in many countries. To me, one of the keys to alleviating loneliness is to help the person find meaning. Meaningfulness alleviates loneliness more than any one factor I know. Helping a person find purpose puts them on a path with hope and a sense of connection.
What questions should we ask ourselves to fire up our spirituality?
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What do I need?
- What do I value most?
- Am I getting them?
- Is it enough?
- If not, what can I do about it?
Categorised in: Stress Management