How to prevent our stress-system from taking over during the Corona Pandemic.
We live in insane times. For most of us, this pandemic; the Corona Covid-19; is creating the biggest global crisis we have seen. Our daily reality isn’t pretty: We are (semi) locked in and have to live on top of each other. We homeschool our kids and are challenged to practice our jobs in new ways. Not surprisingly, this situation triggers our ancient stress-system. The Fight, Flight, Freeze-response is present in all of us. When we don’t pay attention, this FFF-response can start to take the upper hand, sending us down a negative path. We wouldn’t want that to happen. So, how do we stay sane in times like these?
The battle of good and bad habits
To stay sane, we have to make sure that our FFF-response is limited in time and intensity. As you might know, there is plenty of research showing that good habits like physical exercise, meditation and eating healthy are extremely important to balance the stress-system. But what we also know is that bad habits lurk around the corner. We are drawn to eating crappy food, watching crappy Netflix series and drinking too much (crappy) wine. Especially in this “at home” crisis, we are easily entrapped by our bad habits.
The pregnant lady and drunken CEO
When the FFF-response isn’t balanced out, our stress hormones are negatively impacting our brain. The emotional center (amygdala) will start to behave like a hungry pregnant lady with little sleep: quick tempered, emotional and potentially depressed or anxious. The CEO of our brain (the frontal lobe) will start to behave like a drunken businessman: forgetful, with scattered attention, not able to inhibit unwanted behaviour.
Stop w(h)ining, start practicing
As you can see, when we neglect our FFF-response, bad habits will soon start to take control. As a result we are more emotional and less able to control our behaviour. This is a negative spiral: less able to take control --> more emotional → more bad habits, and so on.
We have to put our glass of wine aside and wake up our good habits. Depending on your age and level of self-awareness, you probably know what works well for your body and mind. Whether it is;
or all of the above, make it part of your daily routine. Take time to organize this and discuss it with your partner. Start simple with one good habit for two weeks. If you can stick with it, you can start to expand the good habit practice with one extra good habit every two weeks.
If you were to decide to meditate more often, we are there for you if you need any live guidance. For our virtual live meditation sessions, check out the schedule.
Stay sane, stay healthy!
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