The global pandemic has affected businesses across the globe. People who were once used to hanging out with each other have now had to confine to their houses. It has led to a drastic change in daily routines and affected people all over the globe. More importantly, people no longer have the ability to go out and just have fun.
The COVID 19 pandemic has also exposed the frailties of human life. People who were living happy lives have now been fraught with mystery. We have all been reminded about the true nature of death, and just how close it really is. Anxiety and depression have become all too common now, and it’s important to look at different ways by which one can deal with these two things.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
1. Breathe Square
When we are anxious, our breathing quickens, but it takes an inefficient and superficial rhythm, explains a famous psychiatrist. We breathe in and out a lot more air, and much faster. As a result, we accumulate carbon dioxide and lack oxygen. The physiological disorders of anxiety are linked to this phenomenon. The sweaty hands, the knotted stomach come from the contractures caused by this jerky breathing. The muscles contract, the heart beats faster because it calls for more oxygen. It is possible to break this hyperventilation process with “square breathing”: breathe in through your nose for four times (counting to four). Block the breath for four beats. Blow through your nose for four strokes. Block again on four beats. This technique brings down the crisis in just a few minutes, by re-oxygenating the body.
2. Thumbs Up!
According to the principles of reflexology, anxiety results from a body-mind imbalance that can be corrected by stimulating pressure points, recalls an expert on physiology. On the thumbnails are reflex zones related to the pituitary gland. To relieve the anxiety, press down on your thumbnail, hold the pressure for about 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Applying pressure below the thumbs on the fleshy side of the hand also helps decrease nervous tension and the secretion of adrenaline. Just put your left thumb on the palm of your right hand and gently press for a few minutes, then do the same on the other side.
3. Alternate Your Breaths
To soothe an anxiety attack very quickly and naturally in just a few minutes, Céline Touati, naturopath, recommends this technique. This technique will teach you how to calm your mind, release tension and treat fatigue:
– Place the thumb of your right hand on the right side of your nose and your ring finger on the left side.
– Start by blocking the left side of your nose and inhale deeply from the right side, then block the right side and exhale from the left side.
– You will need to hold your breath for four seconds between each change of sides.
– Alternate inhaling and exhaling between the two sides for a few minutes and the anxiety attack will go away very quickly. “
4. Reframe Your Thoughts
It is about highlighting very distressing automatic thoughts and diverting them by interpreting the physiological symptoms of panic differently: cardiac acceleration, nausea, dizziness. This cognitive-behavioral technique is used by many expert psychiatrists. For example, if you think of a heart attack when your breathing quickens, remember the last time you climbed four to four stairs, and remember that your breathing quickened.
5. Inhale Serenity
Essential oils act on the limbic brain, the seat of emotions and memory. You can apply two or three drops of orange essential oil to the back of the neck: it calms tensions. You can also place a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow in the evening or on a handkerchief. “Inhaled, this essence triggers slow brain waves that are found in certain states of great relaxation”, says an expert. When the anxiety attack rises, Céline Touati suggests “breathing, straight from the bottle, essential oil of shell marjoram to balance the brain, or essential oil of lemon verbena for a soothing, sedative and regulator of the nervous system”.
6. Breathe Through Your Stomach
This is to fight against hyperventilation by increasing the pressure in the abdomen, which will compress the diaphragm upwards. Pushing it lightly crushes the heart, which is just above, and slows it down. This technique, also recommended by many experts and fitness pros, requires a little practice.
While seated, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe in and out through your nose while inflating the stomach while trying not to move the upper part of the thorax. Continue resting your hands on your thighs until you feel calm return.
7. The Wonder Woman Pose
Stand up straight, feet a little more than shoulder width apart, hands on hips with elbows outward, or even better (but more risky if one fears ridicule) arms outstretched towards the sky In the V of victory, gaze slightly above the horizon line for 120 seconds. This position changes the rate of hormonal secretions, according to Ngub Nding, pharmacist and TFT practitioner. Cortisol, a hormone whose rate rises too much under great stress, will drop significantly, and that of testosterone, a mood regulator, will increase. An ideal posture when you wake up to face the day.
8. Secure Your Feet
In situations of potential danger, many professional psychologists advise you to “focus your attention on your feet, because they are the ones who keep you on the ground. . You can also hug an object in your purse, such as a blanket, very tightly. Your anxiety is an energy which must be used as a motor at this precise moment. Then mobilize your attention to the action: locate the emergency exits or the elements behind which you could take shelter. The idea is to sharpen your senses and be ready to act”.
9. Pat Yourself
Inspired by acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, thought field therapy (TFT), or mental field therapy, was developed by the American psychologist Roger Callahan. It consists in stimulating certain points of the body corresponding to energy zones by tapping them, while focusing on what one feels. The tapping occurs when you feel anxious or anguish. Ngub Nding, TFT practitioner, recommends training to be effective when needed. This technique takes no more than two to three minutes. In a tight situation, tap five to ten times with two fingers, in order: the root of the eyebrows; under the eyes; under the arms, under the armpits, then under the head of the collarbones; then on the nail side of the index finger of the right hand close to the thumb, then again on the heads of the collarbone.
10. Stimulate the Thymus
A key organ for the immune system, called “the point of happiness”, the thymus is located under the neck, a little below the point between the two collarbones, near the sternum in the upper chest, where it centralizes a good part of the body’s energy. Stimulating it reduces stress. Many experts recommend this exercise in case of an anxiety attack: “Smile widely while tapping the thymus gland for ten to fifteen seconds.”
11. Use Bach Flowers
In your ideal emergency kit, you can always keep a few Bach Flower remedies. It is a great classic which works well, according to several experts: “At the beginning of the 20th century, Dr. Edward Bach, English physician, worked on the creation of flower essences. Through thirty-eight individual essences, he constructed floral remedies corresponding to all human emotions. Rescue is the thirty-ninth elixir made with five flowers.
For general anxiety, you can take four drops four times a day directly in the mouth. In the event of an anxiety attack, do not hesitate to take four drops in the same way, every ten minutes, until the general condition improves. »In case of great panic or paralyzing anxiety, the spray version allows you to draw faster: a tap under the tongue for each puff of stress or anxiety.
12. Massage Yourself Gently
For complete balance and to limit anxiety, a famous psychologist suggests composing the following mixture: a drop of tropical basil essential oil, a drop of shell marjoram and a drop of whole ylang-ylang diluted in a few drops of sweet almond vegetable oil. Two to three times a day, massage your solar plexus (at the base of the sternum) with this homemade composition.
A lot of the times when people are overcome with anxiety, they fail to keep these things in mind at all. It’s one of the reasons why you have to practice and be very careful about how you deal with these situations, because anxiety can turn into a serious problem if it continues for prolonged periods of time. The same goes for depression, which can even cause people to take their own lives.