Everyone’s rightfully worried about the COVID-19 coronavirus as it continues to spread across the nation. And we’re all glued to the TV and the internet for the latest news and updates.
But there’s an even bigger health problem right now. And it’s one that’s striking Americans in every nook and cranny of the country.
I’m talking about ANXIETY, of course. The stress and angst of the ongoing pandemic have reached into every home. Even folks who’ve carefully sheltered in place and avoided all contact with others – those who should have no risk at all – are stressed out.
Friend, we’re LITERALLY worried sick over this.
And while I can’t do anything about the coronavirus, I CAN help you with this other epidemic. Because I’ve got the solution you need to help ease your anxiety, fight off stress, and finally restore some calm.
How STRESS is making us sick
A new report in Time magazine finds that one in five Americans fight anxiety at some point in any given year. And that was BEFORE anyone ever heard of the word “coronavirus.”
And while we don’t have new numbers yet, experts told the magazine they’re already seeing a jump in cases. People prone to anxiety are having MORE of it. While folks who’ve never had a problem before are now reaching out for help.
And it’s not just battling bad feelings that’s at stake here. Make no mistake about it. Anxiety and stress levels absolutely have an effect on your immune system.
Keep them under control, you’ll be better equipped to handle germs and potentially avoid illness. But when those levels jump off the charts, we’re more prone to getting ill.
And right now, for many of us, anxiety levels aren’t just high. They’re off the charts.
4 ways to ease anxiety and keep calm
Even if coronavirus isn’t a worry where you are yet, the anxiety over the news could leave you more prone to OTHER illnesses such as the common cold, flu, and digestion issues.
In fact, high stress can even aggravate ongoing chronic illnesses, including heart disease.
That’s why it’s so important to learn how to keep calm, especially during this seemingly endless crisis. Here’s how to do it…
1. First, take a deep breath.
Seriously. A literal deep breath can have a nice, soothing effect. And if you spend a minute or two engaged in calm, slow breathing, you can practically feel some of that anxiety leaving your body with every exhale.
One of my favorite techniques is box breathing. Exhale slowly through your mouth for four seconds. Hold your lungs empty for a count of four. Inhale through your nose slowly for four seconds. Hold your breath for four more. Repeat until you feel calmer.
Google “deep breathing exercises” for more options. Or download a free app to your phone that can guide you through them if you prefer.
2. Second, consider meditation.
Studies show it can help easy anxiety and stress levels.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you need to sit cross-legged on the floor, burn incense, and chant like the Beatles in India. Although you certainly CAN if that’s your thing. I won’t judge.
Meditation takes many forms. Typically, all you need is a quiet room and a little time to clear your mind. Even prayer is a form of meditation. A quick Google search will give you lots of options to get started. I suggest looking for a YouTube video or an app for your phone.
3. Third, herbal therapies help.
Consider supplements such as rhodiola and ashwagandha, which are known to be natural stress fighters. Even a simple cup of calming chamomile tea can work. In one anxiety study, the herb helped nearly 60 percent of folks slash their anxiety levels in half.
4. Finally, remember this:
It WILL end. There is promising research on coronavirus treatments, and all it takes is one breakthrough to change everything. The warmer weather of spring and summer could also help slow the spread and give us a much-needed reprieve as scientists continue to crack the code so they can stop this thing.
So, for now, stay indoors. Keep smart. Be safe. And we’ll all get through this together.