By now we all heard of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It causes cough, fever and shortness of breath and it’s now causing a worldwide pandemic.
As the pandemic unfolds, we are all experiencing a wide range of emotions from mind anxiety to serious panic. This is a frightening time, some people have already been affected by coronavirus while others are waiting in fear about what’s coming next.
It’s natural to feel anxious about the fear of the unknown that this pandemic is bringing, but this is a very difficult time if you have an anxiety disorder.
Coping With An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety helps us prepare to respond in a more adaptive and healthy way. Some people can tolerate some degree of discomfort and can manage their anxiety in a healthy manner, because overtime they’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms.
However, there are other people with anxiety disorders that have more trouble coping with this frightening time. If you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) you’re already suffering from chronic worrying that leads to catastrophic thinking and leads to increased anxiety and prevents you from taking action in an actual crisis.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling Nervous
- Having a Sense of Impending Doom
- Increased Heart Rate
- Breathing Rapidly
- Feeling Weak
- Sleep Disturbances
- Weakened Immunity
Anxiety and the Mind-Body Connection
I’ve written in this blog about the mind-body connection; our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can positively and negatively affect our physical health.
An example of this connection is the relationship between anxiety and your immune system; There’s evidence that too much anxiety can weaken your immune system. It puts stress on your body and releases the stress hormone cortisol, which is intended to be nature’s alarm system that activates your fight-or-flight response.
Cortisol weakens your immune system by weakening beneficial antibodies in an attempt to reduce inflammation when you’re under severe stress and it’s been known to move resources from other immunities such as T cells and white blood cells.
During this pandemic it’s very important to take a proactive approach toward managing anxiety and your overall health.
In Part.2, I’ll be discussing how I’ve been managing my anxiety during this crisis.
How Are You Coping With COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety?
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