Updated: May 4, 2020
"Your emotional health is intricately linked to your immune system.”
- Psychology Today
How detrimental to your health is the pandemic of fear compared to the viral one?
In the age of the smartphone we’re basically experiencing a continuous stream of negative news pouring through our screens and headphones, straight into our system.
This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but getting washed over with negative news all day long is bad for your immune system because of the fearful response they induce in you. Not great in a time where we really need it to work at its best. We’re washing our hands continuously and doing social distancing (even more than before…), but how much are you taking care of your emotional health?
It’s also well-known that negative news has a bigger impact on our emotions than positive ones. We remember the negative ones better and we have bigger responses. You can look up ‘adrenal fatigue’ if you want to dive a bit deeper into the effect of all of this.
Luckily, there are remedies and good ones. You could just tune out, turn it off. You can practice meditation, cultivate a sense of community, get good nutrition, do lots of healthy movement. All are known to be good for the immune system. But one often overlooked factor is as simple as feeling heartfelt well-known emotion like authentic gratitude, love, or compassion. These love-based feelings are often a really good and effective antidote to feelings of stress,, anxiety, and fear. And they’re all feelings that you can generate yourself in different ways. They will help nudge your system into rest-mode and out of stress-mode. This, in turn, will nurture your immune system and make you more resilient.
Listening to the constant stream of news, there is little to feel happy and calm about. Especially social media is awash with disaster stories and scary statistics. This shortlist is a bad-news antidote that you can meditate on and use to counter-balance fear-inducing and immune system damaging input. Not with cute puppies getting saved by firemen or rainbows showing in New York (yes, that happened), but news with an impact that could actually influence many people and even you and your family. News that affects you and me with a feeling of hope and excitement.
You are designed to pay 10 TIMES more attention to NEGATIVE news than to positive news.
So, without further ado, here they are:
10 GREAT NEWS news in corona times that can help you balance out 1 big negative one:
The world is coming together to fight coronavirus. It can do the same for the climate crisis. The worldwide response to the coronavirus has shown that we can actually create global change when we really want to. This could possibly spell good news for climate change if this strong will to make a change could rub off on this more long term and much more serious challenge. Obviously, climate change is quite a different beast that will require different measures, but just the feeling that we can actually take immense action might be enough to get the ball rolling and create a sense of power towards what we can do together. Read more here and here.
Humanity has the chance to grow together and become more united. Have you ever heard of ‘Post Traumatic Growth’? A tremendous chance for spiritual growth through the crisis is here, both individually and as an entire race (the human one). A shared crisis that has the capacity to create a bond and shared mission between the peoples of the planet. If we can go through the pain together, we might all come out more connected to each other. If we can let go of yesterday's world order and build a new one. "The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence. It is to act with yesterday’s logic." - Peter Drucker
A focus on healthy and happy living is on the rise. It’s been exposed more clearly and explicitly than ever how our jobs, diets, and lack of healthy movement not only keep our immunity weak but also keep us unhappy and stressed out (which again weakens our immune response). There are lots of different articles and here is one of them. Also, work-life wellness has come into sharper focus. Millions have now tried working from home and this might change the way office work is done forever. Have you ever been through a period of intense stress or do you maybe know friends or family who suffered a work burn-out? Even if people now have new things to feel stressed about, many of us have had some time to think and reevaluate how we are spending our best years and how we work. Lots of people might start making new demands for their employer or otherwise simply consider leaving. Here’s one article about it. Do you want to feel healthier and stronger? Check out our FREE 7 minute morning routine.
Incredible acts of kindness are seen everywhere around the world and especially medical personal, social care workers, and others have risked their health to help the weaker in our societies. You’ve probably seen it everywhere. From amazing stories of individual sacrifice to ingenious ways of helping others without getting much in return. It’s real, it’s there, thousands of people are helping strangers and supporting their community in ways they’ve never done before. This might also make the sense of togetherness and community stronger from now on.
Gene therapy might be a good short term solution before an actual vaccine arrives. At the moment hundreds of thousands of researchers around the clock are racing against the clock to develop a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19, so far with limited success. But maybe some high-tech therapies can prove helpful. Read this excerpt from a medical article in Science Daily from April 24th: Finally, and in the authors' view the most attractive alternative until a vaccine is produced, is gene therapy delivered through the adeno-associated virus (AAV). This would entail the fast, targeted delivery of antibodies, immunoadhesins, antiviral peptides, and immunomodulators to the upper airways, to give short-term protection. Because the rapid turnover of cells here, risks of toxicity are minimal. They estimate that such tools can be developed, adapted, and tested within a month. Also, stem cell therapy using cells from placentas are being tested as we speak. This is controversial, but the company behind (Celularity) is of course very enthusiastic about the possibilities. They estimate 30-60 days before effects will be clear after the administration of the therapy. Other scientists have voiced concerns over adverse side effects like an immune response out of control The trial is ongoing and we’ll know soon enough. Read more here about criticism.
Air pollution has dropped by up to 60% in big cities around the world. Almost a classic by now, but it should nonetheless be on any list of good corona news! Of course the critically minded would say that it’s just going to go up again, but try to let that critical voice rest a bit now. We’re all watching the effects of animals returning, visibility of mountains being the best in 20 years, and water clearing up everywhere. It’s amazing and people are loving it. Maybe they’ll want to try to keep it this way? Read more here.
Covid19 mortality rate might not be as high as previously suggested, shows a new study from Harvard University and the University of Hong Kong. The numbers and statistics have been discussed since January, but it’s getting more and more clear that mortality rates seem to be closer to 1.4% than the originally feared 3.4% as predicted by the WHO. According to this study, for those ages 15-44, low and high estimates were 0.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively; those ages 45-64 had estimates of between 0.2 percent and 1.1 percent. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that Corona is not a problem with the very high infection rates we’re seeing. Read more here.
We’ll probably be flying much less in the future. And why is this good news? Well, of course, this will mean less pollution from flying, one of the big contributors to greenhouse, gasses and global warming (as far as I’ve learned). Many airlines are already on the brink of bankruptcy and it’s being predicted that only a few will be left after all of this and that flight tickets will be more expensive. Another side effect is also that companies are now getting used to remote meetings and that these in many cases now will be acceptable instead of flying into them. That could make a huge impact. Read more in Business Insider.
Corona could end disease-ridden and illegal wildlife trade. The $23 billion a year illegal trade with endangered wildlife is now in the spotlight. The international focus on how the virus pandemic might have started from bat guano (from a lab or a wildlife market) has now really put the focus on stopping the illegal trading with wild animal parts. There are many articles on this and here is one of them. In the longer term, the pandemic may provide the impetus to properly address the issue. This is because, while the illegal wildlife trade was once criticized almost purely in terms of conservation, it is now also being considered in relation to broader themes of biosecurity, public health, and economic impact. Excerpt from The Conversation.
We’re better prepared now. On many levels, we’ll be better prepared with eyes more open when similar threats (like the second wave of coronavirus) will hit. We weren’t all that well-prepared this time and one could say that the global immune system has now learned something new. No matter if you believe that this is all a conspiracy and the virus was unleashed on purpose or if you believe it was an accident in a lab, we certainly have the chance to make the threat less frightening by being better prepared. Mentally, emotionally, medically and as a society, together.
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