When unsettling events happen in the world around us, either globally or locally, our nervous systems are activated.
Especially with all of the media coverage and panic about Coronavirus, and the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen, we’re all a bit anxious.
Here are five simple things you can do right now to reduce your anxiety about Coronavirus.
Bring your awareness to the tense places in your body — the places where your anxiety is normally concentrated. For some people it's the stomach, for others it’s the chest, and for some, it’s the neck and shoulders area.
Bring your awareness to these parts of your body and keep your awareness there for a minute. You can close your eyes if you want. Just try to breathe in and breathe out through those areas. This can help relieve built-up tension.
All of your early trauma and fears of abandonment are somatically expressed so that whenever you are feeling anxious these parts of your body are activated. Bringing your awareness to these areas in order to relieve that tension will help you a lot.
Connect with others
The second thing that is very helpful is to find someone outside of your closest social circle to talk to. This would be someone that you do not live with, that is not your partner or close family.
Ideally, you would meet with this person, but right now that might not be the best idea. Instead of meeting in person, you could have a video chat with them. Look them in the eyes, have a talk with them, and tell them the top 10 tunes playing in your head right now. Just take this opportunity to connect safely with them.
This is a very effective practice for activating your parasympathetic system. It’s going to help your nervous system move into a state of safety.
The breath is connected to the activation of your parasympathetic nerve. If you already do breathing exercises you can use the practice that you are more familiar with.
For this to work, you need to extend the out-breath. When you breathe in, expand your abdomen. Then breathe out through your nose and mouth for longer than your in-breath. This will activate your parasympathetic nerve and help you move into a state of safety and connection.
use calming scents
Certain smells are calming for the body. For example, Lavender has been scientifically proven to have a calming effect on the body. Try to pick a high-quality lavender essential oil.
You can keep it with you, use it on your favorite scarf, or put a little on your pillow before you go to bed. Just smell it. It’s going to help relieve your nervous system and those coronavirus anxiety thoughts.
Write down your thoughts
This one is actually my favorite. I do it all of the time when I have a lot of thoughts in my head.
Get out a piece of paper and pen (or your Ipad and Ipad pen) and write down your fears. This is a powerful and proven technique to reduce your cognitive overload.
For this to work, it needs to be done without you thinking too much about it. What you write doesn’t have to be perfect because nobody is going to read it. Don’t think about the language or worry about making sense. Just write thoughts down the way they come to you. Then, you can throw it away. You don’t even need to re-read it.
It actually helps me to go back and re-read what I wrote after some time. It helps me put things into perspective and helps me realize that a lot of my fears are more in my head than in reality.
So there you have it. These are 5 simple things that you can do right now to reduce your coronavirus anxiety. I hope this helps!
Visit me on Instagram at @doctorlinnea and send me a message to let me know if this works for you.