There’s a surge of uncertainty sweeping the nation, which hasn’t been helped by guidance that is unclear and confusing. The result has been a rise in the number of people feeling anxious about going out into the world.
When you are hit with feelings of anxiety, it can be easy to get swept away by them. But there are ways that you can get on top of your anxiety and bring yourself back to calm.
If you understand what is happening in your body when you start to feel anxious, you can manage it more effectively. As a species, we developed in dangerous times. We are hard-wired to search for danger and to respond to it quickly so that we can survive. This is our instinct, and at the moment, the danger feels very present and very close. The trouble is that we can’t see it, and it is sending our sensors into overdrive, leaving us feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
But there are ways that we can feel calmer. You see, although our brain drives our thinking, it also gets its information from our bodies. If we can calm our body, our mind will follow.
Here are three quick ways to tell your brain that you are safe so it can relax and reduce its anxiety signals:
- Balanced breathing – inhale for a count of 4 and then exhale for a count of 4. When we are anxious we tend to breathe faster, and our breathing can be irregular. By breathing in a balanced way, deeply into our bellies, we can start to feel calmer.
- Sit or stand confidently – when we are nervous, we can try to hide by making ourselves small. Hunching over or looking down adds to the feeling of being powerless so stand tall, lift your chin and smile. This will tell your body that you are fine, and it will relax and you will start to feel more confident.
- Maximise control – uncertainty creates anxiety, so control as much as you can. Get into a routine and plan your days. Taking these measures to take back control can give you the feeling of increased certainty, and this takes the power away from anxiety.
Soon you’ll be feeling calm and in control and ready to stop Covid-19 ruining your day.