More than threatening our lungs, COVID-19 is targeting our mind, with its fear inducing campaign. The media’s in-depth coverage of severe cases has gone viral. While this serves as an effective warning urging us to maintain social distancing, there’s no doubt it’s also corroding our resilience.
A plethora of studies have confirmed it long ago: anxiety, fear and negative visualization can suppress our immune system. Not only we are more prone to catch the virus, but if we do – we experience the symptoms more severely and we delay our healing. In other words, what we feed our mind with is a critical prognostic factor – at times, more important than the underlying health condition or the advanced age.
Most of us are oscillating between the fear of a positive diagnosis and the denial of positive thinking: “It won’t happen to me”. But what if? What if you do test positive for COVID-19? Either because you are a first responder or simply because your infected neighbour sneezed in the hallway, a few moments before you went to take the trash out. How will you deal with it?
Recalling other patients’ lost battles, the virus’ unpredictability and its potentially severe symptoms can be daunting. Everything you’ve read fuels your negativity bias, increasing the risk of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of visualizing your healing, you keep imagining the destructive spherical cell with spikes protruding from its surface. No wonder – after all, you’ve seen this picture so many times in the media. So how can you shift your mindset?
I am challenging you to uncover the tremendous mental resilience, confidence and faith within. Escape fear by sailing through it. Remember the giants you faced in the past and take heart! Remember the inspiring stories of survivors who defied the odds. You need to know you are unbeatable. You need to feel it in every cell of your body: You’ve got this. I want you to promise to yourself that no matter what, you will fight and conquer it.
Look in the mirror and face any self-doubt. You are more than just a number reported by Worldometers. You are equipped to go through it, so program your mind to survive. Your immune system is more trained than a Navy SEAL. Your life force will set in motion your healing. I hope and wish that none of us will ever need to remember this message. But if life does put us to the test, the only line you will need to remember is this: You are incredibly strong and you will make it.
***Note: By no means you should put yourself and others in danger. Stay at home. Follow the instructions provided by your local authorities and the prevention advice of the World Health Organization.