All of us fear the coronavirus disease. Who would not get scared of this infectious disease that can easily take away our normal lives within a month? In a flash, the world changed due to this COVID-19 pandemic. It induced fear and anxiety to all the people worldwide as they stay within their homes during the quarantine. Now that many countries have started restoring their economy, we began venturing outside of our homes in hopes of recovering what we have lost both in the financial and social aspects.
According to different studies, about more than half percent of people are worried about returning to their jobs and livelihoods. It is because the threat of coronavirus disease still exists. As long as no vaccine is officially established, the possibility of contracting the virus goes on.
In the positivity podcast of Paul McKenna, he helpfully discussed how to overcome all our fears on the coronavirus disease or the fear called “Coronaphobia.” One will be able to live comfortably without anxiety, fear, or panic.
Paul describes Coronaphobia as the fear of the unknown. Humans, as we are, we naturally fear the unknown things or our unpredictable future. It is because, in this pandemic, everything happened so unexpectedly. As we stay within our home for months, we develop anxieties and worries of other possible diseases aside from COVID-19. This fear paralyzes us from reaching our goals and dreamed achievements in life.
Phobia is an irrational fear, according to Paul. It can refer to the overwhelming fear of heights, dogs, or even to doctors. Some people have their own phobia, which is accepted in the medical aspect. Although it is considered rational to fear the coronavirus disease, it will only turn into irrational once you cannot function at your best in your daily life.
The primary reason for this is that people tend to imagine something terrible will happen to them once they step outside their homes. They think that they will quickly get the COVID-19 disease if they expose themselves outside. They might not be aware that they continually imagine it within their minds. It is because the only way to ignite fear within us is through thinking about the bad things that might happen.
The common concerns include the anxiety that germs are everywhere. The COVID-19 pandemic changes our perspective as we become more aware of the danger of viruses and bacteria. Another one is the problem of how to connect with other people considering that we should practice social distancing. If you see all these things as threats, you have no chance to function at full performance. The innovative practices applied in the new normalcy can also be uncomfortable or awkward for you.
In that, we can identify the balance between all the reasonable precautions and the potential risks outside your homes. The health precautions include regular washing of hands, wearing of masks and physical distancing. On the other hand, it is natural for us to face potential risks as we venture outside our homes. Even inside our houses, potential dangers still exist. Life is always filled with fears and uncertainties. However, you can manage these fears as Paul discusses the steps on how to overcome coronaphobia.
Effective Ways in Managing Fears and Anxieties
First of all, Paul affirmed about the term “Negative Though Fast.” If an individual tends always to think negatively, the trait of negativity will develop within his or her character. This is the thing that we should avoid. Therefore, through the given term, you must initiate yourself to interrupt that pattern of negativity. It means that you will starve yourself with negativity while you develop positivity in your life. It is a good foundation as you go through your life in the following years.
Here is how to start your training. Whenever you feel ad about anything, it would be better to stop immediately what you are doing. You can do this as long as you are safe to do so. After that, you can follow these five simple steps.
1. Try asking yourself the reason why you felt bad about it.
From that, you can think about the possible causes. It is essential to take note that emotions are your body’s signals that ask for your attention. Every feeling you have is connected within your mind. Hence, you should start listening to the message or the positive intention of your emotion.
One of the examples mentioned by Paul is about a situation where you have an anxious feeling. The image that comes into your mind is the upcoming meeting that you will soon participate in. From that, you will be able to anticipate all the wrong things that might happen and those situations that you must be prepared for.
2. Act on the Message
Basing on the example in the first step, you will begin to list all the possible situations that can go wrong. After that, you can start thinking of all the ways to stop or preferably avoid it.
3. Turn off the Messenger
You can compare this step to hanging up on the phone or resetting your smoke alarm. Now that you have listened to the warning from your body and mind, you can start disposing of all these worries. You can shrink this image of anxiety into a speck of tiny dust as you stop all these negativities.
If these worries come back, then it means that there are more things that you should be aware of. Therefore, you go back to the second step to dispose of these anxieties completely.
4. Program your Desired Future
You have successfully removed all your uncertainties and fears. In this step, you will be visualizing the following events that you want to happen. You handled the meeting perfectly with other participants appreciating your presentation.
5. Power Postures
This concept came from a scientific experiment at Harvard University. Their research found out that pulling out specific postures is linked with your mindset and state of being. In the conducted experiment, two groups are asked to participate in a grueling interview. The first group did these power postures beforehand while the others didn’t. Between the two, the group that showed the most confidence and motivation was the first one who did the power postures.
As an example, Paul elaborated three power postures that you can practice every day. In this way, you can engage yourself better with an improved psychological state. You can do this before any stressful events such as a meeting or an interview. You may also want to perform this in private.
The first power posture he recommended is pointing your two fingers like you won a contest or something. You can hold this position for 30 seconds. The next one is called “Wonder Woman.” It is when you place your hand in your hips as you stand tall. The last thing involves placing your hands behind your head with elbows on the side. All these three postures must be held for about 30 seconds each. As you do these postures, you can reflect on how it makes you feel. It will surely set your day off as a success.
If ever you feel anxious and stressed as you faced your adversities in life, you can apply this next technique. According to Paul McKenna, it is called “Heart Math.” It is perfect whenever you feel out of your control since it will effectively manage your feelings of panic and anxiety. Initially, it is used within the military to help the soldiers if they are in a state of overwhelming stress.
It can be done by putting your hand on your heart as your attention focuses on it. Scientifically, it will reduce the amounts of the stress hormone cortisol within your body. As you do it, you must breathe in slowly and out. Control your breathing slowly for about three times. You should also remember those times where you felt really good. This is where you foster happy thoughts within your mind. It can be those times where you first fell in love or those happy bonding with your friends and family.
Then, imagine that you are brought back to those happy moments where you can hear the sounds loudly, see what you saw clearly, and feel how good it is all over again. On the scientific aspect, the human nervous system cannot identify between a real or a vivid experience. Hence, it transports you back to those good times as you calm yourself in less than a minute.
Through these practices, we can control our fears and anxieties about the existing threats of the COVID-19 disease. Our performance shall not be hindered due to the pandemic. Instead, we will be encouraged to stand back and restore the lives that we have. As different countries carry on their way to recovery, we will also recover the easiness, comfort, and happiness throughout our days.
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