Virus Anxiety and Fear
What Fear Does to Our Bodies, Mind, and Spirit
How many of you had plans for this summer? Are you still doing them? Have you overcome the fear?
There’s a virus out there killing dreams and plans, but it’s not the Coronavirus. It’s a Mind Virus, something so insidious and dangerous that it can destroy us faster than a physical illness.
It happens in many different situations. We just see it more today because of the fear and panic highlighted in every news program every day!
It can happen because of something personal, like cancer. It can happen when we face the death of a loved one. It can happen because of many different things, particularly the unknown.
Fear – What’s Happening In Your Body Right Now Because of this Mind Virus
It’s a primordial response. The most fundamental part of our brain, commonly called The Reptilian hindbrain, recognizes fear and pleasure. This part of our brain has the sole purpose of keeping us alive.
Have you ever felt the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Your brain recognizes something – the reptilian part recognized the danger. And although the logical higher functioning brain can’t place it yet, our body was suddenly flooded with cortisol, endorphins, and dozens of other hormones getting us ready to escape this danger.
Fortunately, we do have that higher brain function. You can take that fear and change how you perceive the situation.
For example, some people like roller coasters, some people love them, and other people are scared to death. It’s the same situation, so what changes? It’s simply perception. The people who like and love roller coasters experience pleasure hormones. They get a surge of serotonin and dopamine that make them feel good.
But if you fear that roller coaster, other hormones are dumped into your system. They’re the ones that tell you to run away to avoid the situation.
It all goes back to when we were much farther down on the food chain, and the saber-tooth tigers were after us. These fear hormones increase our blood pressure, increased blood flow to extremities, cause us to preserve all the food we eat as fat, and be hyper-vigilant. It helped us escape the saber-tooth tiger. And, because we ran away, we were able to burn off those hormones. Do you recognize how people who fear roller coasters go through the same exact thing?
But, today, many things cause these fear responses, but they don’t go away and we can’t run away. Work deadlines, demanding bosses, news programs that only talk about the bad stuff… they drive our fear continuously.
And what happens when you experience fear all the time? High blood pressure, weight gain, and fatigue from being hyper-vigilant all the time. Your immune system gets depressed, and you can’t fight off sickness when this happens.
I have more information on Facebook in my video I did. So I recommend you check it out.
Stopping The Cycle of Fear
Fortunately, you can put an end to this fear cycle. Follow these steps to gain back control and understand what you can and cannot do.
- Tell yourself stop – literally say STOP to put an end to the panic thoughts
- Take stock of where you are right now – are you safe at the moment? Focus only on the exact moment you are in right now and any immediate danger
- Take a moment to assess your realms of control – what can you do about the situation? What can you not do about the situation? Are there unknowns that you need to get more information before deciding?
- Take action on what you can right now
What You Can Do Right Now to Stop the Mind Virus
We have full choice to determine how fear affects us. In fact, we have the complete choice to choose how anything affects us – good or bad.
In the video I did above, I talked about the placebo and nocebo effect. This is where something happens, and the body believes an outside force is acting so powerfully upon it that it creates the outcome. In the placebo effect, we believe we’re taking a medication to change our health, therefore it does, even if the medication was never taken. It’s the same thing with the nocebo effect. The mind believes something is happening, and even without the stressor, the body reacts. The example I used was cancer in the video, so I recommend you take a look at it.
For this current virus, we can choose to be in fear or trust. We can focus on what’s good and be grateful and we’ll be happier and healthier. Choosing fear, decreases immune function and increases the probability of being ill. Take your power back, be positive, and things will get better and you will be happier.
Take a look at your realms of control. List out what you can do and what you can’t do. Now, start taking action. You can make a profound act by simply choosing to turn off the TV.
Understand the one thing you have control over – your thoughts! You may not have the option to work from home, but you can choose to improve your self during this ‘downtime’. Improve your knowledge base, improve your health, and improve your environment.
Finally, there are some things that we simply have to accept. This is perhaps the most crucial choice you can make. And in many of my courses, I teach about empowerment- moving from Victim to Victor. Tools like Conscious Languaging, Conscious Breathing, Re-Framing Stress – ALL proactive steps to enhance your life and well-being. We have no control over schools and businesses closing. But, you can make the most of the time we are given.
Meditation can help reduce the number of stress hormones in your body and help clear your mind of the fear. Having a plan of action and knowing what you can and cannot do gives you focus on living your life. You now have choices, which gives you back control. Choice defeats fear.
Fear is an old friend meant to keep us safe. But, it is up to you to choose whether you allow it to paralyze you or propel you forward and grow.