Facing Mass Hysteria over Covid-19! Fight anxiety, stress and fear. Build your Immune System.
Facing Mass Hysteria over Covid-19! Fight anxiety, stress and fear. Build your Immune System.
What is going on? This is the question on all our minds… Covid-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, has taken the world by storm. It is all anyone is talking about. Coronavirus is currently responsible for crippling the best health care systems and bringing world powers to their knees. As a result, it is threatening economies and affecting the world over. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic and this, understandably, is creating mass hysteria and panic. We are all affected by Covid-19! The situation is serious and how we respond is just as serious.
I have been bombarded in the past few weeks by conflicting reports, information and theories. Everyone has an opinion and everyone is giving their thoughts on the matter, including me. In all this discussion and debate, the part that has concerned me the most is people’s emotions and their mental state. Mass hysteria brings anxiety, stress and fear. These three emotions are detrimental to our well-being. Yes, no doubt, we need to be vigilant. Absolutely! We need to be responsible and we need to all change the game by changing our behavior…
It is critical in this fast-paced and already stressful world to take precautionary measures to protect our thoughts, minds and emotions. In the big picture- everything is being threatened by Covid-19. Our health is being threatened; our family and friends, our finances, our country, our mental state… even our toilet paper supply. A question we should be asking ourselves is ‘am I contributing to the panic’. A good starting point is to stop obsessing over the news and reading every detail. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and reduce your screen time. Possibly removing yourself from the stresses of the negative media available and find beneficial ways to spend your time and your mental focus?
Where to from here?
The world is calling for isolation and social distancing. This can, unfortunately, result in other issues: loneliness, depression and burnout, to name a few. Asking people to self-quarantine and cause their own solitary confinement is asking them to create barriers and build walls when we were created to be sociable. The human race is not meant community, not confinement. When we are in social situations, our brain releases chemicals like serotonin (the happy hormone), dopamine (feelings of pleasure and reward and goal setting), and endorphins – your natural pain-killers. So for your own health, you need to keep your social interactions up, if that is at all possible. Making this time a priority with your family. Choosing to see a handful of friends while staying safe and vigilant about handwashing and human contact. We can minimise the spread without minimising our health!
Importantly, other aspects to consider in this newly found pandemic is that it is causing us to be selfish on top of everything else. We must, therefore, put down our weapons of selfish self-preservation. Consider maybe, instead of looking for ways to only help ourselves and our families, we can still be community-minded. Did you know that selfishness actually helps breed mental illness? It also breeds anxiety, stress and fear and incites selfishness in others as well. Viruses are not the only things that are contagious, our behavior is as well. We need to be mindful of this and others. Asking ourselves what example are we setting?
It is a challenging time and having increased anxiety, stress and fear in our lives lowers our immune system. Are we living in a pressure-cooker environment, waiting to explode? Resulting in making us more susceptible to diseases and viruses. The end result is that it makes us more vulnerable to the Coronavirus.
Predicting the future?
We can try and predict the future, but the future really is unknown. We don’t know the outcome of this virus, maybe our bodies start building extra immunities towards it; maybe they don’t. There might be a vaccine made available soon. Maybe it starts losing momentum and dies out as the seasons change. Anything is possible. One thing we do know is that we need to build up our immune system and start looking after each other in the process! Because, what does the future hold for us?
Daily, there are new reports and causes for concern. Some allowing us to spiral into the depths of negativity. Stop believing everything you read, it could be false news and subsequently sending you over the edge. What can we do? Find the positives in life which keep us hopeful. The world is in a difficult place and we need to be a part of a movement that builds it up, causing and creating hope and encouragement. These positives are around us; we need to look for them and find them. It could be an isolated trip out with your family, a blanket and a picnic basket. Tell stories, laugh and enjoy the quality time you have together. Take stock of your life and start focusing on what really matters.
Building up our Immune System is key!
Our immune system remains something of a mystery to scientists. We know it is responsible for keeping us healthy, fighting off diseases and viruses. When it is not functioning optimally, we are vulnerable to picking these up. It sounds unbelievable, but one key aspect to improved immune health is being and staying positive and managing our stresses and mental state. Our lifestyle habits and diets are also known to affect the capability of our immune systems.
How to Boost your Immune System?
1. Manage anxiety, stress and fear.
Ask yourself why you are experiencing these thoughts and emotions. Do some research into the reasons and gain knowledge, facts and understanding behind your concerns. Decide on a game plan on how to proceed and which methods will work for you. Speak to someone you trust or possibly get professional help. Your needs might be more than your friends or family can help you with.
When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens (foreign bodies such as bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells) is compromised. Making us more susceptible to infections. When we are not managing our stress correctly, we release excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol, which can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system.
2. Avoid harmful foods and eat foods that boost your immune system
Stay away from foods that are high in sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed. Drink water throughout your day. Keeping your body sufficiently hydrated, flushes it of toxins. Eating healthy, whole, real foods are crucial to immune boosting. Eat colorful, fresh fruit and vegetables. Take extra Omega 3, Probiotics, Multi-Vitamins and Vitamin D, which comes from direct sunlight. If you are doubting your direct sunlight exposure- take vitamin D to boost it.
3. Get more sleep, more good quality sleep!
Sleep is crucial to the functioning of our bodies and our immune system. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins, some of which help promote sleep. Certain proteins need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or if you are under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these proteins. As a result, these infection-fighting, immune antibodies decrease when we don’t get enough sleep. Our bodies need sleep to fight infectious diseases, like the Coronavirus.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking.
“One bout of excessive drinking can reduce the immune system’s response to invading pathogens,” Dr John Spangler MD says. “Alcohol’s major metabolite, acetaldehyde, likely impairs ciliary function in the lungs, making them more prone to bacterial and viral invasion,” he explains. “Alcohol also impairs the process of attacking and breaking down bacteria and viruses,” he says, putting people who drink regularly at higher risk for infectious diseases, such a Coronavirus.
Whether you’re smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes, you’re still exposed to nicotine, which has harmful effects on your immune system. “Nicotine increases cortisol levels,” explains Dr Spangler. Vapor from e-cigarettes could damage the lungs and make them more susceptible to infection. Researchers have cautioned that e-cigarettes are unsafe because their vapor contains free radicals that can cause airway inflammation and impaired responses to bacteria and viruses.
5. Good lifestyle choices, exercise and doing activities you enjoy.
These help to boost and benefit our immune system. Pray, journal, read the bible and meditate! Do what you love to do at home, having fun automatically helps boost our immune system. Above all else in this time look for ways to have fun!
Now more than ever, we need to act and look after our health! Yes, sanitize your hands- but most importantly sanitize your mind, your thoughts and emotions. Boost your (and your family’s) immune system. If you are one of the unfortunate ones who contract this world fearing virus- hopefully you will be part of the 80% who experience only mild symptoms and bounce back to everyday life. Just remember that for most, who contract this virus, it is so mild that they are barely affected by it. It affects a small number of people: those with compromised immune systems, the elderly and those who have a pre-existing condition.
We don’t know what life holds, but this is the only body you have. Look after it; have fun in it. Be healthy and make wise lifestyle choices.