We are in unprecedented times with the outbreak of COVID-19, and we are all striving towards best practices around hygiene and social distancing. This is an incredibly difficult time to be alone for many. If you are working from home and keeping yourself isolated in order to avoid infection, you are doing the right thing. This is actually pro-social behavior in the service of our communities right now.
However, when these right actions backfire on us when our minds begin a negative cycle of withdrawing from all life, we may create a downward spiral into negative thinking. Therapists trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) understand that negative thoughts can lead to negative emotions such as panic, fear, and hopelessness. These feelings can lead to further negative actions, and the cycle continues to feed upon itself. This self-destructive cycle can wreak havoc not only on our emotional lives but on our immune systems as well.
STRESS REDUCES THE STRENGTH OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
“Living with fear and panic activates our sympathetic nervous system, which releases fight-or-flight stress hormones and can deplete precious resources we need to support a healthy immune system. A robust and strong immune system is an excellent first-line defense against invading viruses and bacteria,” says integrative and functional San Francisco based psychiatrist Karin Hastik, MD.
We all need a healthy immune system to protect us right now. Limiting your media intake may be one way to aid your immune system is becoming more resilient. While quarantine is one measure to keep us healthy, it can be difficult to stay out of negative emotions when we isolate in front of the TV and watch fear-inducing news about the coronavirus pandemic.
ONLINE THERAPY CAN REDUCE FEELINGS OF ISOLATION
What else can you do to stop this negative cycle when all the media around you relay such catastrophic information? How can you do more to boost your immune system, which is potentially your primary defense against COVID-19 at this time?
Consider reaching out to an online therapist and connecting via videoconferencing for help. There is some evidence that it may be better to video conference versus having a regular phone call to reduce feelings of isolation.
SECURELY ATTACHING TO A THERAPIST CAN HELP YOU STAY EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY HEALTHY
Linda Graham, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, says, “If you haven’t yet had the help of enough true others to aid you in claiming the birthright of what I call your inner base of resilience, you can use the new experiences in new relationships to recover it now.” A healthy and secure attachment to a therapist can help you navigate through your anxiety and fear and shed light on how negative beliefs can be undermining your best intentions. Rewiring your brain towards positive thinking can create more buoyant emotions within you, which are protective factors against disease.
We all need as much positivity as we can get right now while this pandemic becomes our new reality. Working with an online therapist can be a great way to make sure you stay healthy, in your mind, body, and spirit while navigating your way through these uncertain times.