Anxiety is a natural feeling that we all experience at times, a normal response to keep us safe from danger. At times though our anxiety can be exacerbated by negative thoughts.
At the present time things are uncertain, this situation is new to us all. When we are uncertain this can make us anxious and low. We tend to try to make predictions in an effort to feel certain. Often these predictions are negative and lead us to feel more anxious. We need to try to base these predictions on the evidence we have, both good and bad. It is more important than ever that we question fake news and that we gather our information from the NHS, Public Health and GOV.UK sources.
Please be aware that it is completely understandable that you feel anxious or worried about the present situation, or that your anxiety or other mental health symptoms such as depression have been exacerbated by this.
Talking to people close to us about how we feel can help greatly, if this can’t be done in person then we can use the phone or perhaps face-time or Skype. There are also many tools available to manage anxiety, depression and other symptoms and to promote our mental health and wellbeing (see below).
When things feel tough we can also be thoughtful about how we can feel more positive again.
The impact of the corona virus has undoubtedly brought us emotionally closer and is highlighting how much we care about each other; we all have what it takes to empathise and be more compassionate with others, and ourselves.
There is a simply put sentence written by the Dalai Lama which focuses on how we can positively connect to other people, and how the feelings we own can be used to benefit others:
‘If you maintain a feeling of compassion, loving kindness, then something automatically opens your inner door. Through that, you can communicate much more easily with other people. And that feeling of warmth creates a kind of openness. You’ll find that all human beings are just like you, so you’ll be able to relate to them more easily’.
His words are full of wisdom and also very relatable; putting into practice the tools that we all possess can be invaluable.
Our feelings really matter, recognising and acknowledging how we feel, can bring self awareness and insight. It can enable to us to accept that we all experience a variety of emotions and that we have this in common with all.
This is a time to look out for others and see what we can do to help. This could be by phoning an elderly relative or perhaps face-timing a friend. It could be telling someone that you care or that you are listening.
Remember we all need support at times, when you need support, reach out to others- a friend, a helpline, a counsellor. Stay safe and well.
Counsellor and GamCare Practitioner