An August 2020 report in the Journal Neuropsychopharmacology reviews, Suggest whether or not you have contracted COVID-19, the epidemic has changed your brain. Coronaviruses can cause many important neurological disorders, but aside from this, epidemic isolation and anxiety can alter brain chemistry and lead to mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.
Researchers studying the effects of the coronavirus report indicate that the damage goes beyond respiratory problems, causing serious neurological problems. The virus can gain access to the brain through the olfactory bulb of the forebrain, which appears as an odor loss in some patients with COVID-19. Scientists believe that other brain changes such as delirium, fatigue, headaches, loss of memory, inattentiveness, brain damage, and even stroke cause obstruction and inflammation in the blood and oxygen supply to the brain. The authors of the report speculate that the virus alters dopamine and serotonin levels in the olfactory bulb – the chemicals responsible for pleasure, motivation, and action. The lead author, Drs. According to Deniz Watansever, these changes are probably responsible for the mood, fatigue, and cognitive changes reported by patients. And these symptoms reduce the presence of stress, anxiety and depression which many experience.
In addition to physical symptoms, another layer of anxiety, depression, and increased suicide has also been revealed. Grief (and in some cases postponed grief due to COVID-19), the loss of loved ones, helplessness, and excessive worry of spreading or spreading the virus to other family members or co-workers, are all significant stresses that collectively result in impending growth Symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicide can contribute. Social coping measures to combat viral outbreaks can also have unintended consequences, such as social isolation, loneliness, sudden changes in daily habits, unemployment, and financial insecurity, all of which lead to major depressive and post-traumatic stress disorders. Are characterized as risk factors for. Potential long-lasting effects on brain physiology and function. Neuroimaging techniques suggest that chronic anxieties and phobias reduce prefrontal cortex activity and damage neurons, shrinking brain regions and weakening thinking. In addition, some COVID-19 patients have seen neurological and psychiatric symptoms including symptoms such as psychosis and neurocognitive dementia.
How to make pandemic brain changes
But the good news is that neuroscientists have shown through fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) that the human brain is plastic. And each of us has an agency overriding our brain’s hard-wired, automatic fear responses. Is called an innate ability neuroplasticity Allows you to use your “thinking mind” to remodel the structure and functioning of your brain. Neuroplasty guarantees that the architecture of your brain is never set in stone. You do not have to be trapped by an epidemic storm (despair, worry, worry) of your body. It is possible for you to re-engineer your brain and soothe yourself of knee pain and apprehensions because your brain has the ability to change its structure. There are some tips to get your mind into the present moment, rather than “what if”, and worry about improving your brain health.
- do something different. Take a different action in response to circumstances in the heat of the moment like an epidemic. For example, if I constantly calm myself, when I am listening to news of a horrific pandemic (when I can get out of the ordinance), this calming practice can re-illuminate my neural pathways , Can widen my flexible area, and is eventually able to hear without automatically dropping out. Better yet, it is important to limit how often we hear negative news consistently but only to hear enough so we get the facts. Or if a loved one catches the virus, then focus on what you can control and fix it no matter how insignificant it is, instead of something you cannot control – an epidemic.
- Live in the present moment. Introduce new calming exercises that help you stay in the present moment – such as meditative meditation, yoga, deep breathing, tai chi, massage – activate your parasympathetic nervous system (your relaxing and digestive response) that helps your sympathetic nervous system. Shuts down (fight) or flight response) with the ability to reshape nerve cells and change the way your brain works. Brain scans at Harvard and UCLA suggest that regular practice of Mindfulness Meditation reduces brain shrinkage and cognitive decline and creates coarse nerve tissue in the prefrontal cortex. Once up, your gray matter intensifies attention, elevates your immune system, neutralizes the pandemic response and increases compassion, automatically moving you to calm, clarity, and center. is. The more you can stay focused in the present moment, the more automatic balance you can bring between your sympathetic nervous and parasympathetic nervous system.
- Call On Your Thinking Brain ‘. In addition to Mindful Relaxing Techniques, when you are frazzled and begin to seize, it is possible that you develop a habit of calling the executive function of your prefrontal cortex and soothe the apprehensions of a hotbed epidemic and make better decisions. The prefrontal cortex helps you realize that things are not usually as bad as your survival brain registers them to be, you can take a breath, retreat from anxiety and calm down . You don’t have to look through rose-colored glasses. But by intentionally bringing your prefrontal cortex back online when coronavirus virus is hijacked by anxiety and fear, you have the ability to take a fair, bird’s-eye view of the danger situation.
- Talk about your concern. Anxiety and fear are the defenders of nature, but they ignore the dangers and undermine our ability to handle them – all in an effort to keep us out of harm’s way. The pattern emerges in the brain. But as you start to notice the anxiety, take a few deep breaths and even talk with something like, “Okay, worry, I see you trying to protect me here Thank you. But I’m fine now, “Anxiety will usually calm down. With these relaxing practices, you introduce a new neural pathway and one where you have a bigger outlook and a lot more peace, positivity and positivity. Curious epidemics can change whole patterns of thinking.
- Contemporary Nature. If you are stuck for a solution at work, stressed out or overwhelmed by epidemic concerns, spending time with Mother Nature gives you a creativity boost or ah-ha moment for a workable problem. Be careful of the wind, pay attention to the colors and smells of leaves and flowers, pay attention to the sound of insects in the bushes, running in water or fighting birds. Watch the clouds, watch the grass grow or admire the sunset. In nature at least two hours per week (such as parks, woodlands, mountains or beaches) promote physical and mental health and well-being and give you a greater perspective of the circumstances of your life. Spending time in greener areas is associated with lower incidence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma, mental distress and mortality. The decades-old Japanese practice of jungle bathing or shinrin-yoku (Meaning “to take to the forest”) is believed to provide stress reduction, relaxation and deeper insight into life. One bath reduces cortisol and depression and increases the activity of killer cells fighting infection and cancer.
- Do the exercise. A 10-minute walk at a brisk pace increases your energy level and rechecks a tired brain. And you are quieter and perform better after a walk in the woods than walking on a noisy, city street. Brisk exercise reduces anxiety and rumor and improves depression. If you can’t get out, then exercise at your desk for five or 10 minutes, stretching and moving around. Try the chair yoga or do a flight of steps up and down the stairs for a few moments. If you have time on a break, go jogging around the block or stroll in the green space, and you will go back to your desk with a battery recharge, energy renewed and head clean.
- Capitalize on technology. Wearable devices, digital platforms, and technologies such as smartphones and tablets can provide viable routes to the delivery of mental healthcare, particularly during isolation measures and limited access to health services. Activity trackers personalize the intervention by real-time monitoring a patient’s cognition, heart rate, sleep patterns, and mood, indicating when the wearer may benefit from activities such as meditation, exercise, or extra sleep. Guided Meditation Apps can also help patients reduce stress levels. Computer technology designed for fun is being used to relieve brain strain to cause epidemic damage. For example, gamified cognitive training has been shown to improve attention, increase memory function and motivation. Computer games based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) – multi-level games designed to help users face challenges, progress through milestones, and collect rewards and points, have shown positive results.
Until more research is done and more is known about the epidemic, we will not know the full story of the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, finding ways to stay as calm as possible is the best brain health available. However, patients with persistent or severe mental health symptoms may require a clinical evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist. In these cases, pharmacological and psychological treatments are accessible such as antidepressants or CBT.
Watansever, D., Wang, S. And Sahakian, B.J. (2020). Kovid-19 and promising solutions to deal with the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Neuropcycopharmacology Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-020-00791-9