Adjust your expectations based on reality of the day: Naren Ambwani
At a webinar hosted by ZEUS Coaching, Naren Ambwani, Former Director, Disney Broadcasting, shed light on how we can train our minds in the midst of the COVID- 19 crisis
As the new coronavirus continues to spread, so do anxieties surrounding it. To be sure, the stresses caused by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are very different as compared to what we have handled in the past. At a webinar hosted by ZEUS Coaching, Naren Ambwani, Former Director, Disney Broadcasting shed light on how we can train our minds for the chaos of COVID-19. “We have faced disaster events, financial losses, professional setbacks and loss of family members. However, we need a new approach to handle the unique challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 situation,” remarked Ambwani.
He compared the unprecedented crisis to past experiences and observed that the world has never faced a situation like this in 100 years, so there is no historical experience to help us guide or predict. “It’s an unfamiliar situation, with unknown outcomes, unknown impacts on our health, our family, our finances, our job, our lifestyle, our social activities. Given the intensity of uncertainties, our minds are facing a new level and changing variety of stresses,” Ambwani asserted.
He shared a couple of suggestions to manage the daunting uncertainty. Ambwani said that one should begin by treating problems as challenges.
“If you see it as a problem in your mind, you will only feel anxious and nervous and you will not use your rational creative mind to find alternative solutions. Instead, if you treat it a challenge, you will be energized and find many alternatives. All of us love challenges and enjoy the excitement,” Ambwani suggested.
Furthermore, he suggests people make an exhaustive list of all the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic situation. “The list should cover all aspects of current challenges, including, professional, security, health, entertainment, social networking, mental health, daily chores, household supplies, maintenance/servicing of appliances, and so forth,” he advised. Ambwani also suggested involving family members to join in and make the list together. “Their participation in handling these challenges is important as they too are experiencing stress and need space to voice their thoughts,” he shared.
Moreover, he suggests people delegate responsibilities and share the load in this situation. “Being able to contribute toward shared goals and challenges gives people a sense of purpose while reducing the burden on others. For each item in the list of challenges, write down if the challenge can be handled by you or a family member. Assign responsibilities accordingly,” Ambwani explained. He also contended that standardizing a routine should help in such a scenario. “Our mind prefers ordinariness, predictability, time-lines and measurements. The mind likes to have a routine. So let's make a routine. Follow the same routine to the extent possible because the mind has less to adjust. There will be shared facilities that can be a part of the routine. Work-from-home presents a great opportunity for bonding activities with family,” he added.
Ambwani warns that there may be challenges in a person’s list which are beyond their control. “Such as when the lockdown will end or if it will be extended or not. Do not waste your energy on items outside your control so that you have a razor-sharp focus on challenges where you can succeed. Celebrate the success of any or every item in the list. Celebrations reduce stress and energize us,” he opined.
Moreover, he expounded on moderation one’s expectations. “No one can get everything they desire in this crisis. Things are disrupted so you should adjust your expectations based on the reality of the day. Change your expectations based on the reality of the day. For example, even Amazon that would at one point deliver things in a day is facing problems in supplies and deliveries these days. We must accept this new reality,” he asserted.
“Have faith in yourself. We are all born with tremendous resilience. Trust your mental and innovative capabilities. You have lived through many difficulties in the past, so you know that this COVID-19 will also pass some day. Believe that you will get through the current challenge,” Ambwani advised.
Lastly, he spoke about focusing on the present. “We do not know what will happen in the future, and worrying about the future is unhelpful – it is unproductive and causes distress to all around you. You will face current challenges better if you focus and manage your present well. We need to think over how we can live with COVID around cause it's not going to go soon. Focus your energy on the present and not on things you have no control over,” Ambwani remarked.For more updates, be socially connected with us on
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