Coping with fear...
Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Living in lockdown comes with many unwanted side effects with one of the fastest growing complaints being fear; fear for ourselves, for our families, friends and colleagues, for our jobs, for our security, for our future, will things ever be the same again?!
Now, more than ever, we need to be gentle with ourselves, listen to our fears, embrace them and make the necessary changes that we need to in order to support ourselves through this so that we can come out the other side having learned more about ourselves, our strengths and our ability to cope.
Fear is a completely natural response to a perceived threat, if we didn't have it then the human race would have probably perished thousands of years ago. The issues start to appear when the fear becomes overwhelming or disproportionate to the actual threat. Fear is an emotion and emotions stem from a thought or belief that is triggered by an internal or external prompt, now these reactions will vary from person to person, even in exact same circumstances, as no two people will ever think completely alike. This is where counselling can help in exploring what is beneath the surface and driving the thoughts that are prompting a fear reaction.
Regardless of what you (or others) may believe avoiding your fears is not the best thing to do, neither is ignoring it and waiting for it to 'go away' - by doing this you are cementing the belief that the fear is something that you will always have and run the risk of creating additional avoidant behaviours. So, what should you do?... allow your body to feel your fear but do so when you are calm; go for a walk, listen to music, then permit the fear into your body where you can observe it, rather than judge it, soothe yourself and soothe the fear; the fears comes from you remember! Imagine the fear is a young child; accept it, embrace it, soothe it, rationalise for it... everything that you do for 'the child' you will also do for yourself.
Try to understand the root of your fear - currently many people are scared of the impacts of Covid-19 and the threat to life that the virus has been carrying. This is a very valid fear, but your fear response needs to be proportionate and realistic to be healthy, so try to keep a journal of any negative thoughts that you have and challenge them; rationalise them, discuss them with friends/family, cry or shout if you need to but let them out. Then, once you have recognised and embraced your fear you can change how you handle it... when you feel the fear 'sit with it' - take back the control and feel the fear dissipate as you become a calm, observer of your fearful thoughts #fearless #anxiety #covid #coronavirus #embraceyourfuture #mentalhealthadvice
There is more information about coping with anxious responses and lockdown lows in the earlier blogs :0)