When you are anxious, normal life is hard as it is let alone facing changes. When the COVID-19 had a sudden impact on our everyday lives, 6 in 10 people in UK have felt anxious about the virus. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/26/six-in-10-people-in-uk-have-felt-anxious-about-coronavirus).
What daily life is like if you are anxious?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear about an event or situation. It is a normal reaction to stress. But, it can be a disabling feeling in your life if left unnoticed and untreated. Women with anxiety disorders experience a combination of anxious thoughts or beliefs, physical symptoms, and changes in behaviour, including avoiding everyday activities they used to do. Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms. They all involve a fear and dread about things that may happen now or in the future.
Physical symptoms may include:
Shortness of breath
Rapid heart rate
Physical symptoms of anxiety disorders often happen along with other mental or physical illnesses. This can cover up your anxiety symptoms or make them worse.
How does change affect?
If you are feeling all of the above or some of them daily in a familiar environment and a familiar routine, imagine suddenly changing the familiarity. It may make one feel like living in a constantly shrinking basement. The comfort zone of a person who is anxious is limited on a normal situation and this shrinks even more during change. Change is an indicator to uncertainty. And uncertainty is a significant trigger for a person who constantly live in a fight or flight situation.
How to adjust?
The following tips may help you.
1. Write down which part of your life needs adjustments first
2. Write down what adjustments needs to be made.
3. Discuss these adjustments with the rest of the family. If you are living alone, speak to a friend, colleague or Samaritans (UK) 020 8394 8300. Running your thoughts out loud always help. Even this means emailing or texting of your choosing.
4. When you know more about the adjustments you need to make, use a schedule like Todoist (an app you can download) or a diary (even google calendar will help) to run your day.
5. Create a routine that works for you. Get the rest of the family involved in making decisions so that they all agree and are aware of how best to support you.
How to deal with physical symptoms?
Research suggest that engaging in any physical activity such as walking, running, dancing or sex helps bring the anxiety level down. When you know the physical symptoms are on the rise, change your physiology my moving or jumping or even smiling. This will change the signals that gets sent to the brain and will help you reduce symptoms. One of the most effective ways is to use EFT aka tapping. Find my blog about effectiveness of tapping here. (https://www.coachingwithnisanka.com/post/how-effective-is-eft-emotional-freedom-technique-in-managing-anxiety)
Breathing or meditating, seeking out positive memories such as going through your old funny photos and creating a vision board are also very helpful. Avoid triggers whenever possible. Even if it means, asking people politely not to share all the bad news with you. Be unapologetic about looking after your health. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
How to maintaining a positive mindset?
Managing your physical and emotional symptoms is a crucial part in maintaining a positive mindset. Spare at least five minutes in the morning to visualise the positive outcomes. When engaging in this activity, ensure you involve all your senses. What do you do when you are positive? what do you say? what other people are saying to you? where are you? Allow your subconscious to take you to a positive and a happy place and feel the sensation in your body when you are there. Live that moment! Do this exercise everyday and the chemicals in your brain will change creating new neural pathways. Create a future focused action plan to get new and exciting things done.
Hire a coach or a therapist (I highly recommend trying EFT) to help you out. Anxiety may have its connections to the beliefs we have made as children. Changing those negative beliefs to positive beliefs help manage anxiety long-term.
I am running a workshop on the above topic on the 23rd of April between 9.30-12.30 am. Book a place by clicking the link below. You can get a taste of the benefits of managing anxiety 'in the moment' and 'long-term'.
Alternatively, you can try one of my FREE workshops on Managing Anxiety running from 4th of May, every Monday from 6-8 pm for five weeks. Please find the link below.
If you would like 1-1 support, contact me directly on +44751231298 or firstname.lastname@example.org
"You don't have to see the whole staircase. Take the first step" - Martin Luther King