Let’s face it, fear and anxiety levels are higher than they’ve ever been for most people around the world. Never before in our lives did a simple trip to the grocery store invite thoughts of our imminent demise or the demise of our beloved elders. But did you know that CDC is of the belief that covid anxiety and meditation are going hand in hand?
This means that the anxiety that has wrapped people tightly in the covid era has been alleviating with mindfulness meditation practice.
We were all brought down to the knees owing to the pandemic. But since we can’t change the pandemic, and we can’t run away from our worries, the best thing to do is transform the way we perceive these constant threats, face and overcome our fears head-on.
Luckily, crises make the best opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. As the myriad of things that fill up our usually hectic lives are whittled away, let’s make the best of this time to build ourselves back better.
Here, I’ll talk about a few simple and practical steps we can all take to alleviate our anxieties, feel better and be happier.
Breathe to Relieve
Do you know how they say take a few deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Well, that will certainly make you feel less stressed and overwhelmed.
But, if you want to start feeling amazing, try taking deep breaths for 20 or 30 minutes. This is a powerful meditation for calming your nerves and quieting your mind. Just sit in a quiet place, set a timer, or check the clock before you begin, and focus on the feeling of your breath coming in and out.
To learn how to jumpstart your meditation practice, you can check out our meditation courses.
During the pandemic era, a lot of us suffered from panic owning to the covid anxiety but with meditation, you are told to focus on your breath, and the anxiety starts to dissipate.
Everything we do and how we feel starts with our breath. It’s the most important function of our body. We can go for days without sleep, food, and water, but only a few minutes without breathing.
When In Doubt, Breathe In Breathe Out
Most people though, especially when we’re stressed or anxious or afraid, breathe in a way that can cause chronic pain, injury, poor organ function, and respiratory problems. Negative thoughts and emotions cause us to hold our breath unconsciously or take short shallow breaths. This leads to our muscles, joints, lungs, and organs being deprived of oxygen-rich blood cells.
There’s a reason we take a big sigh when we’re stressed. Sighs are designed to relieve our stress. So go ahead, sigh more often. Sigh all the time. Let it out. We may not even be aware of the stress and anxiety we’re feeling because we are so consumed in our thoughts, so the more the merrier.
Most of our autonomic nervous system (the functions of the body that happen automatically), like our heart rate and digestion, happen automatically and are out of our control. But breathing is a unique function that is both automatic and that we can control. This is why breathing is the doorway to our spiritual well-being.
In stress, our breath becomes choppy and shallow. When we’re calm and relaxed, it becomes smooth and deep, ut, it is in these times of stress that we can turn our focus to our breath, make it smooth and controlled, and before you know it, your body and mind will become relaxed as well.
Stretch and Move to the Groove
As we spend more time in our homes, it’s more important than ever to find new ways to move and stay active. All that COVID anxiety leads to oxygen-deprived muscles and joints, which leads to pulled muscles, painful joints, and muscular issues like back and neck pain.
Luckily, there are a million fun and relaxing ways to get moving and feel amazing from home. Whether it’s yoga or just a few stretches like touching your toes that make your body feel great, do it! Do it a lot.
As we get older, our body becomes more and more immobile. Daily yoga and stretching will keep your body flexible and nimble well into old age.
Other great at-home exercises that won’t break the bank are small rebound trampolines, a set of dumbbells for strength-training, a jump rope, a yoga mat, and a foam roller are all excellent items to have around the house for fun and fitness.
Almost all physical problems stem from a psychological cause. Luckily, it works in reverse too. Start getting physically healthy and our brain starts producing more of the happiness chemicals in our brain (dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, etc…).
Eat Food for a Good Mood
Unfortunately, everything they said about food is true. You are what you eat. Let food be thy medicine. Treat your body like a temple. You can pay the farmer—or pay the doctor.
Now, although we can’t all eat like Tom Brady, we can all learn from the way he’s figured out that what we eat has a direct effect on his mindset, performance, and health. Luckily for us, we don’t have to eat as perfectly as he does because we don’t get knocked down by 300lb men as part of our job.
What Can Science And Tom Brady Teach Us About Food?
So, what exactly can science and Tom Brady teach us about food? Well, they show us that certain foods are acidic and cause inflammation (which leads to muscle degeneration and longer recovery time), and other foods are alkaline and do not cause inflammation (which allows the body to heal faster and stay healthy).
While there are some exceptions, in general, alkaline foods consist of vegetables, fruits, soy, almonds, and olives. Acidic foods consist of meat, dairy, grains, chocolate, processed sugar, nuts, alcohol, and coffee.
Tom Brady famously follows the 80/20 rule—80% alkaline and 20% acidic—and that is a great goal for a healthy and balanced diet.
It is a fact that disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Our bodies have a remarkable mechanism for maintaining a proper PH balance no matter what we eat. Unfortunately for us, it does this by absorbing calcium from our bones and minerals from our organs in order to correct for an acidic diet.
This leads to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, obesity, diabetes, bladder issues, immune deficiency, premature aging, hormonal problems, gum disease, ulcers, dry skin, hair fall, stress, loss of joy, and other maladies.
So best to watch out for those acidic foods. After all, physical health is a key component of mental health.
Connect and Reflect
Science has shown that social bonds promote healing and happiness. Reach out to people you can connect with and talk about what you’re going through. Chances are, they can relate.
This can be done with your friends, family, religious organization, or you can give us a call at EastWesticism to speak with a spiritual adviser who can give you one-on-one counseling to best alleviate any kind of stress, anxiety, worries, and fears.
It’s been proven that strong social bonds are directly related to health and longevity. Because we’re all doing more and more socially distancing, it’s even more vital that we make extra efforts to seek out personal connections in our lives.
Be Kind, Unwind
As Rudyard Kipling wrote, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… yours is the earth and everything that’s in it.” Those words have probably never been more relevant.
These are crazy times. So be kind to yourself and others. Nobody’s perfect and we shouldn’t expect perfection. With meditation, you can curb down your covid anxiety and move towards a calmer overall perspective.
Moreover, turn off the news and social media from time to time. When worries and doubts come into your mind, bring your mind back to your breath.
You can do this! Things will get better. This too shall pass. You’ve made it this far! Way to go.