In Times of Crisis: Look at Yourself
Sociologist Dr. Kris Marsh is engaging in an activity right now that we should all consider doing: self-reflection.
Really look at yourself
That reminds me of what I see in the mirror, the external in the form of more gray, more worry lines, and certainly more weight. The ‘Rona Rolls, I call it.
Still, I have not avoided looking at my reflection. Viewing who I am on the inside these days is sometimes harder.
As Marsh said in our interview, “I’m uncomfortable with my uncomfortableness.”
That has not stopped Marsh from looking within.
Specifically, she is focusing on the things that make her uncomfortable, stuff like bugs, stocks, and her own flaws.
During the interview below, she told me how she’s found beauty in that uncomfortableness and has learned a lot in her quest to do things differently.
You can do something different, too
Psychologist and professor Gregg Henriques, who is on a quest to build a wellness community, also said it is important to engage in self-reflective awareness during and after this pandemic.
Just be sure you do it in a healthy way.
The CALM MO Approach
Henriques coined the acronym CALM MO. The letters stand for the following approach with your emotions:
C — Curious about why you have this emotion.
A — Accept it, even if it is negative.
L — Be Loving and compassionate toward yourself and others.
M — Become Motivated to learn and grow toward valued states of being.
The “MO” part cleverly stands for both modus operandi and metacognitive observer, which is when you create a state of mind, step outside of it, and observe.
“The idea is to provide a healthy container for when you get bumped by life.”
Face your fears
Henriques says you can face your fears when you understand what your emotions are for. He says the CALM MO approach helps “make sure that your responses don’t track you in vicious cycles, which is very often a vicious cycle.”
Be cautious with your feelings
Emotions are not flat, one-dimensional entities, Henriques explained.
“You have two sides of an emotion. You want to be aware and tuned to it on the one. Your system’s going to send alarms that says this is not good, and you want to be able to have awareness and be attuned to that. So, that means you give voice to it. You say this is the narrative I have about where this is coming from. A curiosity narrative, a capacity to accept and be with the feeling, as opposed to a need to escape it and not be able to tolerate the distress. Hold yourself as a loving being and love the people around you in a compassionate way. Then figure out, given that what are your values, states of being, in the short and long term.”
The bottom line about self-reflection awareness
Henriques says that self awareness leads to understanding what you are vulnerable to.
He says, “If you can then figure out a way to achieve control over those things, to get exposure and not have to run away and develop strategies, you will find yourself on a path to adaptive growth.”
Sure, that may be easier said than done, but I, for one, am going to try it more.