Managing health anxiety during the coronavirus
“Rationality and calmness are important assets” The trick with anxiety is to control the things you can and let go of the things you cannot. Stay in the moment – it’s very easy to leap into the future with your thoughts. Anxiety, being future-based, encourages this and too much media consumption propagates this tendency. Limit your intake of news to 30-minutes a day, from trusted, fact-checked sources.”
Firstly, be aware of how your thoughts are affecting how you feel. Has coronavirus spiked your normal concern to keep safe and well into an extreme, nagging state of anxiety? Are you hooked into assuming the worst? Remind yourself of a more calming perspective and tune into reality. Maybe things will be less bad than we predict. Shift to a more soothing, coping mode rather than a panic mode. Instead of ‘This is unbearable, it’s the end of the world! try ‘This is hard but I can cope!’. This opens you up to feeling more constructive and solution-focused.”
Minimise time spent thinking about their potential symptoms: “Take note of any symptoms you feel you have but try not to focus on these too strongly beyond taking the NHS-recommended precautions. Anxiety can heighten symptoms and physical sensations. Remember you are reading more news and bringing more awareness to this situation than you likely would normally; it’s entirely possible that an anxious mind creates symptoms that you wouldn’t be aware of without taking in so much news.”
Stay up to date with key messages via good news sources and try to stay away from constantly checking social media. Some of the social media reports are alarmist and it's easy to be drawn in and start to panic. panic.
Look after yourself and feel in control of your own actions. If you take the lead with the advice around handwashing and distance it feels more like you are doing something to contribute to the collective efforts to reduce the risk.
Focus on normal day-to-day activities, engage with those around you, be interested in them and what they’re doing, enjoy having fun with the children if you have them. This keeps a sense of normality and stops too much focus on the issue.
If you feel anxious, focus on your breathing, ground yourself in the present moment and use your self-talk and coping skills to reduce your anxiety levels.
When times are really hard, Try to keep some form of routine going
1. Get up and go to bed at usual times. Or slightly later if you don’t need to go to work
2. Have meals at normal times. Spend time planning extra special meals or new menus, you know, the ones you always said you would make if you had the time. Get the kids involved
3. Make sure you exercise. It doesn’t have to be boring or hard work, dancing to your favourite music is really good exercise. Maybe you could skype or facetime with friends and all dance.
4. Get in touch with friends and family. The ones you never have time to catch up with or your old neighbour, it makes us feel good to help others.
5. Start an online course. Or google youtube, how to draw, how to learn a new language, feels daunting, start with kids Spanish. Do not I REPEAT Do not catastrophes. Take some slow deep breaths, count in your head as you breath – in 1 2 3 4 5 6 out 6 5 4 3 2 1
Try the free calm app. Calm.com/blog/takeabreath
Split your day into hours/ periods. Do you remember how your school timetable was laid out, make a timetable of your day, even if 1 hour/period includes – checking out Facebook. ie. exercise, prepare dinner, clean wardrobe. Split your day purposefully so that you feel ready to just relax at night by watching a good movie or playing your X BOX whatever you would normally do to relax. Or indulge yourself, have a bath, light some candles and play some soothing music, put a face mask on and really pamper yourself, you deserve it
Do you suffer from Anxiety, Stress, Depression
Try some simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress
Spend Time with Your Pet Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood. Interacting with pets may help release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood
Reduce Caffeine caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. High doses can increase anxiety
Write things down. While recording what you’re stressed about is one approach, another is jotting down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude may help relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what’s positive in your life.
Visit friends and family can help you get through stressful times. Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
Laugh It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing. It’s good for your health, and Not all stress situations are within your control, but some are.
Listen to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. The craving will only last a few seconds, it is the habit that you have to watch out for, never have cigarettes in your house or car. Fight the urge by breathing slowly & deeply, counting as you breathe in and exhale the fresh clean healthy air. Approx. 30% of clients have a magical experience with zero cravings Approx. Approx 30% of clients will experience some cravings that are manageable using the tools I teach you.
Approx. 30% will be like the 2nd group but maybe have a coffee one day and suddenly miss the habit and then start thinking do I want one don’t I want one and you just have to remind yourself with the help of your new tools that I will give you, you are now a non-smoker Approx. 10% might need a booster session
What a difference a smile makes
Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. A 2010 study found that making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts. So, if you’re having a bad day, try smiling anyway—it may lead to a genuine smile and lift your spirits.
Lower Blood Pressure
Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health. A 2009 review explains that laughter causes an initial increase in heart rate, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Did you know that smiling more often, whether you’re feeling happy or not, helps your body deal with stressful situations more effectively? A 2015 study published in Psychological Science found that smiling can result in a lower heart rate during stressful tasks. Stress generally causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. So, maintaining a smile when stressed provides you with both psychological and physical health benefits.
Have you noticed that you’re drawn to people who smile a lot? People who smile are perceived as being more likeable than people who don’t smile, according to one 2014 study. Being likeable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being. A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions have more stable marriages and better interpersonal skills than people with negative emotions. So, keep a smile on your face to help create stronger, healthier social bonds.
Stronger Immune Function
Believe it or not, laughter (which often begins with a smile) appears to help boost your body’s immune system. Mayo Clinic reports that laughter and positive thoughts release signalling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illnesses, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. One 2015 study found that laughter therapy increases immune responses in women who have just had babies. So, maybe laughter really is the best medicine.
Pain relief might be the last thing you’d associate with smiling and laughter, but there are, indeed, links. Mayo Clinic reports that laughter causes your body to release its own natural painkillers. And a 2012 study found that social laughter increases your pain threshold, creating a higher pain tolerance. So, if you’re in pain due to an injury, illness or chronic disease, watch a funny movie, attend a comedy show or hang out with friends and family who make you smile.
It turns out that the fountain of youth might be right under your nose. A 2010 study found that smiling and positive emotions are associated with increased life spans. Talk about a reason to smile!
Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being. Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.