UNC health expert talks about dealing with stress, anxiety and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Dealing with stress, anger and uncertanity during COVID-19
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many mental health hurdles in recent months.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Let's talk about anger and stress.

No doubt, you may have been experiencing more it with so many things happening - politics, race relations, the pandemic.

"You know, we're all familiar with that fight or flight response," said Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz, director of the UNC Anxiety and Stress Clinic. "Your heart beats rapidly and your breathing changes. Your muscle tension changes. All of those things are part of stress response. Your thinking changes, you start to focus on things that are negative... and actually those things are important and they are good. That's how humans survived."

Dr. Abramowitz says there are some things that people can practice.

  • Recognize that stress is normal. Don't' blame yourself, don't get down on yourself.
  • Exercise, Sleep, Eat right.
  • What are you telling yourself? Negative thinking, the what if's, the jumping to conclusions, Dr. Abramowitz says, can lead to feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety.
  • Acceptance. He says accept where we are, we can't change the circumstance or how people behave.