• Kerri Burchill, PhD

Where's the peace in quiet?


I was out gardening the other day and smiled at my dog who was clearly feeling the quiet and safety of the neighborhood. Normally, I would never let her take up the road, though with COVID-19 underway, things are notably quieter than usual. In a perfect dog way of not over thinking, she simply took advantage of the quietness.

The dog’s behavior begs the question, what are we taking advantage of in this historic time?

The media infuses anxiety, my furloughed friends express emotional angst, and leaders are feeling the weight of making historically heavy decisions. True, our upside down world begs an emotional reaction. Our emotional reactions can put us in a tail spin or lead us through this anxious time.

What is the antidote to that anxiety? Without a magic want to insert a higher degree of control and stability into our lives, we can search for those things that are working. Look for ways to take advantage of this emotionally-evoking time. Psychologists talk about drawing on positive emotions and the power of appreciating what is around us. In the quiet, reflect on what this period in history affords us, different from our typical run-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off time.

Perhaps we can appreciate what the dog is embracing – a quiet that brings us peace, an excuse to pause and look out at what is happening from a different perspective. Some things are right in the world. They are in the quiet spaces right in front of us. Look for them. They will bring us peace.

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