Why you should absolutely avoid anxiety and stress during Corona times
Avoid anxiety and stress? How can that be done? You might well be telling yourself that surely these times of great uncertainty caused by the corona pandemic are likely to increase anxiety and stress. And of course, you would be right!
Do you know that we have 2 protection systems?
It all has to do with our 2 protection systems. First there is the immune system, which defends your body against intruders like the corona virus. But we also have a second system that protects us:
The fight and flight or stress response. That sounds very strange at first. But the stress response in its original sense is really a protective mechanism for the body. Imagine two cavemen who both see tracks of a sabre-toothed tiger. In one caveman, the stress reaction sets in immediately. Because of the shock and fear of the sabre-toothed tiger tracks, his body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. This prepares his body for a fight or for flight. Let's assume this caveman decides to run away and takes himself to safety in a cave. The second caveman, on the other hand, is much more carefree and is not intimidated by the sabre-toothed tiger tracks. Maybe he is lucky and the sabre-toothed tiger doesn't even come near him or maybe the animal has eaten recently. But of course, this caveman's lack of caution could also cost him his life. It is almost certain that the first caveman is your ancestor. So, this stress response has helped people survive in the past.
Which protection system gets the most energy?
Both protective systems - the immune system and the stress response - require a lot of energy. Suppose a caveman is very ill, which is why his immune system is running at full speed. This caveman now encounters a sabre-toothed tiger. So, straight away the second protective system, the stress reaction, becomes active. The interesting question is: What percentage of the energy does each system get? Maybe you would like to guess. By the way, I got it wrong when I heard all of this for the first time. So, in fact all the energy is withdrawn from the immune system and is entirely given to the stress response. And when you think about that, that is logical. If the caveman dies from the sabre-toothed tiger, it doesn't help him at all that let’s say 50% of the available energy was allocated to his immune system during the time his life was in danger. Because the problem with the illness will resolve itself if the caveman is eaten by the sabre-toothed tiger.
What have organ transplants got to do with it?
A few months ago, I watched an interesting YouTube video by the American scientist Dr. Bruce Lipton, who is involved with Epigenetics among other things. According to Dr. Lipton patients who have had an organ transplant are given stress hormones. These stress hormones then suppress the immune system. Obviously, this is a good thing, because otherwise the immune system would attack and reject the new, transplanted organ.
Can you put the pieces of the jigsaw together yet?
Now we have all the pieces of the jigsaw. When we are afraid or stressed, our protective system the stress response is activated. Our body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones prepare our bodies for flight or fight. To do this, the body supplies this protective system with 100% of the available energy. At the same time, the immune system is switched off. All of this makes sense when you have to escape a real danger like a wild dog or a sabre-toothed tiger. However, thoughts alone can also trigger feelings of anxiety and stress and thus also turn on the stress response. If this happens during "normal" times, it is unfortunate and this stress and these anxieties can make us sick. But if this happens during a corona pandemic, the consequences are much more dangerous!
What can you do?
It is best to worry as little as possible. Of course, you should definitely continue to follow the hygiene and distancing rules.
But there are also other things that can help you to get a better grip on stress and anxiety.
• Limit your exposure to negative news.
• Get plenty of exercise so your body can break down stress hormones as quickly as possible.
• Do relaxation exercises, yoga, meditation or self-hypnosis. It has been scientifically proven that all of these methods can effectively protect you from stress and anxiety. They also help your body to quickly switch from the stress mode to the relaxation mode.
All of these methods can help you strengthen your immune system by turning off the stress response. And apart from adhering to the hygiene and distance rules, that is the best thing you can do to get through this corona pandemic as safely as possible.
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