Coping with the Current Virus Chaos - Anxiety Release
Welcome to the Coping with the Current Virus Chaos Series. This item is about
To listen to your FREE hypnosis audio recording to release anxiety click below but do read on for further hints and tips for coping with anxiety.
Things have changed incredibly for us with this current pandemic. All the uncertainty can be difficult to cope with.
You may feel anxious or stressed right now.
You may be finding it difficult to rein in worrying thoughts.
And you may feel insecure about your future.
But help is at hand – you CAN discover how to cope with uncertainty.
Facing Uncertainty is Scarier than Facing Unavoidable Physical Pain
A recent study shows that the uncertainty of something bad happening can be more stressful than the knowledge of something bad happening.
In 2016 a UCL study, funded by the Medical Research Council, looked at how people react to being told they will either definitely or probably receive a painful electric shock. They discovered a fascinating paradox:
volunteers who knew they would categorically receive a painful electric shock felt calmer and were demonstrably less agitated than those who were told their chances of getting the electric shock were only 50 per cent.
45 volunteers were introduced to a computer game in which they (digitally) upturned rocks that potentially had snakes hiding underneath. They had to guess whether each rock concealed any snakes. When a snake appeared, they were given a mild but painful electric shock.
As the game continued they got better at guessing which rocks they’d find snakes under, but the game was designed to keep varying the chances of success to keep the uncertainty going.
When we’re facing consequences filled with uncertainty, it’s the realisation that something bad might happen that affects us.
The volunteers’ level of uncertainty related to their level of stress. So, if they felt sure they would find a snake, stress levels were significantly lower than if they felt that maybe they would find a snake.
In both cases, they’d get a shock, but their stress was laden with the addition of uncertainty.
Archy de Berker from the UCL Institute of Neurology said: “Our experiment allows us to draw conclusions about the effect of uncertainty on stress. It turns out that it’s much worse not knowing you are going to get a shock than knowing you definitely will or won’t.”
Uncertainty Stirs Up Our Basic Survival Impulse
If we can’t defuse a perceived threat, we become occupied with the unhelpful activity of worrying.
We wrestle with the particular issue to find solutions to the threat, but there aren’t any.
Instead of making us feel better – it makes us feel worse!
We are naturally wired to ‘catastrophise’ i.e. we think about a circumstance as being worse than it actually is. This leads to worry, which ends in anxiety.
Our modern brains struggle to differentiate between real threat and supposed threat. This leads to our primitive brains taking over and triggering our primitive, fight or flight, survival instinct. It asks questions:
What’s going to happen?
Could I be doing something more?
Is my business safe from collapses?
Am I likely to lose my job?
What if I fall ill from the virus?
How can I cope?
The lack of answers can lead to all sorts of emotions such as:
What Can we do to Allay Uncertainty?
There are a number of things we can do to reduce the effects of uncertainty:
Awareness is your secret weapon:
- Be more consciously aware of your feelings and emotions
- Notice the “worry narrative” you are telling yourself – try to distance yourself from it
- Focus on breathing – take long slow breaths – breathe out for longer than you breathe in
- Recognise the need to conquer your basic instinct for fight-or-flight
- Accept uncertainty rather than trying to battle against it
Stand up to Anxiety with Some Mood-Boosters
- Get some exercise or movement
- Do some meditating, self-hypnosis
- Find a purpose – volunteer or doing something for someone, achieve something
- Find something pleasant or fun to do
Just 15 minutes a day, focusing on yourself, will help you regain a sense of balance.
The more you practice all these strategies, the better you will become!
Let me know how you got on with the free recording. You can email me by clicking here.