If you’ve been to a grocery retailer lately, you’ve in all probability seen anxious customers pushing carts stuffed with cans of beans or bathroom paper — and also you may’ve even felt the urge to panic purchase, too. Psychologist Susan David says that’s as a result of people are social creatures and our feelings and actions are deeply influenced by different folks.
When it comes to the pandemic, concern and panic are spreading at an alarming fee. How are you able to expertise these troublesome emotions with out getting overwhelmed? In her new podcast Checking In, David shares the way you increase your “immunity” to social contagion.
Here’s a transient excerpt:
“We’ve all skilled social contagion earlier than. We go into a assembly, and one particular person’s on their mobile phone so we take out ours. Unlike infectious illnesses, which have a tendency to be transmitted from particular person to particular person, you’ll be able to ‘catch’ behaviors from folks you’ve by no means even come into contact with. One study means that if somebody in your broader social community places on the kilos — even somebody a diploma or two faraway from you — your probability of gaining weight markedly will increase as nicely.
It’s essential to pay attention to social contagion in the very best of occasions. But in occasions of disaster, the phenomenon can have a life-or-death affect.
Just take a look at your Facebook feed, or activate cable information and also you’ll see how the social contagions can put our personal well being in danger. When folks see their buddies and neighbors sporting N-95 masks as they stroll their canine or go to the grocery retailer, many will really feel compelled to hoard and top off on masks themselves. This hoarding has contributed to a scarcity of them for healthcare staff preventing the pandemic.
Fear and panic are actually highly effective feelings, however they’re not ones that we would like to cast off. They developed to assist us as a species to survive, to protect ourselves. While we shouldn’t push them away, we additionally shouldn’t allow them to take over our lives. Instead of letting them personal us, we should always keep in mind we personal them.
Here’s one way we will try this. When we outline our values and get readability on them, we will open ourselves past the emotion of concern or panic that we’re feeling proper now into different components of ourselves.
Because we’re greater than our concern. We are additionally our intentions, our knowledge, our compassion, and these are all honed and pushed and develop into succesful via our sense of what our values are.
To discover yourself amidst the chaos and rekindle a sense of who you’re, right here is a actually simple train you are able to do. Sit down for a couple of minutes with a piece of paper in entrance of you.
Ask yourself this query: “Even in the midst of this chaos, who do I want to be?”
Write for a minute or two. What we all know is that this train is an extremely highly effective safety against social and emotional contagion. It strikes us from the area of serious about our values as summary concepts and into ways in which our values can develop into entrance and middle.
As a outcome, we develop into extra agile, extra centered and extra linked. And all of us want extra of all of these issues in our lives proper now.”
For extra methods to make it easier to navigate your feelings throughout this worrying time, listen to Checking In with Susan David on Apple Podcasts.