How to feel less anxious in times of uncertainty
If you suffer from anxiety or depression, you might find yourself worrying more during times of uncertainty like Coronavirus. Lots of my clients are feeling anxious or depressed due to various issues that Covid is presenting. Any uncertainity can challenge our feelings of safety and security but a pandemic can really test us to the max! It might feel like your emotions and anxieties are very busy at the moment but during my online therapy session, we are able to calm emotions down with the techniques that I teach people.
The thing with uncertainty is that it makes people feel out of control. And when you feel out of control this can cause fear and from fear comes anxiety along with other symptoms like IBS, stress and sleep issues.
And there are plenty of things in life to give us those feelings of uncertainty. Like job losses, recession, separation, relationship breakdowns, financial trouble and ill health to mention but a few.
Scientists have proved that there are two types of uncertainty. The one we can prepare for and the one we are just stuck with. And they feel very different with the uncertainty we can’t do anything about being more stressful than the one we can.
Unpredictability is a great stressor. Studies in the 1960s and 1970s showed that rats and humans suffer more when given an unexpected small electrical shock than those who can predict when a zap is coming. And in a 2006 study, people rated the pain as more unpleasant than when they knew what to expect when they were zapped with unpredictable electric shocks to their hands.
If I had a pound for every time these words are used in my therapy room I would have a very heavy piggy bank:
So how can you feel different about anxieties?
Now, we are emotional creatures and this is a gift. Without the full range of emotions we couldn’t experience joy and pleasure and we all want some of that don’t we? But it becomes a problem when the negative emotions don’t seem to give you a break and stop you living a ‘normal’ life. Let’s not forget that many people will be feeling pleased about the election result.
It might not feel like it, but anxiety actually exists to keep you safe. It goes right back to caveman days where if a predator animal came along, caveman would get anxious and prepare to fight or run. So a bit of andrealin which is released into the body is useful for both of those things. The trouble is that the brain can get confused about ‘danger’ and generate this fight or flight reaction unnecessarily which can be stressful and exhausting.
So maybe you would like to try some of these things to feel less anxious during uncertain times:
- Try some diaphramic breathing to get in a relaxed state. Relaxation is the hub of feeling in control
- Watch my video here for changing how you feel about something that currently bothers you
- Think about a situation of uncertaintity from 5 years ago. What happened? Was everything ok? What did you learn from that?
- Focus on the things that give you joy. When I work with clients we really dig into this so that their joy list is clear and they visit it often. The more you focus on the things that bring you joy, the less time and energy you will give to thinking about things that don’t bring you joy
- Get the right sort of help. If you have had years of counselling, it might be time to try something different. After my 4 session programme, your life will feel very different
‘The only certainty is uncertainty’ – John Allen Paulos
By learning to be calm and in control of your own emotions during tough times, you will be more resilient. And this means that you will find uncertainty less traumatic and problematic as you navigate through life. Thankfully, we don’t have a pandemic very often.
I offer free courses which provide relief for anxiety and depression which you can sign up for on the freebies page.
Sending you resilent thoughts
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