Corona crisis: feeling of insecurity is spreading

Corona crisis: feeling of insecurity is spreading

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Collective stress from the corona crisis

In the corona pandemic, most of us experience a collective sense of insecurity for the first time. Psychologist Stefanie Stahl and brain researcher Achim Peters explain how to deal with it.

In the coronavirus crisis, the feeling of insecurity suddenly unites society. Chancellor Angela Merkel said in one of her speeches on the Corona crisis that there has not been a challenge to Germany since World War II that depends so much on joint solidarity. Why the thought of a shopping list can be helpful in this collective experience.

Uncertainty as the prevailing feeling

Uncertainty currently seems to be the dominant feeling. How do we get on with it? "The corona crisis is changing the social fabric considerably," says brain researcher and author Achim Peters ("Uncertainty - The feeling of our time"). “Until now, the poor in particular have suffered from insecurity, today almost everyone is affected. However, there is reason to fear that the corona virus will particularly affect the economic and educational status of the weaker, thereby widening the gap between rich and poor. ”

Collective stress

Stress always arises when people in a threatening situation cannot answer the question of life with certainty, explains Peters: “Which of my strategic options should I choose to ensure my future physical, mental and social well-being? In the current Corona crisis, almost everyone is unsure how to answer this question. ”

So-called toxic stress arises if the uncertainty cannot be resolved over time: for example, loneliness, separation or money worries. “Today, many work in precarious work situations, with limited contracts, in companies and industries that are in crisis. If the corona crisis remains unresolved and lasts more than a year, many people will experience toxic stress, ”says Peters.

Toxic stress increases numerous disease risks

"Chronic overload of the brain metabolism then leads to an energy redistribution in the human organism: the brain gets the most, the body mass decreases, the inner abdominal fat increases and the risk of secondary diseases such as heart attack, stroke, depression, Alzheimer's and diabetes increases" , says Peters.

Collective fates are easier to endure

In spite of everything, the psychologist and therapist Stefanie Stahl also gives hope: There are many studies that collective fate can be endured better than the individual fate, says the bestselling author ("The child in you must find a home"). "If the insecurity affects me only as an individual and life goes on all around, it is more difficult to endure than if the entire community is affected," says the life coaching expert. "If everyone is wondering how things are going to go - for example financially - then this thought provides a little consolation for everyone."

Focus on the here and now

As long as there are no concrete exit plans from the current situation, everything is very stressful, says Stahl. “Good head hygiene is helpful in that I quickly get rid of stressful thoughts. Then I deliberately focus on other topics and especially on the here and now. ”Otherwise you quickly get lost in any scenario. "And fear scenarios have something in common to play somewhere in the future and not in the here and now."

Those who have specific concerns - for their own business, for example - should try to stop disaster thinking and try to think immediately about solutions, but not from morning to evening, but also take time out.

Make a mental list

It can also be of great help to act like shopping: “When you go shopping and you have to buy 30 items and you don't have a shopping list, your brain is constantly thinking about these 30 things, just to do nothing forget and keep control. But if you have a list, your brain can turn to other things because it knows: everything is on the slip. So that's a relief. "

This trick can also be applied to fears. "I deal with it intensively for 10 to 20 minutes a day, let's write it all down, and then I only devote myself to what's due. And when stupid thoughts come again, I tell my brain: We have noted everything, nothing is lost. ”(Vb; source: Gregor Tholl, dpa)

Author and source information

Video: COVID-19 pandemic highlights food insecurity in West Michigan (October 2022).