A Few Tips for Managing Anxiety

As someone who has been through a lot of loss, I tend to get anxious about things like the coronavirus. In case you do too, I wrote up some quick tips on managing that anxiety. For starters, it’s completely normal to feel anxiety around a situation like the coronavirus outbreak. But when we get stuck in a cycle of anxious thoughts it does not do us any good. We can become overly preoccupied with trying to “figure it out.” We become obsessed with thoughts surrounding disastrous outcomes and how to prepare for them. Our brains are tricking us into thinking that this kind of rumination is helpful, when really it causes more stress.

Here are a few tips to calm yourself and harness those anxious thoughts.

  1. Limit your news reading/watching. Appoint a friend or family member to update you if there is something truly important to know.
  2. When you catch yourself having obsessive thoughts make an attempt to pivot to a different subject, and remind yourself that ruminating on it will only cause you more stress.
  3. Take advantage of a meditation app to soothe your mind and steer your thoughts away from anxious ones.
  4. Choose grounding activities – taking a walk, a bath, get a massage. When we send messages to our bodies that we are calm, our brain is better able to follow suit.
  5. Each time you find yourself stuck in an anxious disaster scenario try picturing something opposite. (I like to imagine myself at my daughter’s wedding twenty years from now.) Allow yourself to dwell in the positive fantasy just as intensely as you had been with the negative, fear-based thought.

 

I hope you find these helpful. You are not alone.

Love,

Claire