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Control Stress and Fear with Covid19

Niladri Sekhar Dash COVID19 Fear StressDr. Niladri Sekhar Dash is Professor at Linguistic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India. He is an expert in Corpus Linguistics. He has some very good advice to give everyone on how to control stress and fear caused by Covid19 Pandemic.

It’s interesting to note that all the methods that are part of Stress Help Center’s program are  included in his list of suggestions to control stress and fear. You receive a variety of choices over a period of 8 weeks. You can have it now for only $2.99


He writes:

Dear Friends,

I share here my last three days’ effort in compiling data from the Internet. I shall be happy if you practice some of these tasks to manage your stress, anxiety, tension, and fear.  My best wishes and regards.

How to kill Stress, Anxiety, and Tension (SAT)
Control Stress and Fear

1. Meditate, Meditate, and Meditate

Chilling out has a direct impact on stress. Research out of Georgetown University Medical Center finds that after an eight-week course in mindful meditation, people with anxiety disorders lowered inflammatory markers and stress hormones in their blood by 15 per cent. Meditation brings short-term stress relief as well as lasting stress management benefits. There are many different forms of meditation to try — each one is unique and brings its own appeal. You might develop a mantra that you repeat in your mind as you take slow deep breaths. Or, you might take a few minutes to practice mindfulness, which involves being in the moment. Simply pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.

2. Sit Up Straight

Research published in the Journal Health Psychology finds that — compared to a hunched over position — sitting upright in the face of stress can boost self-esteem, fending off further angst. The idea boils down to something called embodied cognition, an idea that our bodies impact our emotions (and vice versa). And it could be that simply feeling taller boosts confidence, shooing stress away, researchers say.

3. Breathe the Right Way

There are reasons doctors sometimes prescribe breathing exercises to people struggling with truly stressful times. Deep breathing — which encourages the full exchange of oxygen in the body — activates your body’s calming parasympathetic response, lowering levels of inflammatory compounds linked to stress.

4. Seek Out Nature (and Sunshine)

A 60-minute walk in the park can calm the mind, lowering activity in a brain region linked to depression, finds Stanford University research. It is not just the walking either: People strolling urban settings filled with traffic instead of trees did not reap the benefits. Our bodies were designed to be in and near green spaces, forests, or the ocean, researchers say. Thus, studies confirm that these spaces are inherently relaxing.

5. Say Thank You

Scientists are no strangers to the powers of gratitude. In fact, gratitude is linked to 23 per cent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Even more: A study out of the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine found that grateful folks were happier, slept better, had more energy, and had lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers — some of which correlated with heart health.

6. Sleep It Off

While you snooze, your brain processes all of the emotions and happenings from the day — helping your mind remain even-keeled and keeping stress levels from boiling up. That’s why a lack of shuteye can impair your ability to control your emotions, including anxiety and stress.

7. Phone a Friend

The healthiest (and calmest) among us tend to have something in common: a huge social life. Because friends and family can help us talk through and manage life’s stressors, a strong support system is often linked with being more resilient in the face of stress itself. Making a phone call and releasing your pent-up emotions to the person of your heart can provide you with tremendous relief from stress and tension. Whether listening to you vent your frustrations or offering words of encouragement, friends can provide needed social support. If your friend can make you laugh, all the better, since laughter has been shown to reduce stress and tension.

8. Stop the Snowball Effect

Dwelling or ruminating over things that have happened or things that may happen is very dangerous. Research published in the Journal PLOS one finds that brooding over negative events is the №1 biggest predictor of issues like depression and anxiety and plays a huge role in how much stress you experience. Keeping yourself away from past events and future fears are rubrics that can make you cool and serene.

9. Get a Hug from a Loved One

Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial. When you hug someone, oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone”) is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress. Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation. So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.

10. Express Gratitude

Gratitude helps you recognize all the things you have to be thankful for. Whether you’re grateful for a sunny day or thankful you arrived at work safely, think about all the good things you have in life. Gratitude also reminds you of all of the resources you have to cope with stress, which can be quite empowering. Studies also show grateful people enjoy better mental health, lower stress, and a better quality of life. So whether you decide to make it a habit to identify what you’re grateful for as you sit around the dinner table or you decide to write down three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal every day, make gratitude a regular habit.

11. Eat Green Vegetables

Comfort foods aren’t so comforting. It’s the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in healthy eat that lower your stress levels. Take a study from the University of Otago — it found that students who ate more fruits and vegetables also tended to feel calmer and happier.

12. Enjoy Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has real benefits for stress relief — it can help you to feel energized, more relaxed, or more present in the moment. Emerging research suggests certain scents can alter brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body. So whether you enjoy candles, diffusers, or body products, consider incorporating some aromatherapy into your day.

13. Create Artwork

Getting in touch with your creative side may have been easy for you during childhood, but if you’ve lost touch with your penchant for artwork, it’s not too late to pick it up again. If you aren’t into drawing or painting, consider colouring in a colouring book. Adult colouring books have risen in popularity and for good reason — colouring can be a great stress reliever. Research consistently shows that colouring can have a meditative effect. One study found that anxiety levels decline in people who were colouring complex geometric patterns, making it a perfect outlet for stress reduction.

14. Make Time for Leisure Activities

Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun. But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient. Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.

15. Develop a Positive Self-Talk Habit

The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out. It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate and positive manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue. Positive self-talk helps you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.

16. Be Positive in Attitude

Look for the positives in life and things for which you’re grateful. “People don’t always appreciate what they have,” says Professor Cooper. “Try to be a glass half full instead of glass half empty,” he says. Try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day. Attitude counts! Be positive in attitude, many of our problems will be diminished and are easily solved.

17. Practice Yoga

Yoga combines physical movement, meditation, light exercise, and controlled breathing — all of which provide excellent stress relief. And while you’re likely to reap immediate benefits from a single yoga session, you’re likely to receive long-term benefits if you incorporate it into your life in a consistent way. Yoga offers a variety of physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits.

18. Try Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is like taking a short vacation in your mind. At the individual level, it can involve imaging yourself being in your ‘happy place’ — maybe picturing yourself sitting on a beach, listening to the waves, smelling the ocean, and feeling the warm sand underneath you. At the partner level, you can imagine yourself being in the embrace of your loved one at your ‘favourite place’ — imagining yourself sitting at a lonely seashore, catching the hands of your partner, feeling the breathing of your partner, and feeling the joy and harmony of togetherness.

Guided imagery can be done with a recording where you listen to someone walk you through a peaceful scene. Or, once you know how to do it yourself, you can practice guided imagery on your own. Simply close your eyes for a minute and walk yourself through a peaceful scene. Think about all the sensory experiences you’d engage in and allow yourself to feel as though you’re really there. After a few minutes, open your eyes and return to the present moment.

19. Take Control

There’s a solution to any problem. “If you remain passive, thinking, ‘I can’t do anything about my problem’, your stress will get worse,” says Professor Cooper. “That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing.” The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it’s a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.

20. Have Sex

Sex often comes with a chemical cocktail of hormones like ‘feel good’ oxytocin as well as a release of endorphins. When running through the bloodstream these molecules can help us chill out. Also, it creates lasting bondage between the partners to sail through the turbulent waters. The strong and scintillating memories of stimulant sex acts that are preserved in our brain also act as a catalyst to get relief from stress and anxiety.

21. Have some ‘me time’

People work the longest hours in Europe, meaning they often don’t spend enough time doing things they really enjoy. They all need to take some time for socializing, relaxation or exercise, says Prof. Cooper. He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality ‘me time” away from work. By earmarking those 2 days, it means they are not to be tempted to work overtime. Evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. The more you give, the more resilient and happy you feel. If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone cross the road or going on a coffee run for colleagues.

22. Smile As You Mean It

Stop stressing and smile! There’s something to the old adage, “Grin and bear it.” Smiling when you feel stressed creates a little tension in facial muscles that helps reduce stress. Smiles are particularly stress-busting when they’re genuine, using muscles around the mouth and eyes. Smiling can also help an elevated heart rate recover faster once a stressful situation has passed.

23. Tune In

If you have to give a talk at work or you’re facing a similar stressful event, music can help keep you calm. Participants in one study had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) when listening to Latin choral music (Miserere by Gregorio Allegri) than when they just listened to the sound of rippling water. Listening to soothing music is one of the easiest ways to stop stress.

24. Catching it Early

Signs and symptoms such as headache, gut discomfort, tense muscles, and fidgety sleep may be early indicators of too much stress. When you feel stress coming on, take a breath and put your stress management techniques into practice. A short walk can improve mood and reduce feelings of stress.

25. Setting limits

Say ‘NO’ to those tasks that can make you less productive and successful. Accept or do those tasks that you choose to take on and that you love to do. It can make you less stressful.

A good book or a movie can help redirect your thoughts from unproductive worry. True relaxation involves a feeling of peace of mind. You may find a hobby or certain exercises particularly relaxing. Meditation, prayer or deep, slow breathing are other ways of feeling calm.


Throughout the day, stop and evaluate the endless stream of thoughts that run through your mind. If they are negative, try to reframe those thoughts in a positive way. If stress is affecting your ability to work or find pleasure in life, seek help from your doctor or mental health provider. Getting outside help is not a sign of weakness. It takes strength to admit that you may need help — — and getting help shows good judgment.

20th April 2020