10. Dealing with stress in a covid world – maintaining happiness

 

Stress and Covid. How to get balance in a crazy world?

 

Question the messaging in the media. Recognise that there is an alternative. Make adjustments about how you deal with uncertainty.

 

Step back – assess yourself. Recognise that you are getting biased information.

Information overload – do your own research – and be aware of social manipulation (watch the movie ‘Social Dilemma’ – we are not getting unbiased news.

 

Isolation is a challenge. Recognise the importance of community, humans are social pack animals – this is part of our way of processing information.

 

Stress changes the way we can process information – we become stuck in a fear loop. Constant stress has a negative impact on the body. Look for signs that you have become a little depressed and take action.

 

Action that you can take right now – mindfulness practices. Jon Kabat Zinn Body Scan Meditation. Meal times – make sure you are present – really taste everything. Find small mindfulness practices every day. Mindfulness activities include forest walking, focusing on each part of the body, tasting something fully, listening to something fully. This activates certain parts of the brain – the more you do it – the more you can activate these pathways – these are the same pathways involved in emotional control.

 

Breathing exercises. Meditation. Dr .Huberman on the Rich roll podcast explains about the breathing process in relation to control.

 

Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. The fight or flight response and the tend and befriend response. There are many stress responses, you can recognise your own strategy as well as the coping strategies of those around you. It’s all about having awareness. The stress system is explained by Robert Sapolsky in the excellent book ‘Why Zebras don’t get Ulcers’.

 

Role of the community is so important – make an effort to support the local community. Creativity – Russ and Paul have been super creative in this lock down time – there are great opportunities in this quiet time. The concept of flow states – and how they are activated by creative activities.

 

Top tips from this episode:

  • Movement – we are made to move- yoga, walking, breathing, online classes

  • See the sunrise

  • Change your view on a regular basis – your eyes need to see distance objects as well as close up

  • Practice self development

  • Role of therapy – we are not our story – we have blind spots – get the increased perspective that a therapist brings

  • Keep a dream diary next to your bed

  • Challenge yourself to learn to think differently

  • Embrace the dark times and dark aspects of personality – challenge your views of mental illness and depression, boredom, reflection

  • Have compassion for others and differences in viewpoints

  • Who are the people you are surrounding yourself with, and what is in your environment – remove toxic news and toxic people.

 
 

References:

 

Social Dilemma Movie

https://www.thesocialdilemma.com/

 

Jon Kabat Zinn Body Scan Meditation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4gZgnCy5ew&ab_channel=PeopleinPainNetwork

 

Change Your Brain: Neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman | Rich Roll Podcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwQhKFMxmDY&ab_channel=RichRoll

 

Sex differences in the effects of acute stress on behavior in the ultimatum game

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29940425/#:~:text=It%20has%20been%20argued%20that,stress%2C%20while%20men%20do%20not.

 

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Zebras-Dont-Ulcers-Third/dp/0805073698/ref=sr_1_1?crid=9JWEE5Q1QRIW&dchild=1&keywords=why+zebras+dont+get+ulcers&qid=1613039132&sprefix=why+zebras+dont+%2Caps%2C218&sr=8-1