Anyone else find themselves compulsively checking the news? Looking at your CNN and NYT apps over and over again?

Or are you going down the rabbit hole by clicking every link on social media that promises the latest news about Covid-19?

As statistics and recommendations are changing by the hour, states of emergency being declared everywhere, it is important to stay informed.

On the other hand, the information does not only feed your anxiety, the checking itself–opening your phone, hitting refresh on your apps– increases it.

Having a kid with a major anxiety disorder, you become aware of how easily the brain gets into a rut. 

However, due to the miracle of neuroplasticity, you can get yourself right back out of that rut.  

When you change your behavior, you interrupt patterns in the brain. 

You may know this from meditation and writing practice. Or even if you don’t know it, you probably feel it.

In meditation, those moments when you notice you are lost in a trail of thoughts, when you come back to the breath and to the present moment, you interrupt old neural pathways and create new ones.

You teach your mind to slow down, to stop wandering off all over the place.

As you become acquainted with your mind, you learn to catch yourself when you are in patterns of thought, including automatically checking your phone.

Something similar happens with writing practice. When the mind stops spinning and you drop down to a deeper level, you are interrupting the default setting of endless chatter and worry. 

This is one way that writing practice heals.

In the coming weeks, as you’re self-quarantined and tucked away at home, meditation and writing practice can soothe your battered nervous system and keep your mind from running away from you.

This is good for you and for everyone around you, as our nervous systems are attuned to one another and feed off one another. 

The more amped up we are, the more we amp up others. 

Conversely, a quiet mind tends to help others quiet down

Let’s take care of each other. Let’s serve our loved ones communities by staying strong in our practice.

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