Coronavirus Anxiety: What to Do?

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How can you deal with coronavirus anxiety and still stay healthy?  This health concern has created massive fear throughout the country and the world.  What can you do about it? 

For people who are stressed out about this virus, it can be challenging to live your life.  Maybe some people are having trouble thinking straight.  Many people are not as productive as they normally would be.  And people’s happiness has dropped. 

There are 3 things you can do to reduce your anxiety and to boost your immune system.  A strong immune system will help prevent getting a virus.

#1: Use Walking to Relieve Coronavirus Anxiety

John Ratey, MD, at Harvard, wrote an article “Can Exercise Help Treat Anxiety?”.  He talks about how exercise and walking help ease anxiety:

  • “Engaging in exercise diverts you from the very thing you are anxious about.
  • Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious.
  • Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals, including serotonin, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and endocannabinoids.
  • Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival.
  • Exercising regularly builds up resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions.”

So, walking can help you be more peaceful.  It can also boost your immune system and fight infection.  It boosts your body’s feel good chemicals and can help you sleep.  This all helps keep you healthy.

ACTION STEP: Go for a walk.  45 minutes is ideal.  Even a 10-minute walk can help.  Just make sure you are present.  Enjoy yourself.  Use your sense perceptions.  See the sky, hear the birds and feel the temperature.  Come into the present moment as you walk.   

You can get some exercise and support your physical and emotional well-being.  You can calm yourself by going outside and moving your body.

I walk 5 days per week and encourage all my clients to exercise.  I feel better emotionally and physically when I go for a walk😊.

#2: Laugh to Reduce Coronavirus Anxiety

Laughter can reduce anxiety and boost your immune system.  You can feel more relaxed and be healthier. 

Laughter has been proved to reduce stress.  When you laugh, you can feel a sense of relief.  Comic relief is often used in plays.  I use it daily to reduce stress. 

Laughter increases the amount of oxygen you get.  This helps boost your immune system.  Laughter increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.  These are the feel-good hormones. 

Laughter can stimulate circulation and help your muscles relax.  You feel calm. 

Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection fighting antibodies.  This helps defend you against viruses. 

ACTION STEP: Laugh as much as you can for as long as you can.  Watch something that makes you laugh.  Laugh at jokes, even if they are not funny.  Laugh at the absurdities that happen today. 

When you laugh, you can relax yourself and boost your immunity to viruses.  You can feel better and relax. 

The key: When you exercise and laugh, you are creating good health for yourself. 

When you exercise and laugh every day, you are creating healthy habits for yourself.  You will feel better emotionally and physically. 

Anytime you feel some stress, you can take a few moments to ground yourself.  You can go for a walk.  You can also create some laughter, in a way that suits you. 

You are creating your life😊.

#3: Meditate to Alleviate Coronavirus Anxiety

You can use meditation to relieve stress and boost your immune system. 

Deepak Chopra wrote an article on meditation called “How Meditation Helps the Immune System Do Its Job”.  He talks about the research findings on meditation:

  • “Since your immune system responds to both negative and positive thoughts, meditation creates a positive mental environment for the immune system to flourish. 
  • A UCLA study shows that HIV positive patients who practice mindful meditation slow down the reduction of their CD-4 cell count. These are the immune cells that are associated with keeping the virus from propagating. 
  • Meditation boosts antibodies. A recent study confirmed that, after being given weekly meditation training for 8 weeks, 48 biotech workers had significantly higher levels of antibodies than the control group (coworkers who didn’t meditate) as well as higher levels than before the study.
  • Meditation stimulates immune system brain-function regions. Mindfulness meditation has shown increases in electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex, the right anterior insula, and right hippocampus, all parts that control positive emotions, awareness, and anxiety. These are also the areas of the brain that act as a command center for your immune system. When stimulated, they make the immune system function more effectively.”

So, meditating can boost your immune system and help you relax.  It helps you be peaceful and strengthen your protection from viruses. 

ACTION STEP: Do an in-out breathing meditation.  Follow your breath.  As you breathe in, notice you are breathing in.  As you breathe out, notice you are breathing out.  Put your attention on your breath.  As a thought comes up, let them go and go back to your breathing.  Do this for a few minutes.

You can put together walking and meditating also.  You can do a walking meditation.  As you walk, be aware of your surroundings.  Use your visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses.  See the sky, hear the birds and feel the temperature. 

You can walk, laugh and meditate to reduce coronavirus anxiety and boost your immune system😊.

To Your Happiness and Health,

Jim Twomey

Tucson’s Depression and Anxiety Breakthrough Specialist

CEO and Founder of Peace for You

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