I don’t know about you, but lately, people all around me are reciting coronavirus facts, fiction and fear on a daily basis. How many countries are affected, how many people have contracted it, how many have died, how governments are reacting, even who to avoid!
It can feel alarming and overwhelming.
There’s the fear of contracting it ourselves, of our loved ones contracting it, and also that more subversive fear of feeling like everyone around you is on edge, afraid, even hateful and constantly on the lookout for “signs” that someone around them is infected.
We can’t live in fear. We can’t allow fear to live our lives for us!
Yes, we can take preventative measures but, beyond that, we cannot let our inner saboteurs take over our thoughts and control our lives. We need to keep ourselves firmly in that CEO seat, so that fear does not derail us from cultivating the life we want for ourselves and those around us.
So how can we do our best – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – to prevent coronavirus and keep ourselves – not our fear – in the driver’s seat?
Here are a few strategies that can help keep you strong and not only help prevent coronavirus, but other illnesses as well:
On a practical level, avoid people who are visibly coughing, sneezing, sick or wearing a mask. Avoid crowds when possible and consider wearing a mask yourself if crowds are unavoidable, such as on public transportation. Just remember not to wear the same mask for more than one day.
Don’t share personal items such as food, drinks, utensils, towels and even pens, handheld devices and other office supplies.
One of the best ways to prevent infection is through regular hand washing, with soap, for at least 20 seconds. Do this before and after eating, after using the washroom, after using public transportation, after shopping, or any other time you come into contact with things other people often touch (such as stair railings, office door handles, public washrooms, library books and more). Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible.
If you believe you may be infected, stay home. There’s some good information here about when to seek medical advice and it’s important to note that they recommend calling your doctor, hospital or medical center first to see if your condition warrants a hospital or doctor’s visit. Here in Quebec, you can also call Info-Santé to speak to a registered nurse about your symptoms and concerns. Staying home prevents further spread and gives you the chance to rest and recuperate, which is what your body needs most.
You may also want to stock up on canned goods and other supplies in case of infection. This is generally a good idea every winter/flu season as it’s good to be prepared in case you need to stay home and recover for a few days.
And finally… eat an apple a day! This is more than just a saying. The proverbial advice, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” first appeared in 1866, long before we knew just how healthy apples are. Although they’ve come to symbolize everything from health and beauty to ingenuity, their practical impact truly puts them in the category of “food is nature’s medicine”. According to nutrition consultant, Kim L’Ecuyer, these are a few of the things apples have been linked to:
- Fighting Alzheimer’s
- Preventing colon cancer
- Stabilizing blood sugar
- Boosting gum health
- Preventing high blood pressure
- Assisting in weight loss
- Fending off heart disease
- Fighting high cholesterol
You may even want to eat the whole apple, core and all, as researchers from Graz University of Technology in Austria discovered that a typical organic or conventional apple contains around 100 million bacteria (the good kind that promotes gut health), with much of that bacteria found in the seeds. Organic apples also seemed to have a health edge as they contained more diverse and balanced bacterial life. If crunching seeds doesn’t sound appealing, try throwing the entire apple into a blender to make a nourishing smoothie.
Above all, remember that physical health and nutrition come from taking a holistic approach. A well-rounded diet featuring diverse sources of nourishment, paired with an active, non-sedentary lifestyle, is the best way to keep your body strong to prevent disease and better fight off anything that gets through.
Mental and Emotional
Thoughts and feelings are different, but deeply connected.
Let’s start with our thoughts. As soon as you notice a fearful or negative thought coming up, intentionally decide to change it. Choose to control your thoughts. Don’t let them control you. If you give too much power to your thoughts, they impact your body, resulting in limiting emotions. As Dr. Joe Dispenza says, thinking certain thoughts results in the brain producing certain chemicals that cause you to feel what you’re thinking. Meaning, if you’re thinking fearful thoughts, your brain responds by producing the feeling of fear. It’s a continuous cycle that impacts your state of being.
One of the more commonly known of these chemicals is a hormone called cortisol, also called the stress hormone. This hormone is a key player in activating our fight-flight-freeze response and creating the feeling of fear. Cortisol production in our bodies can be triggered by stressful or fearful thoughts. By becoming skilled at noticing these thoughts as they emerge and swiftly moving past them, we can prevent that cortisol response.
In this way, we can regulate our emotional response through regulating our thoughts. When those fearful thoughts about illness emerge, tell those fears, “I am doing my best to prevent this. Everything that I can control is in my control and what I can’t control does not have space here.”
If you dwell on the fear you feed it. You feed it your energy and peace of mind so that the emotion of fear spills out into other areas of your life. This isn’t healthy for your life, career or relationships.
Remember: when you control the thoughts, you regulate the emotion. And, like anything else, it takes practice and intention.
Ask yourself, “How do I want to show up?” Do you want to show up as a victim or as a leader? Do you want to be strong for others during difficult times or part of the fear pile-on? Do you want to lead real change around the issue or be part of the status quo?
You might now be thinking, “How can I control a virus?” You can’t. You can only control your response to it. Which brings us to…
Spirituality is about consciousness – harnessing the power of consciousness to create the world around us.
We create the world around us every day, whether we choose to do so consciously or not. Our thoughts and energy radiate out from us, impacting the energy of people and situations around us. We can see this on a small scale through a very simple experiment. Set aside one single day dedicated to showing up from a place of peace. Set the intention to be fully conscious of your inner experience and how that comes out in your approach to others. For just one day, keep taking deep breaths, reestablishing your inner peace, and ensuring every interaction with others is peaceful on your part. As you do so, take note of how others both respond to you and affect you, as well as how your day feels compared to a typical day.
All you’re doing is shifting your own energy and it can have this profound effect on everything around you.
This phenomenon has been observed on much larger scales as well. For example, ten years ago, Gary Douglas, the founder of Access Consciousness, decided to use consciousness strategies in his personal response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf. By focusing on his own consciousness and then opening it up to others, things began to change in a positive way. But… would things have changed anyway? The timing is just too coincidental! Read this powerful story of consciousness in action here, which shows how we can use powerful questions to uncover paths of growth, and how letting go of expectations – instead only focusing on our own energy and how we choose to show up – can inspire others to action.
As Dr. Joe Dispenza notes, when people come together to create or change something through consciousness, intention, energy – all things that are not physical actions – measurable change happens. In this post, Dr. Dispenza uses the example of the 1983 Lebanon Peace Project, in which meditators came together to radiate peace through collective consciousness. The study went on for about two months, after which data was analyzed and it was discovered that the days with the greatest number of meditators participating saw reductions in war deaths of up to 76%, as well as positive changes in other areas. Over a further two year period during the war in Lebanon, the experiment was conducted seven more times, always resulting in positive data, meaning fewer deaths, less violence, lower crime rates and even economic growth.
What’s most notable about this is that it often starts with one person deciding to BE the change – not to enact or enforce but to BE – which leads to a domino effect on those around them, leading to real world change. You could almost say it spreads… like a virus 😉
Change the world by changing within.
When you use all parts of you, you change your life.
Change starts with us and our attitude. Let’s try to keep it as healthy and as positive as possible. We have more power over what is happening than we realize. Just imagine what might occur if all of us used these tools of consciousness to change disasters around the globe. Let’s tap into that power as a collective and see what’s possible!
Things like coronavirus and other illnesses, as well as global disasters, climate change, war, famine and so on are scary. But, if we allow fear to become the driver of our actions and mindset, we allow ourselves to get locked in that state – a state that stifles progress. When we are locked in a fear-controlled state, we become part of the problem, not the solution. However, when we set the intention to literally be the change we want to see in the world – to be peace, be strength, be health, be compassion, courage, empathy and reason – we become conscious leaders in our families, communities and workplaces.
Choose to be the change.