From The NY Times article https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/opinion/mental-health-coronavirus.html
“The pandemic spreads an existential feeling of unsafety, which registers in the neurons around your heart, lungs and viscera. It alters your nervous system, changing the way you see and perceive threat.
It’s very hard to grasp what’s going on so deep inside. “All trauma is preverbal,” Dr. Bessel van der Kolk writes in his book “The Body Keeps the Score.” “Rational brain is basically impotent to talk the emotional brain out of its own reality.”
The best way to combat this visceral sense of fear and disassociation is by having what Bonnie Badenoch, the author of “The Heart of Trauma,” calls “disconfirming experiences.” These are experiences of deep reciprocal attunement with others that make you feel viscerally safe.These moments of attunement and co-regulation register in the same autonomic nervous system and overcome the fear and helplessness.
Creating these experiences takes effort. “Being together is not the same as being connected,” Columbia professor Martha Welch told me. She recommends that people engage in deep intentional and vulnerable conversations, in which they pause — for as long as 90 seconds — after something important has been said, just to let it sink in. “You have to have the feelings conversation,” she says.
She and the other experts I spoke with endorse anything rhythmic. Anything that will create an experience of attunement: singing, dancing, yoga, deep eye contact, daily rituals and games.”