Health & Wellbeing – How to Manage Anxiety in These Times

With the Coronavirus lockdown getting more and more serious, we are probably all having anxious and fearful thoughts. A slightest symptom in us, could cause us to fear the worst.  We are fearful of ourselves and others and the unseen predator.  Many of us will be fearful about our income, our businesses, our jobs and careers.  Most will worry about their health and their loved ones.  Many of us like to be busy and have order and routine and the uncertainty can make us feel out of control.

Most people who suffer with anxiety project into the future, and think about the ‘what if’.  Depressed people often go back to the past and think about bad things that have happened to them before, and therefore, they might expect bad things to happen again.  Many people have lived with levels of anguish for long periods in their lives.  It can also be a learned behaviour if we grew up in an anxious household.

Sue Turner from Candela Hypnosis in Henley would like to share a few thoughts and approaches she takes with clients to help people keep things in perspective.  She says, “As often the fear can diminish our inner power.  Hypnotherapy is extremely beneficial in helping people empower themselves and prevail through difficult times. It can give them a sense of calmness and confidence and self-belief.”

Her advice is…

The first thing to do is to take care of ourselves to the best of our ability.  Your body is your oldest friend and steadiest companion.  Listen to it.  Eat good quality food regularly. Breakfast is important as it get our blood sugar level up and keeps us going for the day.  People who don’t eat are more prone to feel jittery, physically and mentally. Try not to put too many toxins and stimulants into your body i.e alcohol, nicotine and caffeine and sugar.  They upset the nervous system and can affect our digestive system.  Sleep is the foundation of good health and it is important to give yourself permission to sleep so that you can cope with the challenges of the day.  Sleep at night – go to bed earlier and try and get up with the light.  You will feel better – stronger, more resilient.  Take exercise – lots of breathing.  Yoga or pilates.  Try not to spend too much time watching TV or on social media. Create variety.

Make  a routine for yourself. Get washed and dressed as if you have a purpose for the day.  Maybe make a list of things you want to get done.  Keep your house and environment clean and tidy. Do things you have been meaning to do for ages.  If you are working from home give yourself a time table and try to stick to it.  Don’t drift off and do other things or snack.

Try to banish fear.  It is very draining and all consuming.  Negative fear feeds on itself.  Give yourself positive suggestions that you are strong.  You are taking good care of yourself, and the people who are important to you.  Think about your past successes, your strengths and capabilities.  We will all have to become more resourceful in the weeks ahead, and we need to tap into other skills and capacities.  Learn something new. Stimulate your intellect and creativity.  Do not let other people’s fear rub off on you.  Social media articles and other people’s fear mongering can exacerbate our own anxiety.

A lot of anxious people are very good at looking after others.  Try to forget yourself and take care of others as much as you can.  Whether it is something practical or just keeping in contact with family and friends.  Remembering to keep the appropriate physical distance of course.

We tend to think that anxiety is an emotional and mental state, but it affects our bodies hugely.  Fear triggers adrenaline and cortisol which can make us feel so uneasy physically.  If you sense that fear is held in your body, try this following exercise:

  • Think about where the tension is held in your body.
  • Close your eyes and give the feeling a shape.  Think about the size of it, in relation to your body.
  • Give it a colour.   Is it hard or soft?    Is it rough or smooth?  Is it heavy or light?   Is it hot, cold or warm?
  • Notice how it makes your body feel and think about what would soothe that feeling
  • Warming sun?  Fresh pure air?  Soothing balm?  Your imagination will show you what is right for you.
  • Focus on how you are feeling physically.  Is your body in good shape?  Keep things in perspective.  Think about things you love to do. Where you love to be and how you function best.    Where do you feel happiest and safest?  Being with your family and friends?  Your pets?  In the garden or outdoors?  In your bedroom surrounded by things you love.  Find a safe place.
  • Think about what you need to do to feel safe and to be able to prevail and survive. Try to take your thoughts away from yourself and think about others.

Sue is offering a free copy of BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM to our readers.  Please contact her or 07702 939020 and she will send you a download on WhatsApp or by via  Email or Dropbox.

Sue Turner is a highly experienced clinical hypnotherapist.  She works at Chelsea Natural Health Clinic and, also, has her own practice in Henley.