Anxiety is not just ‘overreacting’
If you have never suffered from anxiety, the truth is that you may play it down as something far less serious than what it really is. So, before I get into ways to manage anxiety, I want to debunk some myths and give a short breakdown of the definition and physiological aspects of anxiety.
- Anxiety can be defined as intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.
- It is our body’s natural response to stress.
- It manifests itself in many different ways.
- A person may be struggling from an anxiety disorder if their anxiety is so severe that it is interfering with their daily life.
- Treatment for anxiety depends on the person and the severity of their condition.
The symptoms of anxiety manifest themselves in different ways. For most people feelings of anxiety depends on the circumstances and, although unpleasant, these feelings do not last or interfere with everyday life. Anxiety presents differently in different people, but there are a few usual suspects that appear as the body goes on high-alert ready for flight or fight, common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Heart palpitations
- Rapid breathing, hyperventilating
- Racing heart
- Increased sweating
- Fear of impending doom
- Obsessive thoughts
- Panic attacks
These can cause mood swings, stomach pains, and exhaustion.
What anxiety may look like during a pandemic like Covid-19
The coronavirus has dumped us in a continuous cycle of the ‘unknown’, slowly eating away at our wellbeing with looping internal questions and conversations, like:
- When will be able to go back to the “new normal”?
- When can we visit family and friends or just plan a weekend away?
- When will our kids be able to go back to school and will they be far behind?
- Will I still have a job? How will I pay my bills?
- Will we survive if we get sick?
If you already suffer from anxiety under normal circumstances, this will be an incredibly challenging time as it is compounded with the new unknown.
Your healing and knowing that you are enough and matter changes everything – how you treat yourself and how you allow other people to treat you.
It can almost be likened to the gunk down a drain that is washed up again, when the rainwater comes down.
So, how can we manage this new anxiety?
The magic dust of life: daily gratitude
It teaches your mind to focus on the good and on finding new opportunities.
Start every morning by naming 3 things you are grateful for and 3 things that will make you great. End every evening by naming 3 things that happened that you are grateful for.
Try to package your goals or challenges in manageable chunks: Break down your weeks into days, days into hours, and hours in minutes.
Working from home and helping your children with homeschooling?
Break your day down in 30-minute segments and make it visible (write your family schedule on a mirror with a marker or ask the kids to help you with a schedule poster). Make it fun.
How do I fit everything into my day?
Wake up at 5am in the morning and go to bed earlier at night. This could free up almost 2 hours for yourself in the morning to journal, meditate, or work on your own projects before the rest of the house wakes up. During this time, it might be your only alone time.
Let yourself go there
Think of the worse possible outcome for a moment. Then let yourself think of the best possible outcome. Now, let your emotions go there and feel that. Feel the possibility of amazing things happening because of this situation.
If you have been running in a stressed environment for a long time, you stress activators are now more stimulated and your anxiety might be at an all-time high.
A daily practice of listening to a calming recording will take you out of the beta brainwaves (fight and flight) into alpha brainwaves (rest and restore).
This will give your body time to rest and recover and let your natural immune system kick in. I have two free recordings available for you to listen to (click here, or on the image to be redirected).
Rapid Transformational Therapy
As a qualified RTT practitioner, I can guide you through a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and low mood.