What is Fear
Fear is our belief that we are in danger. With the COVID-19 situation, it’s completely normal to feel in danger. Our safety, our well-being, and our lives are at risk. Fear is powerful and primitive and has saved our lives for years. It’s natural to experience fear. Contrary to popular belief, feeling afraid is not a bad thing. But fear can also paralyze us, cause us pain and discomfort and escalate into panic. The good news is that we can manage fear during this coronavirus pandemic.
What Causes Fear
Our brain perceives a threat. Fear lives in the amygdala, an almond-shape part of the brain. When fear sets in, we experience bodily changes. Your brain becomes overactive, your pupils get dilated so you can focus better, your breathing accelerates. It also triggers a release of stress hormones and results in an active sympathetic nervous system. Too much stress can lower your immune system, which is not a good thing in times of coronavirus pandemic.
Five Steps to Help You Deal with Fear During Coronavirus Pandemic
Step 1: Learn to Recognize Fear
Instead of pushing it away, welcome the fear. Notice where it shows up in your body. Is it in your stomach, chest, neck? Locate the feeling, breathe into it, smile and say to yourself: I See You. I Accept you. You may find out that by doing this simple awareness practice, you’ll soften the feeling and feel instant calm and freedom.
2: Get Centered & Present
Get centered anytime you feel stressed, fear, anxiety or overwhelm. The easiest way to achieve instant presence is to take a deep breath in your lower belly and count backwards from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Breathe deep into your lower belly and arrive into presence. Notice what shifts. By doing this practice, you will experience calmer, present and alive. You can also get grounded by putting both feet on the ground and standing tall like a tree, feeling the earth beneath your feet.
Step 3: Monitor For Fear
By now you know how to recognize your fear and how to pay attention to see when and where it shows up. You can do a quick body scan to locate it. By being more aware of your body sensations, you can take action to ease the emotion. As you go about your day, observe your inner state and behavior. Anytime, you start experiencing overwhelm and fear, shift it. (Step 4).
Step 4: Shift Your State Away From Fear
This practice allows you to powerfully shift your mind-body state and behavior. You can shift from unpleasant feelings and emotions to a state of presence. To shift your emotion from fear to calm, follow the steps outlined above: 1) Pause + Body Scan 2) Get Present and 3) Proceed With Your Day from a state of presence.
5: Shake Fear Off
Shaking allows your body to release tension. This is why animals shake after they’ve in a life-threatening situation. Shaking will leave you energized and feeling better. Just gently shake your whole body – arms, legs, neck. Be gentle and curious, no forcing. Shake for a few minutes and see how you feel afterwards. Do this daily.
I want to see the whole world give shaking a chance to ease the fear from coronavirus pandemic. We can do this. Tag me at @unhustle on social media or go to Unhustle.com for more tips, practices and resources to help you get adjusted to your new way of living.