Donna Jackson Nakazawa on bringing down the stress-threat response

 

Cissy's note: Donna Jackson Nakazawa has graciously allowed me to cross-post some of her current and future Facebook page posts here in the Practicing Resilience for Self-Care and Healing community on ACEs Connection

Hello Friends. As a SciComm journalist with 30 years of reporting and 6 books under my belt, which focus on how our stress response governs our immune health, I’ve been thinking about what I have learned, and how I might help you quiet your body and mind during this #pandemic.

For many of us the collective #trauma we’re facing now may trigger old feelings. If you faced a lot of #adversity growing up, this time may bring up disquieting sensations reminiscent of what you once felt as a child, trapped in a frightening situation, feeling alone, or that no one had your back -- and not knowing how you'd get through it.

For those who fall into the high-risk category – immune-compromised, 
#autoimmunedisease – it may evoke a sense of helpless dread, or trigger repressed feelings about how vulnerable or terrified you've felt because of said illness, or bring up memories of the last time we were in a hospital bed.

Many who are getting older may be feeling the vulnerability that comes with the physical realities of aging and the loss that can arise reminiscing over both life’s joys and regrets.

Most of all we may be worrying about those we love. (I worry about my son, who is sheltering in place on the other side of the country. I worry about my 87-year-old mom. I worry about one of my best friends who is a physician on the front lines.)

If I put these factors into a Venn diagram, well, I’d BE the center of that Venn diagram. You may be at the center of that Venn diagram too. The more #trauma we’ve experienced the more we may find ourselves lost in our own spinning thoughts, having trouble making even small decisions.

That’s a trauma headstate and many, many people I’m talking to are feeling it.

But I also know, as a SciComm journalist, that there are so many things we can choose to do to bring down our stress-immune response and find calm in the crisis.

Now, and throughout the month of April, which promises to be a difficult month for all of us on this planet, I'm going to share some of what I'm doing to bring down my threat-stress response. I hope you'll share your ideas, too. Please do!

#HelloBrain: Today, I’m doing Qi Gong with my husband. Here goes.

For more, read Donna Jackson Nakazawa's new book, The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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