Three Great Paradoxes of Stress in Crisis

During this period of lock downs, stress is on the rise. We are insecure about health, jobs, loved ones and society. However, their are other forces at work too. The first is that crisis creates a real survival mode which can actually be very beneficial. The second is that our forced re-connection with nature actually brings down our stress levels. And the third one is an opportunity to get rid of anxiety all together. Let's discuss and heal.

Most people with anxiety issues feel this anxiety in moments where we are at rest. With normal stresses now in the background, our deeper anxieties come to the forefront. The result is feelings of panic in moments where there is no reason to panic. It's our minds playing a trick because of its addiction to higher stress hormone levels that we generate through our busy lifestyles full of daily noise.

In other words, we panic because of fake danger. In this current Corona crisis however, the dangers are very much real. This may sound even worse. But it's actually the exact opposite. Through the eons of evolution, our bodies have become well equipped to cope with real danger. Stress hormones are actually the key now. Embrace the animal inside.

So while under normal, danger-free circumstances the trick is to snap out of your danger mode, in this case I want you to embrace it. You can use these hormones to spur you into action and change the situation for the better. After all, that is what nature designed them to accomplish in the first place.

Still, you will need to work on reducing stress levels. Here too, this period is your ally instead of your enemy. You can reconnect with nature for instance, the best stress relief there is. You have time to talk, connect and show your feelings to your loved ones. You can start a journal for introspection. And you can be a couch potato and binge TV shows or play computer games, distracting you from the stress. Under normal danger-free circumstances I'd advice you not seek out those distractions and face your anxiety. But right now, the situation is flipped: embracing your distractions is a good strategy. It will remind you the world may be quieter but it's still out there. And there is fun to be had.

You can even try to push it. By embracing meditation, qi gong, yoga, martial arts or other conscious practices, you can use this period to get rid of those anxiety feelings.

After all, the noise is down. And you have nothing better to do. Use it. Embrace the flow.

Love, as always.