This article has been adapted from the e-workshop slides Nyasha facilitated for our scholars in April 2020.
The first thing stress and anxiety attacks is your health. Most often than not, before a mental/ psychological breakdown, your health suffers, for example, with constant headaches. That’s your body asking you to pay attention to listen more attentively to your thoughts. Understand that whatever you focus on it GROWS. So during this time of Covid-19, if you focus your attention on everything that is going wrong with the world as a result of Corona, it will appear bigger everyday. Your nervous system cannot distinguish between your imagination, imagined situations and reality of what is actually happening now. So if you become so engrossed, for example, dying, becoming homeless or failing to write and finish your thesis for a prolonged time during Corona, your nervous system experiences these imagined thoughts as though they are happening in real time.
HOW YOU THINK IS HOW YOU BREATHE
If your thoughts are rushed, confused, cluttered and not in sync trust, you will breath like that. Notice your breathing when you are panicking. A practical tip to help with that is to exercise breathing that is paced to help put oxygen back into your body while helping you to get out of your head back into the rest of your body. Breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and when anxious this will be a great help. Breathing will also help you access parts of your nervous system that you can control. It trains your brain to believe that you can control sometimes stressful situations into manageable ones!
Covid-19 has reminded us what a gift it is to be able to breath without support because of how it attacks the breathing system…. You still have access to this unique and precious gift, use it. BREATH.
Try this 10-minute deep meditation for a start.