Coronavirus Fear May Decrease Your Immunity
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, that causes the illness called COVID-19 has shook up the planet and many people report experiencing fear and anxiety around the coronavirus. Fear is not a friend of our immune system. Experiencing constant fear and anxiety puts us into a physiological state of being that makes us more susceptible to the virus that we are fearful of. Let me explain why and provide a method to tame the fear and anxiety that has worked well for many people, methods that I use myself in my own life. Don't let the fear of coronavirus decrease your immunity.
We Create The Fear
When we are in a state of fear and anxiety we are projecting into the future. Our thoughts are filled with “What ifs…”.
Living in the future in a state of fear means we neglect the present moment, and in some ways we steal the present moment away from ourselves, while filling it with frightening scenarios of a future that does not exist. We pull that future possibility into our momentary experience and allow it to affect our mind and body. It is ironic that by living in a state of fear, mulling over what could take place in a possible future moment can actually affect our body in present time by lowering our immunity. In other words, if we are considering negative future consequences of COVID-19, the stress that fear puts upon our bodies increases epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol in our body and if this becomes a repetitive condition our bodies succumb to these stress hormones. Chronic stress from fear and anxiety can make us more susceptible to infectious disease such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as other types of disease processes.
Our Bodies Response To Being Fearful
If you are an animal, you record a fearful event and move on. However, we humans often record the event in our mind and attach meaning to it. We analyze the situation that caused fear, and we may blow it up bigger than it really was. We may project into the future and imagine how this fearful event may have even more frightening ramifications or imagine it may happen again. This causes us to become hypervigilant and can create a chronic state of anxiety and stress. This constant stress-state affects the whole body, but especially the endocrine system and immune system. This can ultimately affect your digestion, your sex life, your energy level, your emotions, cognitive abilities and in a time when you most need your immune system to be strong and flexible as it does it’s job protecting you, it too becomes impaired. Don't Let fear of the coronavirus decrease your immunity.
You Have Control Over Fear And Anxiety
Often when people are fearful they replace their scary thoughts with good thoughts. Certainly this is helpful, but even better yet is bringing your mind into present time.
Keep Your Mind In Present Time
Being present in the moment is a powerful tool to take charge of your body and support your immune system's activity.
- When you are in the present moment, fears and anxiety of the future are shoved out of the way.
- When you are in the present moment your body is only stressed if there is an actual reason to be stressed right there in front of you.
When in the present moment you are much more likely to experience a parasympathetic state which is called the rest and digest state of being. This is a time when your body can heal and energize itself, including the bodies immune system. There are many activities that can bring you into the present moment and support your parasympathetic system.
How To Be In The Moment And Support The Parasympathetic System
This can be done through meditation/prayer or mindful attention of the world around you. Some of you know how to do this already, but if not, please read on for some simple ideas on how to do this with a link to additional details on meditation and prayer.
The Nuts And Bolts Of How To Do This
This can be as simple as sitting in a comfortable position and breathing slowly and deeply. As you breath, you put your attention on your breath as it goes in and out. If your mind strays, you simply bring it back to focus on the breathing.
Another meditative practice is to sit outside and watch the birds, or insects, or focus on a plant and really watch them in great detail.
There are various exercise practices that support being in the moment such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Yoga. Beginning classes can be found on the internet. Dance is another form of mindful movement.
There are many guided meditations on the internet that are useful at bringing you into a meditative state and enhancing the parasympathetic nervous system.
For more ideas on how to relax and focus the busy mind, go to “How To Meditate And Pray” .
How Living In The Moment Changes You For The Better
The more time you spend in the present moment, the less fearful and anxious you will be. Learning to be in the moment has enriched my life and I reap great rewards from it. One of those is having a more robust immune system.
Being in the moment and enhancing our parasympathetic system keeps us healthier and able to withstand infectious disease such as the COVID-19 virus.
A Few Other Things That Can Be Done While Social Distancing
Living in the present moment is the most powerful solution for anxiety and fear in my experience, however there are many other things that can be useful. Some of the things that can be done while practicing social distancing are practicing positive thinking, getting social support from friends or family (by skype and phone), taking up hobbies or doing something creative, get good sleep, keep a journal,volunteering - yes you can volunteer while practicing social distancing. For example, call elders who are shut up in their homes alone and tell them jokes or read them a story.
Parting Words Of Encouragement
Go easy on yourself. You are learning a brand new skill. You will need to bring yourself back to the present moment over and over again. That is okay. It is expected. The more you stay in the present moment, the more you reap the rewards of this state of mind. It is the space where all great ideas come from. It is the space where you find meaning in life. It is the space where you enjoy the moment of now and reap it’s rewards of a healthier mind and body, enjoy continuous inspiration, and see beauty in everything.
Be Proactive About Your Immune System
There are many steps you can take to support your immune system.
For ideas on how to increase your immunity, check out "Immune Support During Coronavirus".
May You Walk In Beauty ♥