Since the coronavirus outbreak, 84.9% of adults have reported feeling anxious about the pandemic. More than ever, it is crucial to find practical solutions for managing anxiety.
Uncertainty about our health, finances and future is at an all-time high following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a second national lockdown. But instead of resigning yourself to fear, you can take simple steps to better face life’s insecurities.
The human brain is not wired to tolerate uncertainty, but it is wired to be alert to threats. Your brain is constantly updating your world, judging what is safe and what is not. When your brain can’t see what’s around the corner, it can’t get you out of the way and therefore assumes the worst.
“Fear of the unknown” is a fundamental response that is firmly anchored in our biology to protect us. When certainty is challenged, our bodies release stress hormones like adrenaline, igniting our “fight or flight” response. Fear arises when your body’s “fight or flight” defense is continuously functioning. An “imbalance” in the way the body processes environmental and sensory stimuli leads to a disproportionate “excitatory” response and excessive release of neurotransmitters between nerve cells in the brain, leading to overstimulation of the nervous system and feelings of anxiety.
General practitioner and media doctor Dr. Commenting on common symptoms and treatments for anxiety, Sarah Jarvis said, “Some people experience an uncontrollable sense of fear or recurring worries about the future. Some have difficulty concentrating or an inability to relax. Others feel tense and have trouble sleeping. Whatever your symptoms, there is a general feeling of tension, nervousness, panic, and worry that makes you feel anxious.
“According to the AIMPs Association of Independent Pharmaceuticals, prescriptions for anxiety have increased by 10 to 15% since the UK entered the world. In my general practice, I recognize that anxiety affects people differently, and that not all experiences or symptoms justify prescription medication. As such, I welcome a range of treatment and support options, including pharmaceutical-grade lavender oil capsules and other non-prescription options such as mindfulness and talk therapy. “
While you can’t just make your fears and anxieties go away, there are simple and effective ways to manage them. Many are essential to a healthy lifestyle, and using them can improve your overall emotional and physical wellbeing:
- Recognize and acknowledge your feelings. Face your feelings about fear and the transition you are going through, especially when the change is being imposed and is out of your control. Simply writing down your thoughts and feelings will help you understand them better. Keeping a journal can also help you gain control over your anxiety and improve your mental health.
- Avoid thinking about things that you cannot control and focus on what you can. When uncertainty arises, many people immediately imagine the worst-case scenario. Don’t make it a habit of thinking about negative thoughts. Instead, focus on the things you can control, even if it’s as simple as planning meals every week. Set up routines to add calming structure to your days and weeks.
- Be nice to yourself Don’t let uncertainty or fear interfere with your healthy routines. Make an effort to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep. Remind yourself that it may take some time for the stressful situation to resolve and in the meantime you will be patient with yourself.
- Try a traditional herbal remedy like Kalms Lavender. Lavender oil has a longstanding relationship with relieving symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness. Over 15 clinical studies have shown that a daily capsule of uniquely formulated lavender oil can relieve anxiety symptoms in just one to two weeks. The benefits are similar to commonly used anti-anxiety drugs with no issues such as sedation, addiction, or drug interaction.
- Ask for assistance. It’s normal to feel a little worried, fearful, or helpless during uncertain times. Remember, it’s okay to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so can help them, too. If you can’t speak to someone you know, or if that didn’t help, there are numerous helplines to try instead.