12 Mindful Ways To Cope With Fear & Anxiety During Times Of Crisis

By Shahram Shiva

You don’t need to become a hardcore yogi or an experienced meditator overnight to learn to cope with fear and anxiety at times of natural or man-made crises.

The one constant on this planet is inconsistency and instability. Change, and often sudden change, whether due to natural disasters, such as fires in CA, hurricanes in FLA or flooding pretty much anywhere else in the US are a fact of life. However, we haven’t had to deal with national emergencies in the US for a very long time. The current COVID-19 has become a global crisis, although its impact on the Americas as a whole is relatively less intense compare to Europe and elsewhere across the oceans.

Two key points you might take away from this article is that, your mind is a much more powerful tool than you could ever imagine and stress, fear and anxiety are extremely harmful to the body and spirit. Furthermore, worry is a high-grade negative emotion. It doesn’t solve anything, except to cause major stress on the internal organs, sleeplessness, premature aging and reduce our decision-making abilities. When you take birth on this planet, your primary goal and purpose is to learn to overcome fear. Once accomplished, you’ll never succumb to it again. The following are 12 proven, easy and cost-free ways to help reduce fear, stress, and anxiety.

1. Connect with Those Who Empower You

It’s crucial to be selective about the type of energies that are around you at such times. Try to connect and surround yourself with those who empower you and not those who will bring you down and multiply your anxiety.

2. Form a Support Group

Form an online, phone or texting personal support group. Don’t confuse this, for example, with a massive Facebook group of thousands. Make sure this support group is intimate and is of those who know you personally. Prevent the group chatter to become too negative and remember the purpose of this group is not to add to your collective worries but to help all of you to maintain sanity.

3. Try to Control Your Environment

A stressful environment will bring about anxiety. Try to calm down and quiet your environment. Prevent loud noises. This is especially true if you live in a busy household. These are special times and will not last for long, ask all in your household to help keep things quiet. If some members of the household must listen to anxiety-ridden type of media, make sure they use headphones.

4. Listen to Calming Music

Play calming music in your environment. Mozart is a god. His work has incredible healing and realigning properties. On YouTube look for “Relaxing Mozart.” Also on YouTube there is a large selection of frequency-based healing sounds, usually defined by Hertz cycles. Look for 528 Hz healing sounds and music. New Age and Ambient music will also work well; so do soft rock and soft jazz.

5. Use Simple Breathing Techniques

Sit quietly and take deep breaths. With your eyes closed, inhale deeply through your nostrils, hold for a few seconds and exhale through the mouth. Try this a few times, anytime and anywhere. You can also try this (with your eyes open of course) if stuck in bad traffic and other such situations.

6. Meditate

This is a no-brainer. Meditation’s multitudes of benefits have long been confirmed by medical and scientific communities. Anyone can meditate. Of course, for those of us who are lifelong meditators, it might come easier. But the goal here is not to become an instant mystic, but to learn to calm your mind and body and especially to reduce the harm that anxiety places on your body.

Sit quietly and comfortably. Close your eyes. Use the breathing techniques from the previous point. After 4 or 5 cycles of deep breathing, quiet them down and silently repeat to yourself “I Am.” This phrase is simple. It’s nondenominational, non-dogmatic and most importantly doesn’t cater to some weird entity. It will not interfere with your current beliefs either. As your breathing slows and your mind quiets down, continue with internally repeating “I Am,” while focusing on that phrase and gently listening to your quiet breathing. Even 3 minutes of meditation will do wonders. It goes without saying that meditation will not be possible if you are constantly being interrupted by people, situations or notifications. Therefore, try to quiet your environment first.

7. Move About, Walk, Dance and Exercise

Move about. Dance around to some of your favorite music. Exercise, if you can. Go for walks. You don’t need to belong to a gym to exercise at home. Yoga would be great, but simple stretching and cardio are also good. Again, if you need to, YouTube has plenty of movement videos to move to.

8. DIY, Arts, and Crafts

Keep yourself occupied with arts, crafts, and DIY projects. All options are good, whether working on a car, motorcycle or bicycle, or drawing, gardening, fixing things around the house, cleaning and on and on…

9. Drink Plenty of Water

Keep hydrated. A body under stress gets dehydrated very quickly. Drink plenty of water.

10. Don’t watch TV News, Watch Comedies Instead

The key purpose of all mainstream media content is to either sell a product or show advertising for a product or service. That’s all! That is the only reason they exist. And the so-called “news” spots or channels LOVE bad news. The worse the crisis the better, because it means they have more eyeballs to sell products to. They look for and heighten bad news and disasters to create a sense of anxiety in their viewers and to hook them into watching their shows more often and for a longer duration.

Watch comedy movies and TV shows instead or watch the great standup comedians. Especially powerful are videos of the comedians who make you laugh out loud. Again, YouTube has an infinite number of clips of great comedians and funny moments on film and TV.

11. Use Simple Affirmations

Affirmations are affirming internal sayings that one can repeat to her/himself. They aren’t the fix-all solution that some may believe but they do offer a simple internal re-programming. You can repeat phrases like, “I am calm,” “I am peaceful,” “everything will be OK,” “I am powerful,” “I can handle this” and other such phrases. Again YouTube has a ton of affirmations videos. Just please avoid the phrase that was parodied on Seinfeld’s “serenity now.” 😉

12. Mind What you Eat

Now that people have hoarded a year worth of supplies and goods and have nowhere to go but to sit in front of their TVs and watch intentionally manipulative and fear-inducing content passed on as “news” and gorge themselves on cupboards full of packaged and canned foods, that could only contribute to the current obesity and health crisis. Don’t be that person. Mind what you eat and drink. Try to keep as healthy as possible. It doesn’t matter your diet, but try to practice portion control. And refer to Steps 7 and 10.

The COVID-19 crisis will be over before you know it, but don’t allow such extreme stressful situations to cause damage to your mind, spirit, and body. You’re being challenged now to handle fear and to grow stronger. Stay true to your higher self. Accept the challenge and rise above fear.

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