Updated: May 14, 2020
We are living in a world of endless possibilities, and immediate gratification where the internet gives us prompt answer to every questions. In the spring of 2020 however, a new virus spread its wings around the globe. Thousands are dying, uncertainty abounds.
A lot of the information circulating around us are false and inaccurate and unfortunately our human brains spin stories of fear and terror. We worry, we are overwhelmed by anxiety, this uncontrollable feeling that could lead to panic. Our human brain is overwhelmed by all these unanswered questions, and all the uncertainty about the future.
Why do we panic? Can we control this attitude? As a physician myself so many times I have seen patients trying to control these emotions, sometimes they try to reason and have the willpower to do something different. Sadly, reasoning rely on the prefrontal cortex and it is being hijacked right now. The prefrontal cortex is this region of the brain involved in decision making, personality expression, and moderating social behavior. Uncertainty weakens the brain’s ability to deal with stress, priming it for anxiety when fear and terror flourish.
We must take control of our brains and free our prefrontal cortex. One of the many ways to do so is to become self-aware. We possess the capability to be self-aware, but that doesn’t make us great at exercising this power. I invite you to be more self-aware during the confinement, (some of us have the time to do so) let us train our brains, and potentiate our capability. Simple awareness activities can have a substantial effect on anxiety. Just by taking a moment to pause we give our prefrontal cortex a chance to free itself and do what it does best: think
Whether it is walking outside, writing in a journal, meditating, praying, exercising, talking to a friend or family member, we all can be more self-aware. We can be more present in the moment and give ourselves a pause.
Together we will overcome this challenge as we have many times in the past.
Stay safe and healthy!