You could be having the most peaceful day and suddenly it is upended by bad news or a bad situation happening to you. This happens to each of us at some time or another throughout our life. Some anxiety is a natural part of life. There are events happening all the time that cause us to feel anxious. We are running late and there is traffic to make us even later. We may get a phone call with some bad news. During this time of Covid-19 our fears and anxiety are justified but we should still try and not let outer circumstances affect our inner peace.
“Anxiety’s like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you very far.”Jodi Picoult
When we are anxious, our bodies react by releasing adrenaline, which can increase our heart rate and breathing. For most people, the feelings of anxiety go away when the situation that caused it is over and the problem is resolved. But for some people, the anxious feelings are persistent. These feelings may disrupt their everyday lives. If this is happening, you should speak to your doctor for ways of lessening your anxiety.
Most situations, however, are easier to deal with. The majority of times, we can use some techniques to help us cope with the anxiety and feelings of fear.
- Take deep breaths – close your eyes and relax all your muscles. Take a deep cleansing breath, slowly count to five, and then slowly release your breath. Imagine that you are releasing all the anxiety and fear with each exhale.
- Practice mindfulness – notice everything around you. Use your senses, sight, smell, taste, sounds, and feelings. Focus on the “now.”
- Get plenty of sleep – getting adequate sleep is extremely important. Unplug from your devices an hour before going to bed. Take a bath, read a book, meditate, or listen to soft music.
- Visualize – close your eyes and imagine a relaxing scene, including as many details as you can.
- Guided meditation – there are a number of apps that offer guided meditation for relaxation. A soft voice usually accompanied by soft, peaceful sounds will help you to relax your body and focus your thoughts.
- Use humor – a good laugh can go a long way to relieve our anxiety.
- Journal – many times writing down our feelings helps us to work through them and sometimes realize that things may not be as bad as we originally feared.
- Music – listening to soothing music can calm our anxious feelings and help us to relax.
If all else fails, schedule your worry time. It may sound counter-productive to plan to worry, but doctors actually recommend that you pick a time to think about your fears on purpose. Schedule around 30 minutes to identify what’s troubling you and identify what you can control. Have your “worry session” at the same time every day. Try and focus on what is making you anxious at the present time and don’t project into what may happen. Stick to reality.
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.”Deepak Chopra
Every one of us has to deal with feelings of fear and anxiety. It is important to go easy on yourself and take one day at a time to deal with the negative feelings associated with Covid-19 and the pandemic. Just remember, easy does it!