Five Minutes of Coronavirus Tension Rekindle – The New York Times

In this emotional equivalent of an ultramarathon, it’s important to have some stress-reducing strategies available that work quickly and effectively to help you hit the reset button.

Here’s why: Struggling with chronic anxiety is effectively done. Managing your emotions. Unfortunately, many people who experience anxiety try to avoid their unpleasant feelings by distracting themselves in ways that ultimately backfire.

If you suspect you are one of them, ask yourself if you have a tendency. Decide your feelings – This is a normal thing to do. But this can fuel a vicious loop of feeling, then avoiding the feelings and feeling even worse. Removing emotions It’s like trying to force a beach ball underwater: they’ll back up. Instead, notice and normalize difficult emotions; Ideally, negative feelings, including fear, can motivate us to solve problems.

So instead of dealing with worry and uncertainty by worrying, then chasing short-term fixes with long-term consequences, like procrastinating, eating. Or marijuana Competing or relying on Benzodiazepines – Anti-anxiety medications like Xanax – It’s helpful to experiment with quick strategies that will empower you. These strategies aren’t necessarily a cure, but can help reduce the intensity of overwhelming emotions, helping you reframe to better deal with the challenges you face.

My patients often reflect that an added benefit of strategic coping is increasing your sense of mastery—the hope that comes when you stretch yourself and accomplish something challenging. Such as coping with your anxiety in a productive way.

Focusing on soothing sounds Reduces stress. I research Led by Dr. Vena Graf, an assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania, preoperative patients were assigned to either music medicine—listening to the Marconi Union.weightless“- or benzodiazepines have been prescribed. Remarkably, soothing music has been shown to be nearly as effective in reducing patients’ anxiety as the medication option, without any side effects.

To honor your unique taste, explore different options and create a playlist that feels relaxing when you need a break. Keep in mind that while listening to songs that uplift your emotions may seem cathartic (for example, listening to lyrics about heartache while feeling lonely), research on inducing different mood states has found that We have gone Improve our experience With a more uplifting soundtrack. “Music can lift us from depression or bring us to tears—it’s a cure for the ear, a tonic, orange juice,” as Dr. Oliver Sacks says in “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.” It is written.

Marsha Linehan, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington, popularized an exercise. Dialectical Behavior Therapy To manage intense emotions that include instantly lowering your body temperature by creating a mini plunge pool for your face. It sounds weird, but it activates your body. Dive answera reflex that occurs when you cool your nostrils while holding your breath, reduces your physical and emotional intensity.

To do this, fill a large bowl with ice water, set a timer for 15 to 30 seconds, take a deep breath and hold your breath while submerging your face in the water. While this isn’t traditionally relaxing, it will slow your heart rate, allowing blood to flow more easily to your brain. I love seeing my clients try it out on our telehealth calls and seeing for myself how quickly it changes their perspective. By being willing to do just that, I tell my clients to prepare to sink, a way to practice flexibility.

One of my favorite thoughts that never fails to fill me with gratitude, no matter what else is going on, comes from mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, who likes to say, “As long as you Breathing, you’re more right than wrong.” In “The Healing Power of Breath,” Drs. Richard Brown and Patricia Gerberg offer a range of exercises to promote flexibility. One of my favorites: consciously slow your breath to six breaths a minute by inhaling and exhaling (to practice this timing, you can use second hand and hold your breath for five seconds can take, exhale for five seconds, and repeat four times, or try a guided recording). Speed ​​offers breathability Physical benefitsLike Lowering your blood pressure, which helps promote a sense of relaxation. When people tell me that it’s hard to breathe a certain way when they’re nervous, I tell them to start with alternative relaxation activities, like music, and work their way up to faster breathing. do

Another way to stay present instead of wallowing in a crisis is to see if you’re engaging in thinking that isn’t helping you. Our interpretations of events are supercharged. The intensity of our emotions. After all, expecting, “This will last for years!” A moment of agony will only inspire more hopelessness. But brainstorming, or learning to see more clearly as opposed to jumping to conclusions, A good treatment for anxiety. A shorter way to get into the moment is known as “anchoring,” a popular strategy.

Start by physically centering yourself by digging your heels into the floor – this creates a sense of being grounded in reality. Then take a moment to observe: What am I thinking? Feeling in my body? are doing Then ask yourself: Is my answer: A) helpful? b) Are you aligned with my values ​​now? or C) related to future problems or past problems? Although we can get stuck in specific thoughts, stepping back to decide whether or not those thoughts are helpful can usually snap us out of rumination mode. It may also help to tap a list of these tips on your computer to remember to take a step back and refocus when your thoughts are just making things worse.

If you struggle with physical sensations of anxiety, such as muscle tension and the feeling that you can’t get enough air, yet a contrarian. Important The way to manage is to practice bringing these feelings into more calm moments to improve how you cope with stressful people.

Learning to welcome physical symptoms often allows you to stop seeing them as destructive. In a recent therapy group I led on Zoom, my clients ordered thin coffee straws to give it a try. I set my timer for one minute while they pinched their noses and tried to just breathe through a straw.

We also worked on mimicking other feelings that are associated with fear, such as muscle tension, dizziness and shortness of breath. We grabbed a plank, spun in circles and ran into place. Some people were surprised that the exercise experience was worse than the anxiety they usually felt. Others found that it was like this, which felt freeing – they didn’t have to wait for their emotions to catch on – and could instead deliberately accustom themselves to them.

Recently, at the end of a long day of video calls with patients, my 5-year-old daughter asked, “When will the germs go away?” After removing my 3-year-old’s sneaker from my 1-year-old’s mouth, I saw a request from a client about a quick check-in. I practiced deep breathing and pulled on my nightly dance party playlist (by request: Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling”) before discussing my daughter’s feelings and getting back to work.

Now I hope you can make your plan with the above strategies. By practicing managing your emotions, you will experience a sense of freedom in your life. I don’t know about you, but I’ll chase it over any foolproof short-term alternative.