By John Tayor
Times are difficult. The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used an unprecedented number of times – and what that really means is that what we are seeing in the country, and in the world at large, is something that most of us have not experienced before. As humans, we are not great when it comes to change – we like things to be familiar and predictable. The unknown can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, and if something is too far beyond our experience we may not know how to cope.
This can all cause us to feel threatened, fearful and anxious. The part of our brain responsible for our fight/flight/freeze response will just want to ‘get the hell out of here’, yet there really isn’t anywhere else we can go right now – only the brain doesn’t know that and just tries to increase that feeling in order to get us to act because we are not doing anything.
Anxiety and panic won’t resolve anything; there is very little we can do about this particular situation. Taking some action, whatever that might be, will convince our brain that we are at least doing something about this situation. This is actually fairly easy. Try to plan what you are going to do once this current crisis is over. It’s
important to make it concrete, vivid and possible. Not something superficial, but something with meaning. Make a plan: visualise yourself in the future, having successfully completed this plan – in this way your brain will know you’ll be around for a while, and you’ll be focusing on the solution rather than the problem.
On a day-to-day basis, keeping a routine, keeping busy and distracting yourself are all useful techniques to combat anxiety. I find it fascinating that there are always people who will respond differently in these situations. Some will find it easy to adapt, some won’t. Some will see self-isolation as an imposition, some will see it as an opportunity. Try to look at the advantages in this situation rather than the disadvantages.
And if you are still feeling anxious there is help available. The charity MIND is a good place to start –
but there are many local therapists who can help, many providing online and telephone support.
John Taylor is a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist based in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Due to the current health crisis. he is unable to see clients in person, but he is kindly offering online sessions at a reduced rate. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, stress or other issues, John can be contacted by telephone on 01756 761604, via his website, or you can email him directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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