• Pam Clark

Making positivity a viral phenomenon

I had a poorly gal at home yesterday, and like any working mamma it can take a little bit of juggling. As she snoozed, played and added to her recent story (budding author that she is) I battered away at my keyboard finishing off my client research. But after lunch we stuck some logs on the fire and snuggled up for a movie of her choice - Gagsta Grannie.

I was really struck by the message of perception in the David Walliams story - where the young boy sees his granny as "boring", only to realise she had a dazzling history and story to tell (No, I'm not giving the plot away folks). As a result his perception of old gran-mamma was transformed and thus his enjoyment of their time together grew exponentially. Interestingly she was still the same granny; but her grandson had created a new narrative about her way of being in the world that transformed their relationship.

In a time of sensationalist headlines, panic buying and general fearsome living - could this in fact be a great time to review our narrative of our current situation?

As a former Palliative Care Nurse Specialist and Educator, I have the utmost respect for scientific research, endeavours and the phenomenal work of my health care colleagues - and the most heartfelt compassion for those families affected by illness and loss. In fact in speaking to NHS and Hospice colleagues I am only too aware of the background work that is going on to ensure patient care is optimised currently as well as the extensive plans in place as it gathers momentum.

So please let me be clear - I'm not undermining the situation here, judging people expressing understandable concern, or minimising the devastating effect this may have on many lives.

But, if we’re truly honest, is there anything to be gained by a fear-driven agenda?

Arguably the anxiety caused by the chatter and headlines is raising our stress hormones – a factor known to increase inflammation and decrease immunity – in what way is that helpful to us in combating this virus?

By debating every possible negative outcome– does that make it any easier to manage if it actually occurs? (with the exception of those who have a key role in planning the infrastructure involved here – debate away clever folks, debate away please).

I wonder, and I am genuinely simply playing with thought here, what if - rather than focusing on the dreaded stories of a world without limitless Andrex - we considered other, more positive factors that may come of this situation?

I’m going to choose some at random here:

· The working parent who realises they actually CAN work very efficiently at home for a few days a week – then negotiates this as a permanent feature allowing less travel (pollution), greater productivity (economics) and quality of life (happiness, health and well-being)?

· The grandparent or older friend who offers to care for children unexpectedly off school, fosters a greater sense of belonging, worth and purpose; the child benefits from the care of another adult and the parent/care-giver realises there is more support out there after all?

· The isolated young person gets engaged in a group chat online and further develops new friendship, viewpoints and developing interest in science that leads to a new career?

· A greater sense of community as people stop to chat in the hand-wash aisle, check in on neighbours and in the absence of on-tap health care, appreciate they can self-manage their own health condition more than they 1st thought?

· And what of self-ownership of health? Wash your hands, increase your immunity (diet, sleep, stress management, exercise), care for others, notice the abundance around us?

Of course – these are entirely fictional – but what if in leaning into the feel good – noticing the unexpected positive outcomes – we feel more positive ourselves?

And in doing so, might that positivity grow, improve our outlook, mood, decision making, abundance mindset, grow our feel good hormones and thus our care of self and others?

Could that, possibly, may be, kinda, sorta – be a good prep for whatever may or may not come our way?

We are what we think - eat – sleep and move with – but we are also the most creative beings on this earth.

Might we ask ourselves: "What do I want to create in my day today?"... and enjoy the abundance that comes forth?

As the phrase goes "energy flows where attention goes"..... so where do you want to focus your attention?

Keep well folks, wash those hands, sleep and eat well, enjoy time in green space and of course follow the necessary precautions and take care of those dear to you.

Once again, I'm sending much gratitude and love to those creating solutions and caring for those affected by our current health challenge.

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