4 ways how to cope with COVID anxiety by activating your wiser mind
Exclusive Interview with Rufus Harrington Clinical Psychologist, Founder of Wiser Mind
By Mirela Sula
Rufus Harrington has developed a psychological process that has helped women and men from all walks of life live happier more successful lives. The process is called Wiser Mind and teaches how to better understand, integrate and manage the wonderful complexity of human mind and emotion. Wiser Mind is an innovative, simple and remarkably effective method to help people integrate the more emotional and thinking parts of the brain. It was developed by Harrington from decades of practice as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist.
We have invited Rufus to deliver a special presentation for Global Woman Club on Wednesday 19th August, but here you can have an insight about how we all can better cope in this pandemic time and activate our wiser mind
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What are the challenges that people bring to your clinics when seeking Therapy?
The challenges that people bring to therapy are many and varied but so many people who arrive in my clinics are not mad or insane; they are normal peoples stressed and traumatised by the normal and sometimes very challenging problems that life can bring.
Most people have a combination of symptoms of both anxiety and low mood are typically exhausted and struggling to cope with day to day life. Most people who arrive in the clinic are struggling to control over busy minds worrying and planning but not being able to switch off. Many are driven perfectionists with great skills in self criticism, who despite having great abilities struggle to feel good enough. Many of my clients despite outer success struggle with doubts about how others will judge then, about looking good enough and fear failure. Many are haunted by past traumas which still impact their daily lives. People struggle with loneliness, being able to make good enough relationships, being good enough parents, being able to shape a life that they feel is meaningful.
Our Minds our great resource can become our greatest enemy – what is your perspective as a psychologist?
The human mind is a wonder but it’s a little bit like a house bult over many generations with all sorts of odd wiring and plumbing that doesn’t always work very well together. Being human is tricky. We are always evolving and surviving and trying to thrive. We have to cope with the demands of external world and the challenges of a sometimes chaotic inner emotional landscape.
Our brain is constantly evolving, we change we develop we grow. This is great and the key to so much success; but we can also change develop and grow in ways that cause us misery. People need to understand a little about how the brain works and how we can better manage and encourage ourselves into better futures.
In many ways my role is to explain the Mind and then train people to live more fulfilling lives. The great key is to help people to build positive predictions about what the future can hold. The human brain is ultimately a predicting machine. It constantly tries to work out what might happen next. The problem is that when stressed the brain typically hunts for danger and expects the worst, which drives feelings of anxiety and doubt. My skill is to teach people how to tame the over anxious threat detecting brain and help it focus on both threats and the many ways we can cope and build a better life.
Covid -19 has brought us a pandemic of mental stress and mental illness as well. What do you think about this reality that the world is facing?
During the Pandemic I have continued to treat people from so many different walks of life. People are coping in their different ways but there are real challenges. When we entered lockdown for many this was novel even quite exciting. For some lucky enough to be paid to stay off work this has been a time for reflection and a chance to recharge the batteries. But as lockdown has continued the picture has progressively changed. Worries about illness and death. Losing loved ones and fearing losing loved one. Lack of access to health care and restricted lifestyles have all begun to take a toll.
Having to return from lockdown into a much more uncertain world where the virus and economic uncertainty are now day to day realities has changed the landscape of our lives. We are having to adapt and this tests our resilience. Some have better situations than others, some have lost their jobs and loved ones. As I mentioned above human beings are always trying to predict what will happen next. When we struggle to predict we become stressed. When stressed out brains tend to hunt for all the worst possible outcomes. We over worry and become mentally exhausted and can lose the resilience we so desperately need in these difficult times
Can you give us some advice for those struggling due to Covid 19
My first piece of advice is to attend the Masterclass – its free – it will be fun and can really help.
Taking things a little further we all have different lives and different circumstances. Different people will find different things help. However, there are some golden rules:
- Human beings need routine. Covid 19 has upset all our routines, our way of life has been disrupted. The more we can adapt and establish a new routine the better.
- Stress drives the Brain to focus on everything that can or might go wrong – make sure there are physical stress busters in your routine. This can be as simple as going for a walk two or three times a week.
- Relationships are all important. We struggle alone. Keep up with friends and family as much as you can. The whole secret of human survival is team work. We can’t survive alone. Work together to find a way through this. We will – we always do.
- Just remember life will get better, it will get worse, it will get better again. Nothing lasts forever except possibility, which is always with us and a great friend in times of need.
You are invited to join our Free Mastermind with Rufus Harrington “How to tap into Your Wiser Mind”
Wednesday, 19th August
4pm UK time
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Wiser Mind – What is it?
Wiser Mind is an innovative, simple and remarkably effective method to help people integrate the more emotional and thinking parts of the brain. It was developed by Rufus Harrington from decades of practice as a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist. He is happy to admit he has taken all the good bits of evidence based psychotherapy, added his own inspiration, some cutting edge neuroscience and developed something that others are now calling remarkable.
Wiser Mind controls over worry. It is a way to manage the predictions made by the human brain. It is a great way to maintain resilience and mental health. It helps resolve symptoms of both anxiety and low mood. The results achieved by Rufus and his colleagues, using this in a wide range of clinical and Resilience coaching environments, have been wonderful. The Wiser Mind Resilience training programme run for the UK Police in Cumbria has just achieved a National Award.
The full programme comprises 5 workshops but in the Masterclass scheduled for 19/8/20 you will learn the basic technique. You will learn how you can control the over worrying mind and how to use this improve sleep. Just imagine the difference this could make in your life. The full 5 workshops show how the Wiser Mind skill can be used to build self-esteem, deal with past traumatic memories and improve your relationships. Then you are shown how to weave these skills together to succeed and engage with change.
The August Masterclass will introduce you to the method and teach you a skill to use in your real lives. If you want to develop the skill in more depth you can attend a one day on-line workshop with two follow up practice sessions to help you deploy the skill to deal with real issues in your life. Then if you wanted you can take the full workshop series for your own personal benefit or to train as a Wiser Mind Coach. There is also a series of on-line practice groups that run throughout the year. It’s a little bit like attending a Yoga class for the Mind. The practice groups help you refine and develop the skill set and provides you on- going support and the fun of working with others. You can attend anonymously if you prefer or openly whichever works best for you. The only prerequisites for joining the practice groups are that you have attended the first training workshop. You will find the workshops and practice groups are both fun and can be life changing.