Sometimes thoughts catch us before we realize how much they are affecting everything we do and feel...it’s okay. You're not alone.
With 1,629 both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, anxiety across the nation is at an all-time high. And as stress surrounding the Coronavirus is heightened in every direction we go-from all sources of media to conversations with strangers...you need to know that remaining calm is one of the BEST things you can do to to stay healthy and support your health. Let me show you how...
When we continuously activate our stress responses, it takes a toll on our physical and mental health, contributing to high blood pressure, artery-clogging deposits, anxiety, depression, addiction and lowers our immune system response towards protecting us from preventable disease, such as the Coronavirus. And prolonging elevated levels of cortisol can increase your anxiety, sap energy, and interfere with your body's ability to heal.
Know that this is an IDEAL time to focus on building a strong immune system through exercise, healthy nutrition, stress reduction, smoking cessation and more.
Your immune system's overall function is to prevent or limit infection. It can distinguish between healthy cells and unhealthy cells because of infectious microbes like viruses and bacteria or because of cellular damage caused by non-infectious agents like sunburn or cancer.
AND..did you know? Approximately 80% of your immune system resides in your GUT! The gut microbiota that resides in your gastrointestinal tract provides you with essential health benefits such as maintaining functional stability; ie, keeping you healthy! If you feel your gut health is in need of a boost...check out my Free Elimination Diet HERE.
Studies prove that OPTIMISM, or the tendency to expect good things in the future, heavily influences physical and mental health. Stress on the other hand, takes a toll on physical & mental health lowering immune system response towards protection from preventable disease, such as the Coronavirus.
So, how to lower that stress and relieve the anxiety associated with COVID-19? Follow these 5 tips I have outlined below:
1. 𝙂𝙚𝙩 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙨
There is a lot of inaccurate coverage out there and reading it can really fuel your anxiety. Find trusted sources of information like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization.
2. 𝙎𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙡𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙤𝙣 𝙨𝙤𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙢𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙖
Time spent on social media and news sites can amplify anxiety, especially if you are already prone to anxious thoughts. You will benefit from giving less time to those who post inaccurate reports and alarmist statements. In general, it is good to assess if social media is intrusive to your well-being.
3. 𝙄𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙛𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙢𝙖𝙮 𝙗𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙨𝙚
Thought patterns that tend to be very black and white, those that involve extremes and polar opposites, can come up during times of emergency. It’s important to remind yourself of other thoughts & positive facts. Continue living a healthy lifestyle and uphold hygiene habits per official public health guidelines.
4. 𝘽𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙛𝙪𝙡 𝙤𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨
Discussing the threat of Coronavirus with others may feel comforting at first but you risk escalating anxiety and fears in yourself and others. If you find your conversations becoming repetitive, and focused on worst-case scenarios, try to re-direct your subjects.
5. 𝘼𝙘𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙡𝙚𝙙𝙜𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙗𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙧𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙣𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙧𝙮
Having beneficial concern is an appropriate level of worry as it compels you to make sensible precautions. Nonconstructive worry is thinking constantly about threats and focusing on worst case scenarios which helps no one!
"To be calm is the highest achievement of the self." -Zen Proverb
To Your Health,
Kiran Grewal MD