Coronavirus, and the yellow peril hysteria

The panic has set well in.
People are going nuts over Coronavirus.
Just this week alone, world markets have crashed by well over $1 trillion.

Because I’m travelling around South East Asia, friends and family keep sending me messages of concern.
And reminders like “get a mask!”.
I appreciate their concern.
But don’t see the point in panicking.

How serious is Coronavirus?
Very.
But does that warrant the level of reaction it has sparked?
Unlikely.

This situation makes me think of another big pandemic panic – the yellow peril hysteria of 1880.
That one’s impact, in the end, did not justify the panic, hysteria and uproar it triggered.
Which brings me to the two main ways we act and deal with crisis.

Responding.
And,
Reacting.

There is a huge difference between responding to a crisis.
And reacting to one.

Responding involves thinking things through.
And coming up with reasonable, prudent, and well thought out options.
The result is a calm response.
One that is, more often than not, effective.

Reacting, on the other hand, doesn’t involve much thinking.
It is all about acting based mainly (if not solely) on emotions, and letting the emotions take over and dictate ones actions.
The result is quite the opposite of a calm reaction.
One that is, more often than not, ineffective.

Responding results in solutions.
Reacting results in panic and hysteria.

Responding helps people find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reacting makes people dig in even deeper.

There is a significant difference between responding, and reacting, to a crisis.
The main one being – one helps, the other one harms.

Coronavirus certainly has the potential of becoming a crisis.
Which makes it important to think before you act.
Because if you respond calmly, you stand a much better chance of getting through it than you do if you simply go with the flow and react with blind panic and hysteria.

As always, it’s important to think before you act.

Act responsibly.
Think for yourself.

My 5 step framework for effectively dealing with anxiety and stress

Anxiety and stress are experienced by everyone.
No one really is completely immune to anxiety.
We all feel it, and that’s not a bad thing.

Anxiety is a survival mechanism – it helped us survive, and still does.
Without a bit of anxiety, we would stop being vigilant, and become too complacent.

But it becomes a challenge when the feelings become overpowering.
That’s when it starts to take over our ability to function properly.

While dealing with my own anxiety a while back, and trying out CBT, I came up with a framework to help me effectively process and deal with my stressors.

I’m going to lay out the steps for my framework below – hopefully, others can benefit from it.

Here are the 5 steps:
1. Determine intensity – on a scale of 1-10, how worried are you?
2. Determine the reasons – why are you worried?
3. Determine options – can you do something/anything about it? If yes, what can you do now? If no, is there any point of worrying?
4. Take action – if you can do something, do it. If not, stop thinking about it.
5. Shift your focus – once you have done what you can do, stop spending your time and energy on it. Do something to shift your focus. For instance, watch a movie, read an engaging book, have a conversation with a friend, cook, do some gardening, etc.

Next time you are stressed or worrying, try this five-step framework to help you deal with whatever is stressing you and making you anxious.

Did you try it?
Let me know how you found it.
Any suggestions?

5 Things I learned About Cannabis

I was watching a documentary on cannabis last night (on BBC), and here are five of the main things I learned from it.

1. Cannabis is mainly comprised of two chemical components – THC and CBD. THC is what causes people to experience a “high”, whereas CBD does not have any psychoactive effect.

2. There is research to support the beneficial impact of cannabis on chronic pain. As for its impact on other health conditions like epilepsy, most of the evidence is anecdotal at this point in time.

3. Our bodies naturally generate cannabinoids, which partly explains why they have the beneficial impacts they do. That said, scientists don’t yet fully understand how cannabinoids work.

4. The most commonly used version of recreational cannabis is called Skunk (mainly because of its strong smell). It has a high content of THC which is what causes a lot of cannabis users to experience psychotic episodes (including paranoia and panic attacks). Used daily, Skunk can seriously increase the risk of psychotic problems.

5. In Israel, they have been using cannabis for many years, and regularly prescribe it. Doctors there are fairly well versed in its use (namely the right dosages). Especially with elderly patients and people with chronic pain, it’s one of their most commonly used treatment options.

Cannabis is becoming more and more mainstream, especially because of the researches that are finding out about the positive impact it has on some medical conditions. I know very little about cannabis, so this was enlightening.

For years we believed cannabis to be bad. But now it’s turning out that that’s not the entire truth. So it is important to examine, and even question, our beliefs from time to time. Because what we believe to be true and what actually is true aren’t always one and the same.

What do you think?

The thing about meds

We have become far too reliant on medication.
There’s a medication for every little thing these days.
Even children are being medicated heavily.

This quick-fix culture of resorting to meds for every little thing does our health more harm than good.
Don’t just take my word for it, do your own research to find out how meds impact your health.

The human body is an incredible machine , and it is very capable of healing itself, if given the chance.
Sometimes it needs help, but not always.

Meds are very useful, but only when used appropriately.
So I’m not suggesting you stop taking meds altogether, but that we need to be more mindful about their usage.

Think for yourself, don’t just take meds because it’s the easy fix.

The importance of health

Looking after your health is important.

Your health impacts everything in your life.
EVERYTHING.

When you’re unwell, doing even the smallest thing becomes an uphill climb.
Feeling positive and optimistic becomes more challenging.
Making progress and moving forward becomes more of an effort, even a chore!

Your health impacts everything in your life.
So it is important to look after your health – both mental and physical.

Take care of yourself.
Look after your health.