Over the past few days, we have been bombarded with Covid-19 information. I fear we may have two outbreaks going on — a fear pandemic and a flu pandemic. Oh yes, there might be a third — a misinformation pandemic.
In these times of uncertainty, it’s critical we keep our wits about us, lest we worry ourselves sick — and I mean that quite literally.
So I ask myself hourly, “what is within my control?” The answer? Our reaction is 100% within our control.
In marketing and advertising, I know that two things sell products best: fear and sex.
At Pine View Farms, we have deliberately steered away from fear-based selling. Rather we talk about moving towards better things. And as for sex? Well, neither Kevin nor I are that sexy and somehow, I think that strategy would scare y’all away! Not a good strategy at all!
As humans, we are innately wired to respond very quickly to fear. Our fight or flight response saved our butts as Neanderthals.
We are hardwired for negativity. It’s called negativity bias. “Bad” things grab our attention and they tend to influence our decision making more than “good” things of equal magnitude.
Our brains perceive negative news as more truthful, drawing more attention and hence, having greater validity. Now we know why fake news runs rampant and has become a slick tool of nefarious politicians.
Covid-19 is the latest opportunity to feed fear to the masses. Now more than ever, the diet you consume every day — what you eat, read and watch matters.
(Writing is cathartic for me, and so be aware, I’m preaching to myself here.)
I’m not gonna lie. For the past week, I have vacillated between gut wrenching panic and heroic stoicism every hour, depending on where my mind dwells.
As a business owner, I feel the weight of responsibility for our staff’s health and economic stability. I feel scared for our farm’s economic future. Everything is on the line here and we have no safety net. And, we want to care generously for our parents, children and surrounding community.
Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence says “The longer the neurons [brain cells] fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength – that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable.”
But on a daily basis, most of us dwell more on the negative than the positive. We need five times more positive interactions than negative reactions to thrive as a species! Those feel hard to come by these days.