By now you have read newspapers, Facebook posts, blogs, watched the news and you have begun to react to the news with FEAR. I just read a blog post that highlights the danger of being in fear mode.
The FEAR of the Coronavirus is deadlier than the virus itself.
You see, when you are in fear, a reactive part of your brain called the amygdala takes control of your actions.
You enter into a fight-flight-freeze response.
(It’s what's causing people to buy way too much toilet paper.)
And when you are in this reactive state, your body starts producing a steroid called cortisol to help you handle the stress.
And guess what cortisol does to your immune system? It WEAKENS it!
When we’re stuck in fight-flight because of worries or anxiety, our bodies are wasting a ton of energy because it actually thinks it might die at that current moment.
And all that energy that’s gone now makes our bodies weaker and more vulnerable.
Being afraid is literally making you even more susceptible to getting sick.
And guess what else happens when you stay in fight-flight-freeze mode?
You’re in a SELFISH, self-protective state.
If you've been shopping lately, you have probably seen the toilet paper aisles empty, some of the food areas empty, people pushing each other as they reach for products, people not staying a safe distance from each other. These people are living in FEAR.
I read recently or watched (not really sure as I have been putting my down time to good use by studying), someone said to focus on what you can control – the areas directly around you in your home, your neighbourhood. There is no use in letting the stories from China or Italy or UK get into your mind and fill you with fear (even if you have relatives living there) because you can not do anything about their situation. You only have control over how you deal with things – by following the guidelines of safe distancing, washing your hands, cleaning surfaces in your house, etc. If you must read about COVID 19, then read the scientific truths and not the news headlines.
Dr. Eugene K. Choi continues with:
while taking proper precautions during these times, do the things that keep your immune system strong.
Taking the steps to help your brain feel safe puts your body out of fight-flight state and into a rest and digest state where your body is in recovery and ultimately maximizes your health.
So how can you do this?
Practice the act of shifting your focus to things you are grateful for.
Take some time to think about the things you have others don’t.
Or if that’s hard to be grateful for try thinking about all the people in the front lines working their asses off to contain this pandemic.
Whatever it is you do, take notice of things until you actually feel grateful.
Doing this immediately gets you out of the fight-flight state.
And practice empathy.
Spend time connecting with your loved ones that you are home with.
Laugh with them. Tell them you appreciate them.
This is only a little bit of the post. You can read the rest here: I highly recommend it. It is well worth the read.
Stay safe and healthy