Covid-19 and Anxiety: What To Know - Karen Berrios

Covid-19 and Anxiety: What To Know

Ever since this pandemic, I can’t help but spend extra time praying for those who have experienced Covid or are dealing with Covid currently. My heart aches for them because I know how scary it can be. Whether you have cancer, had cancer, or even not… catching Covid is no walk in the park and I hope those people feel heard and validated. Especially their feelings around it, the aftermath.

I notice a lot of people aren’t talking about stress with Covid-19 patients. But for those who have, the echoes of “me too! I feel anxiety too!” are endless. Anxiety, depression- are seeing that these things can go together with Covid-19. In fact, they often go together with the virus.

I know people who have had Covid-19 and people who are terrified of getting it. I first want to say, do not fear.

Stress can turn into fear.
Fear can turn into stress.

Stress can turn into fear which can turn into anxiety.
Anxiety can turn into stress which can turn into fear.

It is all connected. It’s all a loop: Stress. Anxiety. Fear. For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about them interchangeably. Let’s say it all starts with Anxiety.

It is something people who have dealt with Covid-19 (or are currently going through) are experiencing. Anxiety. 

Why that exact emotion? Let’s understand it. Because anxiety should not rule us. God wants us to be strong and unwavering. Chronic fear shows God we don’t have trust in him. Faith in him. So we can’t settle for anxiety.

It is okay that we feel it, we are humans with deep emotions. But we need to process them and work through them in order to emerge stronger. That is what I would first tell anyone dealing with Covid anxiety.

The “Cause” Behind Covid and Lingering Feelings Of Anxiety

There are many thoughts and situations people with Covid, or who had Covid, are experiencing anxiety about.

They are not limited to but certainly are: 

-Catching something that is currently killing millions of people around the world
-Worry that they will never fully recover from Covid-19
-Worry that that are going to get Covid-19 again
-Because of first hand experiencing it, even more fear for their elder loved ones catching it
-Pain from horrible respiratory (and whole body) symptoms
-Intimidated by the aftermath of having to repair your body after such a compromised state-The worry that you will never get better
-A let down in yourself for getting it in the first place
-Shame in having to disclose that you currently have Covid-19
-Having experienced or currently experiencing the dreadful truth that we are not immortal

… And the list goes on and on. An article in the psychology publication, Frontiers, says this: “Experiencing more upsetting events in life and finding it difficult to cope with them are also predictors of anxiety, stress, and depression.”

And for some reason, we are not having this emotional talk about Covid-19. This virus is not going away for a while, we must begin to be emotionally strong about this.

You are strengthening your emotional pillar when you work on your Covid-related anxiety. Become stronger. Be disciplined. You got this. We got this.

The Emotional Pillar of Health

I have an article that talks about my five pillars of health. From a physical standpoint, the emotional pillar is important because not only does a strong one improve your quality of life- but your body gets healthier too. Emotions are tied to the adrenals and the immune system. Two things you should definitely be thinking about when it comes to Covid-19! (Source)

Again, It is okay to be emotional and to feel things deeply. I am an empath and I very much know what this feels like. But I know how to stabilize my emotions.

It is important to be able to stabilize your emotions quick because it overall helps your body steer clear of chronic depression or anxiety. Getting “well” emotionally after a bout of Covid-19 anxiety should be something your prioritize sooner rather than later. This scientific analysis on emotional stability says this:

“Recovery time describes whether a person can recover from various negative emotions quickly. The time required for emotional recovery is related to psychological resilience. Emotional recovery from negative emotions is referred to as psychological resilience and is defined as being characterized by “flexible adaptation to the changing demands of stressful experiences”. Recovery time as an indicator can demonstrate the collaborative effectiveness of the emotional system.”

Many people talk about how God expressed himself like calm waters- no matter what happened he didn’t “spike” emotionally. Yes he was passionate, but he was always even keel and could not be blind sided emotionally. He was in control of himself.

My advice is to see what your triggers are, what stresses you the most, and make habits and environments that enable you to be less stressed. To be more calm and cool and collected.

One way to do this is to reframe. Can you learn to look at things more positively? Believe you are healing even when you are sick? Be able to find new angles to examine why this current situation could be lived with a more positive or realistic mindframe? God wants you to be positive. Science Direct said this about reframing your mindframe when emotionally you feel unstable:

“One way in which negative feelings may be regulated in social conflicts, like those associated with wise reasoning, is through a strategy of cognitive reappraisal. Cognitive reappraisal refers to a flexible regulatory strategy that draws on cognitive control and executive functioning to reframe stimuli or situations within the environment to change their meaning and emotional valence”

Also, when we are overly emotionally in a negative way, we can get into fight or flight mode. This is not good for our body and this makes us weak against illnesses. (Source)

If someone gets Covid-19, emotionally, they cannot be weak. Or they should try their best to be strong most of the time. Not working through anxiety is not an emotionally smart choice. Work through it.

Emotions and The Immune System

Emotions are closely tied to the immune system. I have stated before that I firmly believe that part of my cancer is rooted in my past life- past emotions, traumas… only the ones that weren’t serving me. The ones I couldn’t deal with (at the time) that settled into my body. On the flip side, I believe that healing my emotions also helped me heal cancer.

Certain emotions are why some people are thought to overcome cancer (and in this case- Covid) sooner, or remain bright during treatment and while recovering. Those who are emotionally stable are better at making positive decisions for themselves. (Source + Source)

Emotions, especially low vibrating ones like anxiety, are incredibly powerful on the human body and they most certainly can be tied to someone getting sick. Were you stressed when you got Covid? Or rather, do you find you feel not as well when you are ridden with anxiety?

Chronic anxiety about being alone. Recent fear of being left out. This can impact our immune system too. One 2008 study shows us social and emotional support from others can be protective for our health- provide a stronger immune system. Why? Because it’s emotional. Love and security from others is a need. Ability to live in a low stress environment is a need.

New Scientist Magazine says this: “Many previous studies have shown that emotions and stress can adversely affect the immune system.”

There was a study that talked about emotions and the immune system and they said this in the conclusion: “These studies and numerous others make a strong case for the immune system serving as both a channel and a controller of our emotional state. Regardless, this field remains a very new (or at least very recently renewed) area of research and there is much still to be established. Foremost, we must consolidate the idea that the immune system can be influenced by the social (not just the physical) environment.”

Once you know there is a connection, you know it is worth putting effort into lowering stress and not giving into low frequency emotions like anxiety.

Covid-19 And Anxiety

Recently there are reports and studies coming out about Covid patients developing mental issues.

The Lancet stated that “Using a large federated electronic health record network in the USA to create propensity score-matched cohorts of patients, we found that COVID-19 survivors have a significantly higher rate of psychiatric disorders, dementia, and insomnia. We also showed that a previous psychiatric illness is independently associated with an increased risk of being diagnosed with COVID-19.”

There was also a recent survey done in Ecuador that involved Covid -19 patients and it said that the patients were commonly experiencing anxiety, depression, PTSD, and insomnia.

This is all to say- Covid is serious and you should not feel bad for feeling bad! Emotionally and mentally, just as much as physically, Covid is tough to get through.

But do not settle for unrest- God wants more for you than experiencing life in an anxious state.

Chronic Worry And Fear Is A Sin

I have said this before- to live in a state of anxiety, worry, and fear is to tell God that we don’t trust him! If anything, know this- He has got our backs. He wishes health and abundance for us.

Know that he can heal our bodies. We can empower ourselves with knowledge. We can strengthen our minds through discipline and prayer. You are equipped to live a full and healthy life after Covid!

Fear is a normal emotion experienced by humans when facing danger or a situation we intuitively know or feel wrong. But know that God has given us the ability to remain calm and follow him. He tells you… “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God is in the midst, The Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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