It is good advice to calm down even if you are on your death bed. It is always good advice, especially if we are about to hurt someone. We need to calm our fears even if we have every right to be afraid. If we act in ways to reduce anxiety and fear, we will be less anxious.
That might sound like good advice, but what do you say to the people of Lebanon after what looked like a small nuke (massive chemical explosion) destroyed half their city and destroyed their grain reserves? Perhaps Aristotle’s words, “Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.”
Arthur Brooks says, ‘Love Is Medicine for Fear.’ “Life, especially pandemic life, is full of threats and uncertainty. When we feel afraid, bringing more love into our lives can help. We are living in a time of fear. The coronavirus pandemic has threatened our lives, health, and economy in ways most Americans have never experienced. We have no idea what the future will bring.” For the many who have empty bellies, food is good medicine for fear.
According to the American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” survey, the percentage of people in the U.S. who say that “the future of our nation is a significant source of stress” rose to 83 percent in June 2020, up from 63 percent in 2017.
There are things we can do something about and things we have no control over, and it is wise to understand the difference. Sometimes we have to surrender and do the best we can, and sometimes we have to fight to protect our loved ones and integrity of self. This year life is changing at a lightning pace. We need to deal with reality or reality will deal with us harshly and in unexpected ways.
Some anxiety can be beneficial to our health, egging us on to achieve difficult tasks or helping ready and protect us from danger. Chronic stress, however, can be detrimental to our quality of life, especially if it’s reached a point where we can’t function normally. Those who suffer from anxiety disorders experience a greater risk of developing numerous health conditions with severe symptoms, including heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.
A study of 13,000 people in their 40s to 80s found those who suffered from symptoms of anxiety and depression had a 20 percent higher chance of developing dementia than those who didn’t suffer from these illnesses. Researchers also discovered that being anxious can cause asthma, according to the Journal of Affective Disorders (January 1, 2016).
We do need to calm down for there is little anyone now can do after the entire world embraced lockdown madness that continues to destroy businesses, force people to hide in their homes, and made sure that no one gets close to anyone else. The sum of western medical science was reduced to a strategy to preserve hospital space, which only later mutated into a general principle that the way to beat a virus is to avoid people and wear a mini-hazmat suit.
“I learned two main things. First, I was very surprised at how strongly the isolation hit me. I am a person who is “energized” by interacting with other people. I knew that already, but I was shocked at how MUCH it affected me. Second, I got a taste of normalcy bias. I kept trying to see ways in which our situation was still “Normal.” As a school teacher of little ones for thirty years, I was pretty much used to switching into action immediately to deal with a crisis and putting my feelings on the back burner. So, I was shocked that it took me a couple of months to “accept” the changes in our lives and start looking for creative ways to make life work and meet our needs,” wrote Trisha.
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” raged Peter Finch in the 1976 Oscar-winning movie, “Network.”Forty-four years ago, his lines read, “I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street, and there’s nobody anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. There’s no end to it.”
If you’re in one of the countries currently experiencing life under lockdown,
or just generally feeling stressed about the ongoing pandemic, you
might have noticed your dreams have gotten a little strange lately.
Face Reality Calmly
“Things are the worst they’ve ever been in the U.S., and they are spiraling out of control,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.
Michael Whitney starts an essay on Global Research, saying:
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“Let’s assume that the events of the last five months are neither random nor unexpected.
Let’s say they’re part of an ingenious plan to transform American democracy into a lockdown police state controlled by criminal elites and their puppet governors.
And let’s say the media’s role is to fan the flames of mass hysteria by sensationalizing every gory detail, every ominous prediction and every slightest uptick in the death toll in order to exert greater control over the population.
And let’s say the media used their power to craft a message of terror they’d repeat over and over again until finally, there was just one frightening storyline ringing-out from every soapbox and bullhorn, one group of governors from the same political party implementing the same destructive policies, and one small group of infectious disease experts –all incestuously related– issuing edicts in the form of “professional advice.”
Yes, that means we need to calm down even though we are facing a well thought out takedown of the whole world. We need to face reality calmly. It’s the best choice we have.
It’s A Bummer For Many
The pandemic has worsened the opioid crisis—as the virus has exacerbated feelings of anxiety, social isolation, and depression. At the same time, many recovery programs have been forced to close or scale back.
“Evidence shows how economic downturn, specifically unemployment, can lead to issues like drug overdose deaths, as well as becoming a risk factor for suicide,” Dr. Benjamin F. Miller, the chief strategy officer of the Well Being Trust, a national foundation focused on improving mental health, told The Epoch Times in an email.
“Because of the challenges associated with social isolation and loneliness, this could be a multiplier—something that we have never seen as a country. The combination of social isolation and economic decline is likely to cause a substantial amount of distress for countless in our communities,” Miller said.
Now many of us fortunate ones have to turn inwards. It is an excellent time to practice yoga and meditation, as well as learn how to breathe. It is a perfect time to learn to listen primarily to anyone you are in lockdown with.
Giving is Good for your Health
Stephanie Booth writes:
“Humans are born especially vulnerable and dependent on others,” explained Tristen Inagaki, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh who led both studies. “As a result, we require a prolonged period of intense caregiving following birth in order to survive.”
People who volunteer get sick less often and live longer. Helping has also been shown to improve a person’s self-esteem, foster a rosier view of the world, decrease risky or problematic behaviors, and stave off depression.
Plus, the more you help others, the more you want to keep helping. “Helping others takes the mind and emotions off the self, allowing the mind to move past anxieties and rumination,” said Stephen G. Post, PhD, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. “Even when helping others as only external action, our emotions over time tend to shift to joy and kindness, especially with good role models.”
And go out and get some sun and have some fun, every day if possible! Relaxing on the sofa or savoring a delicious meal: Enjoying short-term pleasurable activities that don’t lead to long-term goals contributes at least as much to a happy life as self-control, according to new researchfrom the University of Zurich and Radboud University in the Netherlands.