Managing our anxiety around the Coronavirus

It is virtually impossible nowadays to consume any form of media or speak to friends without triggering feelings of anxiety around the coronavirus. Whether the thought of COVID-19 causes slight anxiety or throws you into full “panic” mode, there’s something you should know…

Our bodies are highly intelligent and regulate certain functions automatically, without us even being conscious of it. We never need to remind our bodies to breathe, blink, or beat our hearts. When an immediate threat to our survival is present, like being attacked by a bear for example, our “fight or flight” response kicks in automatically.  This is our body’s natural physical response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot differentiate between a real danger and a perceived threat that is purely in our thoughts.

In today’s world, with media constantly bombarding us with information, stories and facts about the coronavirus, our minds get anxious and worry, which then triggers our fight or flight response even though there is no immediate threat in that instant.

The problem is that when the flight or fight response is activated, we secrete hormones that directly suppress our body’s immune response, making us even more susceptible to infection.

Of course, we must take the necessary precautions and remain well informed on how to stay healthy at this time, but it is not necessary to be overwhelmed by ongoing negative news stories or to obsess over all the information related to this epidemic. This only creates constant fear and anxiety which can actually make us MORE susceptible to viruses.

Our minds are more powerful than we think. And the connection between mind and body is stronger than we can imagine. So, it is important we keep ourselves calm and keep our minds from spiraling into negative and fearful thoughts. Try meditation or breathing techniques to help reduce stress levels if you are feeling anxious, or if you want to take it a step further, quiet your mind and visualize everyone on the planet being healthy and happy, and most of all virus-free!