A key to physical and emotional immunity

Emotional and mental centeredness can keep us alert against the panic or anger.

A screen capture of Gina Ross’s relaxation video (photo credit: screenshot)
A screen capture of Gina Ross’s relaxation video
(photo credit: screenshot)
While the coronavirus lockdown brought many people economic, relationship and emotional difficulties, others felt physically safe because of the lockdown, where life and its physical risks just stopped.  But life must open again with all its risks and unpredictability and we must engage with all our resources.
We may feel confused, scared, anxious, helpless, or angry about what to do. We will have to make many small and big decisions, without precise guidelines. What is safe behavior for us, our loved ones, and the strangers whose safety now also depends on us? Will our precautions be enough to protect us?
We are grieving for lost loved ones, a halted economy, lost opportunities and joyful events. For some, it is endless loneliness; for others, the fear strained relationships will not survive this crisis; for others, abusive situations; people left without jobs or food security. It is easy to become overwhelmed and predict a catastrophic future. The uncertainty can be paralyzing. These are normal reactions.
In these times of cautious reentry into “normal life” during the pandemic (also true during other situations of stress and trauma), we need our immune system to be strong. This means that we must keep our emotions in balance. Emotional and mental centeredness can keep us alert against the panic or anger, which cloud our ability to reason, function well and protect ourselves and our loved ones.
For that we must balance our nervous system, drain the stress hormones from our bodies, regain control over our negative thoughts and emotions and recover full function. Being centered gives us better control over how much of the 24/7 media news we ingest and digest, and how much we let people’s speculations and catastrophizing affect our mental equilibrium.
When centered, we can fulfill our responsibility not to panic others and to focus on the best steps forward, informed by correct information as much as possible. We can meet our responsibility to the collective not to engage in political polarization, demonizing and devaluing our leaders, which generates more insecurity in the public. 
For me, what is important is the deep conviction that I must guide all my thoughts and activities towards the positive, towards what is working, towards the silver linings I could uncover, and the helpful actions I could take. This is what keeps the nervous system centered, and immune system strengthened, one of the very precious things that I need during this crisis.
This is the one area where it is up to us to regain control.  According to my friends Dr. Peter Levine, creator of Somatic Experiencing® and Dr. Stephen Porges, creator of the Polyvagal Theory, we have a built in, inherent capacity to heal and self-regulate and in times of overwhelm this ability gets compromised. 
The EmotionAid® tools my institute is offering for free help strengthen self-regulation, build resiliency, and develop a greater capacity for handling difficulties. EmotionAid® is easy to learn and can be used on the spot, anywhere, anytime. You can easily access these free tools at https://emotionaid.tabs.design/. Its key goals are to discharge stress and increase resources.
The videos and audios are available in multiple languages and include easily understood learning instruction and practice.
With 10 minutes of learning and three minutes of practice, you learn to release stress and prevent trauma on the spot, anytime, anywhere, in any weather, as a child or an adult, with a simple, organic tool that helps you discover your body’s wonders of healing.  It is yours for the rest of your life. This does not require will power, character strength, pen or paper, a special place, or a special time - just curious awareness focused on your inner experience.
In addition to healing trauma and releasing stress, EmotionAid® also enriches every moment of your life by helping you discover or cultivate your resources. You can switch your focus in a moment from a dark, upsetting outlook, to a calm and empowered one. You learn to balance caution and vigilance with optimism and hope. You are emotionally free to feel gratitude for those who have helped us the most, the medical field and people involved in the essential industries; you are more available to focus on the silver linings you found during these times, including the incredible creativity and compassion that were unleashed through social media all over the world, the tremendous social connection that arose from the physical isolation and other treasures.
The path to take in the next few months may leave us still feeling confused, scared, or uncertain about what to do and how to do it. Taking the time to acquire the tools to cope with these difficult but normal reactions will empower not only our response to the pandemic, but to any other stressful or traumatic situations. Life will eventually return to normal, but we can be much better prepared to live it fully and well.  ■
The writer, a specialist in individual and collective trauma, is an author and founder and president of the International Trauma-Healing Institutes in the US and Israel, whose mission is to promote peace at community, national and international levels. For further information contact http://www.traumainstitute.org/ (USA) or https://healingtrauma.org.il/ (Israel)