Understanding emotions from a holistic perspective can help us better cope during difficult times
People are feeling fear and worry over the pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans and left more than 40 million unemployed. Many of us are praying for peace as injustice persists and protests turn violent.
In times of turmoil like these, it is normal to feel anxious, as no one can say with any certainty what will come next. It’s natural to want to check the news or social media feeds to see what is going on. But this can become a problem when our bodies’ fight-or-flight impulse is triggered repeatedly.
According to ongoing research from LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey, women are facing a heavier workload and are feeling more anxious than men during the pandemic. The survey finds women are more than twice as likely as men to experience physical symptoms of severe anxiety, such as a racing heartbeat. More than half of women report sleep issues, compared to about a third of men.
We cannot control all the turmoil that is going on around us, but there are things we can do to protect our emotional health. This starts with understanding how our emotions — both the ones we are experiencing in the present moment and the ones that echo from the past — can affect our mental and physical health, and doing what we can to improve our emotional health.