Diane Lang is a practicing therapist, national speaker, educator, and certified positive psychology coach who has her master’s degree in counseling and is an adjunct in psychology at Montclair State University. She has written three books and has been featured in various publications, on TV, and Internet shows. Diane speaks on various mental and emotional health topics, including Happiness, Resiliency, Stress Management, Parenting and technology, Bullying, Anxiety, and Depression in teens and adults. She also specializes in Positive Psychology, Positive Education, and Positive Parenting.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:
- Best ways for us to cope with change and loss.
- Effective emotional tools to use during this time of upheaval.
- Positive ways people can deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- The happier you are, the more resilient you are. How can a person release anger, frustration, and resentment?
SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS DIANE:
- How can people best handle long-distance forced separations when trying to build or sustain loving relationships during this crisis?
- What are sustainable happiness habits that are effective both during the pandemic and after it ends?
- How can we achieve post-traumatic growth once the crisis has ended?
Listen to the podcast here
Positive In The Pandemic – Diane Lang: Therapist, Educator And Life Coach
Many of us are seeking healthy, positive ways to handle our lives during the Coronavirus pandemic facing all of us. I am beyond delighted to introduce you to Diane Lang, an inspiring and special woman who is ideally suited to guide us regarding emotional tools that we can use right now to help make our lives easier during this difficult and often overwhelming time.
Diane is a practicing therapist, a national speaker, an educator, and a Certified Positive Psychology Coach who has her Master’s degree in Counseling and is an Adjunct in Psychology at Montclair State University. She has written three books and has been featured in various publications, on TV, and on internet shows. She speaks on various mental and emotional health topics, including happiness, resiliency, stress management, parenting and technology, bullying, anxiety, and depression in both teens and adults.
She also specializes in positive psychology, education, and parenting. Thousands of individuals have benefited from Diane’s motivational and educational speaking, training, and coaching. Her hands-on approach, along with her background, education, and experience has proven to be beneficial to all who attend her presentations. I’ve been a fan of Diane and the wonderful work she is doing to help people for quite some time, so it is truly with pleasure and gratitude that I am interviewing Diane on the show.
Diane, welcome to the show, whose mission resonates with your life’s work, which is to help people grow and transform from change and loss to healing and transformation. Let’s begin what is going to be a very special feel-better interview with this question? Please share your own personal experiences with grief and rebirth that motivated you to pursue a career dedicated to helping people turn their lives around by developing a sustainable positive attitude.
Irene, I want to say thank you for having me on the show. It’s been a real pleasure to be here. It’s a great first question. I have a few reasons why I’ve gone into this field. The first one was coming from a childhood where, to put it very simply, I didn’t have any love. I was raised that way. I didn’t feel loved. I didn’t have love. I wasn’t wanted. That pushed me into the field because as I got older, I realized I didn’t want anybody to ever feel as bad as I felt. When you have felt bad about yourself, insecure, or unloved, the last thing you want is for anybody else to feel that pain and suffering. That pushed me into the field.
Also, about a few years ago, I got sick. I have an illness. I have third-degree burns on my throat. It came out of nowhere. I had no clue that it was happening until one day, I was doing a speaking event, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t swallow anymore. I went to the doctor the next day, thinking I had strep or something was wrong.
It turned into two months later, I lost 28 pounds. I couldn’t even swallow water and nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. For a while, they thought it was ALS. They thought it was the beginning of ALS, one of the most horrible ways to pass on. I was in a bad state of depression through all this because I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t eat. I could barely drink water.
It’s like you were dying.
Yes, and it affected my career. I didn’t even have a career because I speak for a living. I decided to use all the tools that I’ve been using as a therapist and a coach for many years on myself, which you know how some of us are. Just like doctors, they’ll tell you to eat healthily, and then they go have a brownie. As a therapist or a coach, we help others, but it’s so hard to help ourselves.
However, I finally decided I was going to use the tips and tools of positive psychology because if I only had a few years left and it ended up being ALS, I wanted to enjoy them. I wanted them to be the best they could be. Thankfully, it is not that and I have a very weird illness. It’s called LPR. I have third-degree burns on my throat and it took over a year before I could even eat a meal.
Now, many years later, thankfully, I’m doing the best that I can. It’s an incurable illness. It’s pre-cancerous. I have to be very careful. I’m on a very strict diet, but I am in the best place I’ve ever been in my whole life. I know that it’s all the tips and tools I’m going to go over now that cultivate happiness and mindfulness, which reduces stress.
I also know that using these tips and tools and making the changes made me have what we call post-traumatic growth, where I was able to take all the tips and tools and make changes in myself to not only make the changes in myself but take those changes to help others. That kind of combination of helping yourself and helping others is a recipe for success and growth. We’re all going to go through traumas, tragedies, illnesses, injuries, and loss in life because life is a rollercoaster ride.
It’s going to have its ups and downs. The quicker we learn how to handle them, the easier life will be. Also, change is the only constant in the world, as you know, Irene. There’s nothing we can do about it and the more we resist it, the more we stop and fight it, the more stress we add. As we know, stress lowers the immune system, which is the last thing we want, especially in our current reality with the Coronavirus. We want to make sure that our immune system and our health mentally, physically, and emotionally are at their best. I’m excited to be here and share these tips and tools that I use on a daily basis, that I have my clients use, and that I teach. Thank you again for having me.
You’re welcome. I always like to say the only thing that doesn’t change in life is that everything changes.
That’s the truth.
This is not only a primer for getting through this pandemic but life after the pandemic. What that means to me asking you is it’s always a challenge to cope with change and loss. Now that challenge is exacerbated by the orders to stay at home and socially distance ourselves from others, how best can each of us cope with change in loss, Diane?
One of the things I want to talk about with the pandemic is we keep talking about social isolation, like staying home, having social distance, and social isolation. I want to change the wording. We know that how we speak and what we think about in our heads affects us. When we say social distance and social isolation, it brings up a lot of anxiety because socialization is the number one factor of happiness.
Also, the number one factor for depression outside of mental illness is loneliness and isolation. To think that we’re telling people to socially isolate and distance is very scary, but this is the bottom line on that. It’s about physical. We want you to be physically distant from people. We want you to have six feet of space. We want you to stay physically in an area where you’re safe, healthy, and away from people.
It doesn’t mean that you need not to be socially active. We still want you to get that socialization. It might look different. It might feel different, but it’s so important, especially at a time like this, that we have it. It’s because one of the things to think of is you can’t breathe, you can’t heal, and you can’t forgive or work through anything without support. Support is part of socialization.
Socialization includes a few different factors. It includes community, having a strong sense of community, whatever that community looks like. It could be your neighborhood. It could be your family. It could be your book club or work. It doesn’t matter what, but we need that community. We need to have self-care and fun. We also need to have support. That is the three main factors of socialization.
When you think about what we’re talking about in the news and the distance, I want you to think about that’s physical distance, isolation, and staying in your house. It doesn’t mean that you can’t socialize by phone, the old-fashioned way of hearing each other on the phone and hearing our voices. It doesn’t mean that you need to isolate in your room away from your family, the people who are home already and healthy. I don’t want you isolated.
We worry about that because even though there might be 3 or 4 or 5 people in the house, everybody goes to separate rooms, and they’re still isolating. We still need that community and support. I don’t want you to socially isolate whether it’s using the phone, whether it’s using Zoom or FaceTime or Skype, or whatever technology you want.
Social media is a catch-22. Social media is great because you can connect, making us feel part of a community. There are some great online communities, but I want you to think about how much time you’re spending on social media and asking yourself, “Is social media healthy for me?” This is because, for a lot of my clients, going through the current reality that we’re in, not just the Coronavirus, but also the economy, losing jobs, working from home, and all of the different changes and losses that we’re going through social media could be a real big negative.
It’s because there is a lot of real anxiety, negativity, and fear all scrolling down, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It doesn’t matter what social media you’re on. You want to ask yourself this question, “Is social media toxic for me? Am I getting off feeling worse about myself or am I going on there and feeling a sense of community?”
If you know certain communities on there work for you, stay on those, but it doesn’t mean you have to scroll through. Watch how much time because, again, we can binge and that’s what our fear was with social media that we would binge and we’d have those addictive traits. I’d get on to social media and I think I would be on for ten minutes. The next thing I know, it’s 1 or 2 hours. When I get off, I feel that guilt. That’s the addiction. It’s a vicious cycle, which we don’t want to do as well because that could be an unhealthy way of coping with change or loss.
Having too much binging of social media or too much binging of TV and video games and Netflix. You want to ask yourself this question, “Is social media good or bad for me,” or, “Are there specific areas that are good that I need that community?” You want to ask yourself, “Yes, I’m home and safe and healthy with my family or friends,” whoever you live with, “But am I isolating within my own house? Are you still getting enough socialization in?”
Even if that’s by phone, even if that’s by Skype or Zoom, we still need to have that. One important piece to remember with this is support, as we said, is so important for healing, for grieving, for forgiving, and all of those things. We can’t do that without support. You want to ask yourself this question, too, “What is my support system?” That’s an important question, not only for now but for everything else that we’re going to go through because, again, as Irene said, change is a constant.
We’re going to go through ups and downs. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride and you’ll have other life challenges. You want to know who your support system is and this is the key factor for support. The thing to think about is a support system needs to be people that you love and who love you unconditionally. Unconditionally means not that you take people who treat you badly or that you stay in relationships that are not healthy for you.
Unconditional means telling the truth, being honest, and letting somebody know when they’re doing things that are unhealthy for them. It also means they don’t abandon you. That’s a key factor because when we’re going through a very hurtful, fearful, or crisis time. We need to have people who won’t abandon us, but we’ll be truthful and say, “That’s not healthy. There are other options or I’m here for you to listen.” We need that unconditional.
Know who those 1 or 2 people are, or if not more, depending if, as you said, an extrovert or an introvert, but everybody needs to have at least 1 or 2. I worked as a therapist for traumatic brain injury and spinal injury clients for many years. One of the biggest factors in how quickly they healed and how smoothly they healed was their support system. When they had a few people who would be there for them and didn’t abandon them, didn’t judge them, but would tell them again the brutal honesty of what they needed to do to heal, they did.
When the people didn’t have anybody, you could see such a difference. We know that any type of loss and loss can be anything from losing a job like you might be right now, losing your business, losing the ability to go outside, to a loss of a loved one. Loss, again, could also be losing to someone if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia and they don’t remember who you are. A loss could be like my clients with spinal or brain injuries where they’re never going to be the same. They have to grieve their old identity and their old self.
For a lot of us through this time, this pandemic, we’re going to leave with a different normal. Your business might go out of business, whether you owned it or you were an employee or the way you did business is going to change. You might end up losing certain things like houses, apartments, and cars because of the economy when this is done. We need to have that support system.
Everything we’re talking about is so important for everyday life for the rest of our lives because we’re always going to have change. Make sure you have that socialization and your community. Make sure you’re still doing some things that are fun, like self-care. An important question for self-care or fun could be, “How do you define happiness?” An important question is, “How do you define it? What does it look like? What does it feel like?” Maybe during this time that we have some time, use it as a gift with this time to ask yourself the question, “What are the top 4 or 5 things in my life that cultivate happiness for me no matter what’s going on?
That’s the important key because I’ve had clients say to me and a lot of parents, “I’m happy when my kids are happy.” “I’m happy when my daughter’s happy,” absolutely, but we’re all going to go through an empty nest. They’re all going to have their own lives. They’re going to move out for college and we still have to find happiness here. It’s the same thing. If you say happiness is your job, you’re going to eventually retire. Things are going to shift.
It’s thinking to yourself, “What would cultivate happiness no matter what’s going on in your life now?” For me, it’s animals. My dog cultivates great happiness for me, but it could be anybody’s dog. I’m one of those people who goes out and I want to pet everybody’s dog. It doesn’t matter whose dog it is. Animals do that for me. It might not be you. For me, it’s dogs. It might be cats, a horse, a bunny, but you want to think about what cultivates happiness.
When you have that list of what cultivates happiness, you want to ask yourself, “Am I including those things in my daily life?” It’s because a lot of us, we’re so busy and now, with everything going on and our schedules and our routines are not normal and we’re shifting and pivoting with the challenges and the changes of life, we forget about our own self-care, especially for women.
We tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list or not even put ourselves there. When you write the list of what makes you happy, then you want to ask yourself, “Did I schedule it into my daily week?” If you can schedule a self-care activity every day, that’s great. Those are self-soothing activities like hanging out with my dog, going for a walk, taking a hot bath, or reading a book. Whatever comforts you, calms you, or self-soothes you are part of self-care. It’s not all about self-care, but at a time like this, we need to make sure we have that.
If taking a hot bath or hot shower is one of those self-care activities, make sure you’re doing that every day. Take that bubble bath for twenty minutes, read that book or whatever it is that works for you, but you want to include that because it’s part of socialization. We got community, support, self-care activities, or self-soothing activities, and making sure that’s all in our toolbox or our toolkit that we can go in and grab when we need it, whether it’s this crisis or the next one.
Diane, I would submit to you that some people are going to be challenged to think about what makes them happy because their lives have been so defined by making everyone else around them happy. That was a challenge that I had to meet after the accident when my husband died next to me. I was like, “I had lived my life so much for everyone else and all of a sudden, I had to find out what was going to work for me. I was pretty lost about that for a while. I had to get some help from a therapist and all of that. On that subject, are there additional effective emotional tools that people can use at this time of upheaval?
To take a step back, I did some research many years ago when we were trying to find out what makes people happy. I have to tell you, most people have no clue. It seems like this very easy question like, “Just define happiness. Give me 4 or 5 things that make you happy.” Everybody answered pretty similarly to what you said. They would say things like, “I don’t know. I’m so busy making everybody else happy.”
I had one lady who said to me, “I have four kids. I could tell you what makes every one of them happy. I could tell you what makes my spouse happy, my parents, my boss, and my best friend. I don’t even remember because we spent so long worrying about our jobs and families. If we’re in the sandwich generation, we’re taking care of our kids, our parents and we do forget.
During this time, use this break or pause that we’re home. Use this time to do some soul-searching about what cultivates happiness for you. What does it look like? What does an ideal day look like in a realistic term? An ideal day does not mean that I won the lotto and I’m sitting on the beach in Cancun. An ideal day will shift from now when you’re stuck home to an ideal day when I go back to having a sense of normalcy when I get in my car and go back to work. What does an ideal day look like? Who would you spend it with? Where would you be? What would you wear? What would you eat?
Ask yourself these simple questions, which should all be things you can get. It’s doing the soul searching and looking within. It could take some time and sometimes, we have to think back to what made us happy before we were so concerned with our jobs, kids, and mortgage bills. Take the time to do that.
The emotional toolbox, which we should all have, has a bunch of different tools in it. I remember, Irene, you have said this to me, so I’m going to use your words. We should give out a bunch of tools and you pick and choose what works for you because everybody’s different. As we go over some of these tools, try them. Make it like a trial and error. See what works. If something doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t matter how much scientific backing is on it. If it doesn’t work for you, pick something else and that’s okay.
It’s also okay to use one of the tools and then two years later, you don’t want to use that tool and want to use something else. There’s no judgment. It’s what works best for you. Some of the tools that I always give out, the first one is important for now. We need to have a morning routine, no matter what. No matter if you’re staying home now or you’re one of the essential workers who’s going out to work or you’re now working from home or going to school from home, we still need a morning routine. We need routine schedule consistency to have that sense of normalcy. Even though it’s a different normal, we still need that.
We talk about that in grieving. We all still have to have that new normal. I want everybody to have that routine, whatever it is. Whether it’s making your bed, eating a certain breakfast at a certain time, exercising in the morning, meditation, or whatever it is. One of my suggestions is even if you’re working from home and you don’t have to put your suit and tie on and get in the car, still get out of your pajamas. Even if you go into jeans in a t-shirt or a sweatshirt, switch it up a little. Take a shower. Make sure you’re still feeling good.
A morning routine is important and can involve a few emotional tools you can use in the morning or whenever you’d like. One of the first things I have my clients do is when they wake up in the morning, we call it the magic question. This was a magic question that was by a famous cardiologist. What he realized is when we start our day, we could start our day on a positive note by getting up on a positive foot forward.
One of the best ways to do that is to start the day with this question. Before you even get out of bed, you can make this part of your morning routine. You want to ask yourself, “How can I make this a great day?” I don’t want you to answer it because if you try to answer it in your typical subconscious autopilot mind, you’re going to go, “I’m home again. My kids are home again. I don’t have a job. This is going to be a long boring day.”
I don’t want you to answer it on your typical autopilot. I want you to put the question out there and be open to what comes. It’s because what happens when you ask yourself that question and you put it out to the universe, the Source, God, or whatever word you want to use, your brain will start trying to figure it out on its own. You’ll get some ideas that come up to you but don’t try to force it.
Ask yourself, “How can I make this a great day,” and let it flow, whatever comes. Some people, in the morning, they’ll meditate. For me, I start off by meditating. Meditation is an important tool. Meditation and mindfulness, I’m going to put it using both. Mindfulness is being completely awake and aware of everything around you, your environment, but it’s also being awake and aware of all the thoughts in your head. That whole autopilot, that downloads, and the script that goes on, it’s all done because we have 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, so your mind never stops.
I wish we had that stop button, but we don’t. That would be good. It’s being awake and aware. For most of us, at least half of those thoughts are negative. We want to switch that up a little and meditation will do that. Meditation is the intentional practice of mindfulness. If you don’t want to meditate, I’ll get into other ways. I like meditating and if you’re new to meditating, I suggest only trying to do 2 to 3 minutes or 3 to 4 minutes. You don’t need a lot.
The way I tell my clients who are new to it or want to use it very simply is to go on YouTube and click on Guided Meditations or use an app. They’re free, like Inside Timer, Calm, or Headspace. They all have paid subscriptions, but you can do the free and get plenty or YouTube is completely free because I know you know right now people are struggling with money, so we’re giving out as much free. Put in your headphones and listen to a guided meditation. They’ll talk you through it.
You could also listen to nature sounds if you don’t want guided meditation. You don’t have to listen to a guide. You could put in and listen to rain, a thunderstorm, a waterfall, the beach, or whatever you like. Some people will sit in bed and do deep breathing. That’s fine as well. Other people will say that they sit either if the weather’s nice outside for five minutes to get the nature and listen using all their physical senses as a meditation. If it’s not nice out, you can put your chair right by the window, look outside, and use your physical senses.
What do you notice? You know, what do you see? What do you hear? What do you feel? We can do that as well. It’s, however, what you want your morning to do. Now, for other people, they’d rather do a mindfulness activity so they don’t meditate. They get out of bed and they go for a quick walk. That could be in your house, outside, or whatever you can do with the weather.
The best way to get mindfulness is by walking. If you don’t want to meditate or don’t like to sit still, I’ve had clients who say that meditation makes them more anxious than going for a walk, but I do want you to know, never judge. There is no right or wrong with meditation or mindfulness. It’s being in the moment. Every time we do an activity that’s mindful, we meditate, and we reduce our stress hormone cortisol. We lower our blood pressure. We reduce chronic pain. It calms us, brings us to the here and now, and helps us sleep better.
There are no side effects of it. I have to say the worst side effect somebody has told me for meditation is they fall asleep. If you fall asleep, then you need it. There is no right or wrong, so don’t judge it. When you wake up, maybe you meditate. Maybe you deep breathe. Maybe you grab a cup of coffee and sit out in nature, by the window, or maybe go for a walk. Those are all mindfulness activities, but they bring us to the here and now and reduce that stress.
That’s way more important than putting the news on or going on your social media feed, getting more anxiety and more fear. Let’s start the day right with your morning routine then you want to eat a healthy breakfast and then you can go to school or work right into your office or on your computer or however you’re doing it, but keep up that morning routine. It’s so important.
With meditation, too, I wanted to give one way or technique. There is a very simple technique if you are feeling anxious, nervous, or stressed. It’s called the 1, 2, 3 technique. It’s called that because it’s very simple. When we’re nervous or stressed, we’ll still remember it because it’s 1, 2, 3. We all learned how to count numbers, so it sticks in our heads in a very quick way.
All you want to do is you want to take a deep breath through your nose for a count of three. You want to hold for a count of three. You want to exhale through your mouth for a count of three. It’s very simple. You are inhaling through your nose for a count of three, holding for a count of three, and exhaling through your mouth for a count of three.
What it does is get rid of your physical symptoms and you could do it as much as you want and it’s perfect. If you only do a count of two or four because you forget, it’s not going to matter. It brings you back into the here and now and reduces the heart racing, the chest feeling heavy, or the globus in your throat from anxiety and fear or nervousness. You could even use it before a test or if you have to public speak. You can use it any time.
Also, there are great ways to deep breath. If you take a yoga class or meditation, they teach you different ways. What we notice is when people are stressed and anxious, they don’t remember to inhale for six, hold their nose, and count to eight. You don’t remember that, but we all remember 1, 2, 3. Even if it’s in the middle of the day and you need a two-minute break, close your eyes, and do some deep breathing. If you’re having a stressful day, when you exhale through your mouth, exhale as loud as you can. When you can blow out all that hot air, you’ll hear it.
If you want to add to it, visualize that you’re releasing all the negativity or the hot air, whatever it is, visualize it and let it go. You can do that for a minute or two and relax. Another way of doing it, again, very simply, is one more mindfulness technique and we used to teach this to corporate people because you could do it just sitting in your cubicle. You don’t need any special area. When you’re sitting, all you want to do is take a few deep breaths in.
You could do the 1, 2, 3. Take a few of them and keep your eyes shut. Counting at 50 in your head, you want to count very slowly backward. It could start with 50, 30, or whatever you want. You are counting backwards very slowly, like 50, 49, 48. What that does is when you’re counting backwards, you’re not thinking of anything else.
Usually, people’s biggest problem with meditation is that their mind can’t sit still and goes to every place else. However, you don’t think of anything else when you’re counting. What happens is it relaxes you and then you eventually zone out for about 1 minute or 2 until something gets your attention.
That sounds like a good sleep methodology too.
Yes, you could do it by falling asleep. Years ago, I learned it in graduate school when meditation wasn’t even that big. It was the best thing I did because I was one of those people who would say, “I can’t clear my mind,” but the minute I started counting backwards, I would zone out and my mind would be clear. Some people use a mantra where you hear “um,” but I’ve had a lot of clients who say they don’t like the “um.”
Counting backwards is very quick and it’ll keep you there for a few minutes. It’s not going to take away from work or school. Just so you know, when we get those little pauses and those mindfulness breaks, we become more creative and productive. It makes you better at work or school to take those five-minute breaks here and there. Even though you’re not in the office and you’re not taking a fifteen-minute break or a lunch break per se, still take those few-minute breaks, whether it’s a meditation break, a walking break, go, you want to get a glass of water, or walking outside. Do all of that.
Have your morning routine, and decide how you want to add mindfulness into your life, whether it’s meditation, whether it’s guided meditations, whether it’s nature, whether it’s going for a walk, whether it’s doing one of those deep breathing or your own deep breathing, or taking a yoga class. Also, exercise. Any type of exercise, not just walking, is a form of mindfulness.
We’re home. We’re stuck. Your gyms are closed. The studios are closed. YouTube has a bunch of great free videos and also, if you have a membership at a gym or a studio, they are offering all online free classes so you can take a break every day and do anything from yoga to Pilates to weight training, to walking. They have walking videos. If you can’t go outside because it’s raining or you don’t want to go outside, put on a walking video if that’s what you can do.
It depends on your health, where you live, and what safety concerns nowadays or whatever you feel more comfortable with, but those are all great tips and tools. One other one to add in and a great morning tool that I have some of my clients love doing. We call it the morning dump. I know it’s not what you’re thinking. You wake up and before you even get out of bed, keep a journal next to your bed. This is a writing technique. If you don’t like writing, that’s fine. You don’t have to do this one.
However, if you like writing, this is perfect. It’s journal writing and it’s called free writing. All it means is you take your journal with your pad and pen and you write out whatever’s on your mind. You want to release it and get it all off because what happens is there’s nothing wrong with having stress. We’re always going to have stress. We can’t have a stress-free life. There’s even positive stress. The stress that motivates you, makes you want to try harder.
However, what makes stress so dangerous is internalizing it, pushing it down, and stuffing it in. That’s not healthy. Even if you just write it out and get it all out, it’s a free write. There’s no judgment. There’s no grammar check. There’s no spell check. If you want, you can save it and write in a journal or you can rip it up every day and throw it away. Some of my clients will say they write in it every day, all their negativity and then rip it up or put it in a shredder or their fireplace as a symbol of letting go of all the negativity and throwing it away. It’s however you want to use it.
Journal writing, again, is another form of mindfulness. We know journal writing is so therapeutic, but if you don’t like journal writing and you know you’re not going to keep to that practice, don’t do it. Pick what works for you and that’s a few different ones. You got a few different ways and some great morning ones are in there.
If you don’t want to meditate, do a journal right instead. That works just as well but always start with that magic question. Pick one of those mindfulness activities like journal writing, walking, deep breathing, meditation, nature, or whatever you want. Get out of bed, make your bed or change. Take a shower if you normally take a shower in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast, and then go on and do what you need to do for the day.
Those are such positive suggestions because I’m sure a lot of people right now are waking up and saying, “I’m so depressed. What am I going to do? This is awful.” Instead, you are guiding them to wake up and say, “How am I going to use this time? How am I going to handle this in a positive way and be self-loving,” which is so important? Let’s continue with this question. Diane, we’ve touched on it, but are there more positive ways people can deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation?
When we’re in situations like this and are isolated naturally because of the virus, it leads to isolation. Loneliness can lead to depression. It’s important for everybody who’s reading to check on everybody. We always say to check on the people who are older. Check on everybody. There are a lot of people who are living alone and they’re stuck home alone.
A phone call can make all the difference in the world. It’s important. If you feel that you don’t have much of a community and feel isolated, I want you to join a community. There are some great communities. Right now, we’re isolated, so you might have to find your community virtually. Also, a lot of the churches and temples are offering services and group prayers.
I had a client say to me that she lives alone. Her spouse died a few years ago and her kids don’t live near her. She can’t get to them now because she doesn’t want to fly. It’s too late. She’s afraid to fly. I totally respect and understand that. She called her temple because she’s not very good on the internet. They walked her through how to do Zoom. They will walk you through it.
She said to me, “I got to see everybody’s faces,” because when you’re on Zoom, you have the little boxes. Even though everybody’s little, you get to have that connection. Even if you’re stuck at home right now and your only way of connecting is by phone, Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, wherever you feel the most comfortable, try to do it at least once a day to connect with others.
One thing I’ve noticed is when people are very stressed out, anxious, fearful, and depressed at a time like this, it makes them more self-absorbed because they’re so scared and stuck in their own pain and misery that they don’t see outside themselves. It’s understandable. Their feelings are valid to feel anxious, fearful, scared, depressed, and sad. There’s a lot out there going on.
However, when we get stuck like that, we don’t check on other people and become more depressed because we isolate ourselves. This is one thing that works scientifically. Every time we help somebody else, we do a random act of kindness and pay it forward. Whatever word you want to use, it’s a win-win situation. Every time I do an act of kindness for somebody, I get a boost of happiness that lasts for 24 to 72 hours.
The person I did the act of kindness for feels the same exact way. It’s a win-win. It’s also to boost our self-esteem by doing a random act of kindness. The best part is it’s contagious. If all I’m doing is I have like a few groups of friends, I have two different groups and a family text where we all check on each other every day or at least every other day.
Even if I just send out three texts to the different groups every morning, “I’m thinking of you. How are you? How is everybody doing?” You are just checking in. It makes them want to do the same thing to other people because it’s so contagious. It’s important that if you’re feeling isolated, help somebody else. I know it’s hard because you have to reach outside again, especially if you have a mental illness. For anybody who already has an anxiety disorder, clinical depression, or panic disorder, it’s even harder.
You might have to push yourself outside that comfort zone, but we need to do that. Also, checking in with somebody else will make you feel good and make them feel good and then they’ll end up checking up with somebody else. It’s one of those things. I always think if everybody did one act of kindness a day, we could shift the whole world. Imagine if everybody checked on one other person every day.
I can identify with that. It’s so important. I’m thinking that some people who may be naturally shy during this time, it’s where they might not personally reach out to someone because they feel shy. However, now in the confines of their own home, it might enable them to be a little braver because they’re online and they’re checking it out. Maybe they feel a little safer doing that.
They could. If you don’t feel safe because you are introverted and shy or an empath, one of the things to think about is you can check on someone through email or text where there is no face-to-face. If you’re more comfortable that way, you’re afraid of rejection, or you’ve been hurt, reach out slowly. We’re not saying to jump right in and give somebody a call, but even sending a text will make you feel better and it’ll make the other person feel better. It breaks us out of that cycle.
One of the other things, too, is we are happy when we have more creativity and more variety. We’re not having that right now because we’re stuck at home. We can’t do a lot. Every day, you want to ask yourself, what is one new thing I can do? What that does is every time you do something new, you step outside your comfort zone. You can word it however you want. “How can I challenge myself now? What’s one new thing I could do? How can I step outside my comfort zone?”
However, every time you step outside your comfort zone, you grow and expand, but most of us don’t like change, so we stay in our comfort zones. We go, “The grass is green here.” Even if it’s not, even if the grass is all dead, we feel more comfortable there. It’s what we’re used to. Even if it’s miserable, people say, at least, I know what to expect or how to handle it, but instead, if you do one new thing, you get more variety, you take that risk, and that makes us happier.
That risk could be very simple. As you said, if you’re shy or introverted, send out a text or email. It could be learning for a lot of us. I don’t know about you. I wasn’t using Zoom. I was not a Zoom user. I had to do a few classes online and by doing that, at the end of the day, I’m like, “Yes, I did it.” I learned Zoom. I got it down. I did it. I felt proud. It might be you are learning PayPal or Venmo or how to do your banking online, or whatever it is.
Maybe you’re learning a new language. You’re cooking and you don’t cook normally. You’re trying a new recipe. You tried a new food. It could be that simple, but every time we do something new, it creates the momentum that we’re not so afraid of change and that’s so important. When we’re back to normal where we’re seeing each other outside of the houses, there’s also a great way. If you don’t have much of a community to meet a community, it’s not a dating website at all. We’re not talking about dating, we date and have fun, but this is to meet people socially. It’s called Meetup.
Meetup.com is a great way for people to reach out, especially if you move to a new area and don’t know anybody or just lost your loved one and you’re feeling trapped. Reach out and try these things. They’re groups in your area and that you can go to, whether at Panera, where they’re all playing cards or sewing or knitting. It could be trying a new language. It could be joining a bike group where they all go biking or hiking.
If you don’t see what you want on there, like a book club or something, you can form your own, but it’s very safe because you only meet in public. It’s not a dating website and there’s no pressure. A client joined a group because she wanted to do Sunday brunches. That was her thing. She wanted to go do Sunday brunches and nobody wanted to go, for whatever reason. Some people were going to church and others didn’t have the money, or whatever.
She formed an online group where they all met once a month at a different restaurant. Some people she became good friends with, and some people she’s friends with when they meet up. Other times, it’s brand new people, but it makes for such interesting conversation. You are meeting new people. You’re taking risks. You’re getting that creativity and variety and you’re getting out there and socializing.
What a great idea, but I have a question for you. What about people who are reading this and they’re saying, “I don’t give a darn what she’s saying. This whole situation has me mad. I’m frustrated and I resent this. I should not have to put up with this.” How do they release those feelings if they’re inclined to want to get through this without exploding inside their homes?
I think a lot of people are feeling like that. You’re hitting a nerve. This is the thing. It’s okay to feel those emotions. We call them negative emotions, but I hate saying they’re negative because they’re normal emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, fear, or confusion. You feel them with any change or transition. One, I want you to feel them again. I don’t want you to internalize them. I don’t want you to push them down.
Remember this phrase, “You need to feel it to heal it.” It’s very important. I want you to feel those emotions, whatever comes up. A lot of them are secondary emotions like anger. Underneath anger is a whole lot of fear. You need to feel everything. Once you feel it, you can get to the other side but in a situation like this where we have no control of the outcome at this moment, we don’t know when we’re going to be out of physical isolation.
We don’t know when the virus will flatten the curve so that we can come back out. We also don’t know what it’s going to look like economy-wise when this is done. We don’t have any control. That’s all uncertain. The only control you do have is to let go of the fight and accept where you are at this moment. What I mean is when I say let go and accept, I don’t mean give up. That’s not what I’m saying. What I mean is to let go of the resistance.
The resistance is the stress. Resistance is fighting something you have no control over. The more anger you get, the more you fight it, the more stressed and anxious you get. It’s because what resists persists. Think of resistance equals stress. Once I let go of all of that and I stop trying to control it and fight it, I accept where I am. All that does is mean that I’m accepting where I am at this moment, not two weeks from now, not two months from now. I’m just totally accepting it.
That means I can just breathe. I’ve let go of the resistance and distress. I can breathe and I can stay here for a little bit. That might be a day. It might be two weeks. I don’t know what it’s going to be. Everybody heals and grieves differently, but you let go and accept. From there, when you have truly let go and you’ve accepted, you start having clarity. You start seeing things from a place of love and not fear.
It’s because when we react or make choices and decisions based on fear, that means they’re based on ego, impulsivity, reacting, and responding without thinking, anger, and fear. Those are never decisions that we ultimately think are good in the end. We also have all that regret for doing it, for jumping or that guilt. Stop that.
Let go and accept and take a few days, weeks, or whatever it is to pause and accept and then let the ideas flow back into you of what you need to do. However, at that time, you’ll have clarity and have time to think it through without fear and that’s important because we don’t have control. Remember, the only things we have control over are ourselves and how we react and respond.
That is so important for people to know because I learned that after the accident when my husband died next to me. I learned that the only thing I had control over was my attitude and how I decided to handle things. Control to me is an illusion.
It is. That’s why people like anger. It’s because anger gives you this false sense of control. When you’re sad, you feel hopeless and helpless, but when you’re angry, you feel like you’re in charge. It’s false. It’s not true. It’s an illusion. It’s a false sense of control. You want to let that go. Just let go and accept. If you have a religious or a spiritual component behind you, you could think of asking for help too from God, the universe, or the source. It doesn’t have to be religious.
You don’t have to be part of a temple or church. It could be that you believe in a higher power. If that’s the case, when you’re accepting, ask for help. You say, “I’m having a hard time.” Ask for guidance and help. That makes some people add to that process of letting go and accepting. We know with grieving and loss, it’s such an important factor and this is the best part.
With positive psychology, they talk about religion and spirituality. Going to grad school, we never talked about it. It’s not a big factor in it, but for positive psychology, we know the happiest people have either a strong religious or spiritual or both component in their lives. It gives us comfort. It makes us want to do the best and be the best. It makes us want to help others.
It gives us comfort, as you said, when you lose people, knowing that there’s something else on the other side, but it also helps us to cultivate happiness in times like this and to feel that we’re not alone and asking for guidance. If you don’t feel that way, that’s fine too. Let go of the resistance and the fight and the stress. Accept where you are and let the clarity clear the fog so we can think differently about a situation, but either way, we do need to let go and accept because the control part is hurting you.
Let me ask you another question. I have a few people who I know who are dealing with forced separations. They’re pursuing a romantic relationship and now all of a sudden, they’re forced through it or they were midstream, falling in love, and now they’re forced into separation. I was talking with someone who is married. She is stuck in one country. He is stuck here in this country and it may be 2 or 3 months before she sees him. It’s very hard. What is your advice for people who are in these situations? How do they build or sustain a loving relationship during a time like this? Especially when they’re so separated.
It’s going to have to be very similar. We’re separated and a lot of people are separated from their kids because they were away in college too far and they couldn’t get back. You want to think of this. You still want to be connected because for relationships to grow, there has to be connection and distance can absolutely hurt a relationship.
My suggestion is you still want to talk every night and you still want to see each other at least once or twice a week on a Zoom date. Set up a date where you both eat dinner and have wine. You do your normal, even though it’s over Zoom or Skype. It does work. It’s not the same as being in person. I’m not saying that, but we’re doing our best.
You can have your glass and you can toast it.
We’re doing the best we can with what we had and that’s what you have to think of. Right now, the best we have is this. Think about it. This was many years ago. We would only have a phone. We wouldn’t even have this opportunity the way we do now. Use that opportunity and talk about your day. We know dinner is the most important time for a family to connect. Make sure that even if you’re home alone and people you love are not near, you can do dinner a few nights a week via Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype and still connect because dinner was never about the food. It was about the connection.
It’s so romantic. I love your idea.
We’re still talking and seeing each other. We still feel that connection. Sometimes, it can be done by phone too. You can switch it up. It could be a little phone or Zoom.
You’re staying connected and all that. You’re building while you’re separated but staying in touch, so I think it makes even the physical connection when you get there even sweeter.
Absolutely and hopefully, it won’t be 2 or 3 months. Hopefully, it’ll be like another month or so. Again, it’s that uncertainty. We don’t know, but if you both are willing to commit and work through the time, this is a very different situation. It’s not like someone’s not seeing you because they don’t want to or they’re choosing not to. This is a forced situation. I think everybody has to take into consideration that everybody’s doing the best they can at the moment and remember that. We are doing the best we can and what we have at this moment.
There is no judgment. You’re doing the best you can. What are the sustainable happiness habits that are effective both now and after it ends?
Random acts of kindness were one. Meditation is another one, but there’s another big one. This is a nightly routine. I have my clients do this all the time. I do them every night just right before bed because right before bed is when we start analyzing our day. We’re sitting in bed and we’re comfortable. Even if your body is already sleeping and you get that tingling sensation, your brain is going and we evaluate our day. What we do is we pick out the bad. We could have 99% of our day was great, 1% was bad, and we focused on the 1%. That’s how we work. It’s our negative bias. Instead, what I want you to do, and this is a form of mindfulness as well.
I have them do it at night because whatever you’re thinking about 10 to 15 minutes before you go to bed affects how you sleep. If you sleep, what mood do you wake up in the morning, and even what dreams do you have? I don’t want anybody watching the news at night. There’s no news at night. No shows that make any fear or anxiety-provoking. Instead, I want you to ask yourself this question. You can write it or say it out loud.
You can say it in your head or however you want to do it. I want you to ask yourself, “What are 2 to 3 things I’m grateful for that happen now? It’s important that you look through your day because, in general, if we ask you what you’re grateful for every day, we’ll get the same things. The sun came out, I’m healthy, I’m whole, I have a roof over my head, and I have a job.
Those are all great, but after a few weeks, you get into what we call a gratitude drive where it doesn’t have as much value or meaning. However, when I search through my day for the little gifts, blessings, and miracles. It could be, “I can’t go off of coffee, but I just made the best cup of coffee. I don’t know why it’s so good, but it is.” It could be, “He said it was going to rain and it’s now 60 degrees and the sun came out.”
Whatever it is, whatever you’re grateful for, I want you to notice it and pay attention to it because happiness is a perspective. It’s what you choose to look at. Normally, again, we’ll evaluate our day and notice what we didn’t do good and what we should have done good. Instead, you’re going to notice what you’re grateful for. Gratitude is a positive emotion. It’s a form of mindfulness and it cultivates happiness.
There is so much out of it that it retrains your brain from negative to positive. You go into bed with good thoughts in your head. That is one of the most important happiness habits every day. Some days, you’ll have ten things you’re grateful for that happen. There’ll be other days that it’s very hard to find one, but you could always find one. I want you to find, especially in this time of constant change and crisis, it’s so important to notice what is good.
It could be that I was able to look at my grandchild’s face or something that precious and simple.
It is. It could be that simple that you learned Zoom and now, I can have eye contact and I’m meeting Irene without actually meeting Irene. It could be whatever you’re grateful for and if you want to combine it, I’m going to add these two together. They’re both happy habits at night. What are you grateful for that happened?
What are 2 to 3 things you did well? It’s because they’re different. Gratitude, I don’t have much control over it. The weather changed or I didn’t hit traffic, whatever it is. I’ve got to see my granddaughter’s face, but I don’t have as much control over it. However, what I did well are the things I did. Maybe I worked out for that hour, even though I didn’t want to. Maybe I reached out when I normally would isolate myself.
I learned something new or read that book I was always afraid and intimidated by. What did you do? What I did well will change or retrain your brain. They are retraining your brain activities, but also, every time you look through your day and you notice something you did well, again, even if you can only find one thing, it brings up the positive emotions of pride and accomplishment, which brings hope.
Those are all positive emotions. We always want to balance out our day. We are going to have negative emotions, anger, anxiety, fear, and confusion, especially in times like this. You can turn the news on and you’re going to have those emotions. Also, you might be having them because of your job situation, school, or whatever it is.
We need to balance out the negative emotions with positive emotions. When we do gratitude and act of kindness, just once a day, we look for what we did well. We get that pride, accomplishment, hope, and curiosity. We’ve got about 5 or 6 positive emotions. The more positive emotions we get in a day, the happier and healthier we are and the longer we live. We can live up to seven years longer by having a daily diet of positive emotions.
Let’s say that again for everyone because people who are reading and going, “This is not easy. She’s pumping all this happiness up my rear end.” Diane said that this can increase your life span by seven happy years if you start to handle your life differently. That’s so enticing and very important. Is that what you call post-traumatic growth to grow into that?
Positive psychology is an umbrella. There’s positive parenting and education. There’s also positive aging. One of the factors to be aging positively emotionally is to have a daily diet of positive emotions. I think of it this way. Do you know how the FDA had a triangle for how many fruits, veggies and milk and dairy you should eat in a day for physical health?
For emotional health, we know that we need to have this daily diet or a daily dose of positive emotions, which are love, joy, or happiness, whichever word you like better. Also, gratitude, kindness, awe and wonderment, hope and inspiration, pride, curiosity, interest, and accomplishment. There’s more but those are some of the main ones. If we can get a daily diet of as many as we can, that’s when we can live up to seven years longer, healthier, or happier. That’s the science. That’s amazing.
Adding those positive emotions will balance out the negative and in a time like this, where we have so many negative emotions because of the situation, it is so important. We can do love every day. Tell someone you love them and if you can’t, hug them. A smile will do it. People feel loved by the look in your eyes and the smile on your face. We can all have what defines happiness for us or do something that makes us happy.
Awe and wonderment, doing anything in nature, your grandkids, your animals, and all of that. If you’re having a hard time finding hope and inspiration, put on a TED Talk or an inspirational video or movie. You can get it. Pride, accomplishment, curiosity, and interest, you can get it by just learning something new and stepping outside your comfort zone. We can do this every day and it’s a mix of giving those kinds of positive emotions and receiving them. We have these opportunities to be as happy and healthy as we can even in turbulent times like now.
People could look at this time and say, “I had all this trauma. Through this trauma, I heard this amazing show and it taught me to think about this differently and find happiness, which was amazing. Now that the pandemic is over, I have a different approach to my life and know I’m adding healthy years to my life.
Now, you have new coping skills and strategies for the emotional toolbox to take with you for whatever’s going to come your way. Hold on to this information because, yes, it’s important during a pandemic, but it’s going to be important with every situation that comes our way that is tough or traumatic or a tragedy. We know because change is the only constant. Unfortunately, we will all go through things, whether it’s your own injury or illness, losing a loved one, losing a job, or anything. Even moving or retiring could be very traumatic for people.
Even things that we think are good, like a move. It might be a positive move. I’m moving into my dream house, but we know how stressful moving is. Any kind of change, loss, or transition can make us feel that way but we have abilities, strategies, and tools to use to make it the best we can be. Also, to change and have a positive attitude is so important because, again, it’s how you choose to view it.
The first few days we went into this pandemic, I will fully admit, I was panicked. I was stressed. It changed everything. I’m a speaker. I lost 80% of my business in one day. It kept dragging on. Now, I don’t have speaking events until the summer. It switched how I had to work with clients and the workshops now how to be put online. I had to learn new technology. My daughter was now going to be home. All of these changes plus the fear of the illness. I went into that panic mode and then I made a choice. It’s a choice. I said, “I don’t have to do this.”
I took a few days to feel what I was feeling and then I made a choice and a commitment to myself that I was going to do everything I could. I know that for me, working out is a big tool. Meditation’s a big tool. Also, gratitude. I do gratitude every day for about eight years now since I got sick. It’s a big tool. I started using everything on a regular daily basis. It was a shift. I have that resilient attitude and we can all be more resilient. Remember, the happier you are, the more resilient you naturally are.
That’s another one to emphasize. The happier you are, the more resilient you are.
That’s what we need. We’re going to have these bad times. It’s the resiliency that makes us grow and expand. Even if all you get out of this changing time is that you grew and learned that you made some changes, you got a big gift out of this time.
You’re role modeling for your children and other people in your life who see you changing and say, “She’s doing so much better. He’s doing so much better. What is the secret?” All they did was change the way they were thinking, which changed the way they were handling aspects of their lives.
Irene, we can learn a lot from you because, during this time, you’re the light. We need people who are light, who can get through the darkness and show people there is a way out of the dark. Thank you for doing this wonderful show and helping people because the darkness is the changing times. The darkness is when you lose a loved one or you lose your own identity to an illness, injury, or trauma. It’s important that we have people like you during these turbulent times. Keep up the good work.
Thank you. I have three more questions for you and I think they’re important. One is to please speak to our readers and hopefully, there’ll be many more readers now who have time to sit and read these wonderful uplifting episodes. Please speak to them about the importance of healing, which we’ll need to do as a nation and a planet when this pandemic crisis has passed. People are seeing this in the very short term, but I think this has larger ramifications for all of us.
We’re going to have to heal individually and as a nation. It’s like after 9/11. We had to learn to come together. I think a big thing with healing is knowing it’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. They support each other, being there for each other and kindness. We need to hold on to being kind and compassionate to other people during these hard times.
Also, being self-compassionate is a big part of self-care. We need to have that self-compassion. Stop beating yourself up. Stop feeling horrible because of a situation that’s not your fault. Also, remember this. Healing and grieving are individual things. They look different for everybody and everybody grieves differently. Everybody heals at a different time and pace. Don’t judge anybody. If we can get through this time and be kind to each other, compassionate to each other and lose judgment, then we’re on a roll towards healing the whole world.
It’s because that is the biggest problem is we’re not kind to each other. We judge each other whether it’s race, religion, gender, or everything. Even hair color. It goes down to what we judge and that all needs to stop. If we can learn that, and my hope is that we could, because after 9/11, we did. We unified, especially in the New York area, because it was hit here probably the hardest because of the obvious situation of where it was and the location.
However, I do know about a year later, people already were forgetting about it and moving on. We need to hold onto this lesson that whether it’s a virus, a natural disaster, an act of terrorism or an illness, or whatever it is that causes it. We need to always be kind, considerate, and passionate to others, to stop judgment, and to heal as individuals and then heal together. If we can do that, prayer and meditation are some real big factors of that. It’s important.
One of the lessons that people could learn from this pandemic is that it does not discriminate as to your skin color, income, hair color, nails, or money you have in the bank. What if we all come out of this and we are kinder? We are carrying more gratitude and holding on to the better emotions we learned and ways to deal with happiness. Could you imagine it would be a sea change for this country, for their world in so many ways that we all gave up judging each other?
It would be amazing. We all have to take this pause. I think we all have the time and we all know we need to. When we’re so busy and Type A personalities are always on the go. We forget and get wrapped up. Again, anxiety and panic can have people wrapped up in their own pain and misery. We need to learn to step outside of that.
The happiest countries in the world, which is always Finland, Denmark, and Norway, are always about community. The United States is number eighteen on the list. We’re not a happy country. We’re the richest, but we’re not the happiest. We need to do better and we can and this is the time to do better, and be better. Let’s do it.
Let’s role model it for the people in our lives even if we communicate with them through Zoom, virtually, or whatever. I can remember and speak to this often because our readers know I was in this tragic car accident and lost my husband. One of the things I thought of as they were pulling me out of the car was I would get through this somehow because I have to role model for my son that you can get hit by a grenade in life and come out of it okay. It was very difficult for me and I went for healing modalities and all different things, but my son has said to me, “Mom, there’s been nothing worse than seeing you in total despair and nothing better than seeing you be able to have joy again.”
That alone, for me, has been worth so much in what I went through and how I helped myself so that I could be a role model for those I love and for other people in my world. For all of you out there who are saying this is all wonderful, but I could never sustain this with what I’m living through or the people I’m living with right now or whatever, if they want to reach out to you for help, Diane, how do they get ahold of you? If they’d like to have a personal session, if they need personal support, if maybe you’re going to be doing group things or whatever, tell them how they can reach Diane Lang.
You could go to my website, which is DLCounseling.com. On the homepage, you can sign up for my newsletter, which is a free newsletter where you get happiness sent to your mailbox every Monday. That’s one option. On the contact page is my email, which is DLCounseling2014@Gmail.com. You can email me or go to my website. There’s a whole bunch of free tools on there. If you sign up for the newsletter, I’m also giving away a free eBook, which is The Four Tips to Cultivating Happiness. Sign up, and get the free newsletter and eBook. We have time to read now. It’s only 30 pages. It’s short, but it gives some information that we talked about in more detail.
Would you say those four tips culminate in finding joy in life? Would that be your tip for finding joy in life, even during a pandemic?
I think finding joy in life is going inside, letting go of everything around you, letting go of the control and then using what works for you to move forward. This is the one thing I’ll leave it on. Remember this, we do have the ability to be happier than where we are now. No matter where you are, you have the ability to remember everything you’re going through, whether it’s this situation or a different situation in the future, is always temporary. Everything is temporary.
Right now, it could feel horrible and understandable and feelings are valid, but it will change. When things are good, enjoy it because they will go down and when things are down, don’t stress too much because they will go back up. It is the way of the world. Hold on to that. It’s temporary. Look at your past. You’ve been through situations and you’ve survived and thrived through them so you will again.
The only thing in life that doesn’t change is that everything will change. Diane, this has been wonderful. Thank you from my heart for all you are doing to help people heal, transform and find happiness in their lives. I’m grateful we’re able to do this. I’m sure it will help people to positively gravitate towards good ways to cope with the grief and trauma they’re experiencing right now, as well as let’s all improve our lives and work on it so that we’re in better shape after this is over. Make sure to follow us and like us on social at @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Thanks again and again for joining us and as I like to say, to be continued, many blessings, and bye for now.