How to deal with fear, anxiety and panic?
Updated: Mar 22
Fear! Panic! Anxiety! Uncertainty! Corona virus! It`s everywhere and nobody knows how long it will last, or who will be the next victim. All we hear are the numbers of infected and dead, of governments, implementing harsher restrictions every day, of businesses and economies skyrocketing, the world is stopping ... Confusion, disbelief and anxiety have suddenly overwhelmed the whole world. It feels like we woke up in a horrific science fiction movie, or we are having a nightmare which is getting worse by the hour. Humanity hasn’t seen or experienced something like this since the WWII.
We struggle to find balance and some peace amidst this craziness. Many of you ask how to deal with all the emotions? How to get some control back into your lives and feel safer? It`s very challenging but not impossible. It requires some self-reflection and willingness to change.
Naturally, our first instinct is survival, and we’ve seen too many science-fiction movies not to already envision ourselves in the worst possible scenario, like being forced to fight, not just for food, water and medical help, but, first and foremost, for own lives and lives of our loved ones. Right now, the biggest concern is that there won`t be enough for everyone. Enough of whatever. The fears are immediately taking complete control over our minds and hearts, leaving no room for rational thinking anymore, let alone for positive outlook as we find ourselves caught in a downward spiral, being mentally, emotionally and physically affected.
It's normal to react with fear (not panic) when we face a threat, after all, that has kept us from unnecessary death since the beginning of humanity, but after this response we need to clear our heads, change our perspective, lift our spirits and refocus our minds. That`s necessary in order to be effective, not only to survive, but also to re-establish some normalcy.
While it is crucial for everyone`s sake and for the whole communities right now to take all the necessary precautions and follow the guidelines from the experts, to act responsibly towards yourself and others, and to be aware of the seriousness of the threat. It is as equally important to realize that it is possible to re-establish inner peace and overcome unnecessary panic, stress, anxiety and fears.
But how? How to change your emotional state to calm down, to find your balance and adjust to new reality without a feeling that your whole world is crushing?
Peace of mind comes from within, never from the outside
You need to understand and accept that the main and limitless source, generator of your power, motivation, hope, happiness and peace is already WITHIN YOU! You already possess it, so you better tap into it and start using it. Everything and everyone around you are just a secondary source which can only spark or support this main engine.
Your emotional state is affected by your thoughts
We`re all creators of our thoughts, and with our minds we constantly choose what comes into our focus. Based on information we notice and absorb, we appraise everything with our intellectual and emotional capabilities and then form our own beliefs and values which steer our lives accordingly. Everything we allow into our lives affects our thoughts and emotions.
1. Choose the information you are exposed to and the quality of it
Is it presented with the facts, from a reliable source, is it helpful or is it making you even more paranoid, frightened and anxious?
2. Avoid and restrain from everything negative
Daily we interact with people at home, at jobs, over social media, listen to the news etc., and everywhere you find people who are afraid and are unleashing their lowest emotions just to criticize, blame, judge and bully. Getting involved just brings your energy down. Listen to your feelings and choose something motivational, inspirational, positive instead.
3. Monitor your thoughts and form the positive ones
Our minds often run on an autopilot and function in a way, they’re used to. It takes some practice and alertness to catch your negative thoughts and to replace them with a positive one. As your mind gets used to think differently, your autopilot will choose another course next time.
You can`t control the circumstances, but you can control your response
In this time more than ever, we realize how fragile we are, and how quickly the world can change due to unexpected events. It`s mind-blowing how rapidly our reality is changing. In this tornado that hit us instantly, it is important to be aware that you can’t control the world, but you are always able to control your reaction.
1. Release some control
Stop trying to predict everything, to control how, when, where, and getting obsessed with the things that are out of your control. Practice intentional release, try to go with the flow a little bit more every day, accept the unknown with faith.
2. Change your life routine and priorities
Focus on what needs to be done to protect yourself and others around you and adjust your life to a new schedule. We are all challenged with new circumstances which require different approach. And suddenly, our priorities have changed, too, and we see everything through different lenses.
3. Slow down and self-reflect
Unless you are one of the brave ones who work relentlessly for the good of all of us right now and can`t afford this luxury, you can use this extra time at home wisely. Slow down, do what you’ve been putting aside for a while or what makes you happy, connect and spend quality time with your loved ones, discover your inner passion, learn something new, make plans for the future, charge your batteries and have fun. Don`t dwell on self-pity or fear and think only about the bad scenarios or what you’re lacking. Take this rare opportunity to do something positive with the time which is unexpectedly at your disposal and practice gratefulness.
You are responsible for your decisions, nobody else
We have already seen many reactions from people around the world, how people cope and react, and it shows us how differently we perceive and respond to the same reality. From complete ignorance and denial, anger and nervousness, selfishness and lack of empathy, fear and panic on one side to courage, faith, compassion, help, love, support and sacrifice on the other.
Now, with such a pressure on existence, when our survival is at stake, we show our true colors, what we are made of. It`s transparent what we carry inside, what is the base for our decisions, and our characters are on display like never before, with our fears and strengths.
But, we always have the choice and power to make changes. When we think, talk and act with love, courage, compassion and empathy, our focus and energy automatically shift to higher, positive vibrations and we feel energized, happy, hopeful, strong and loved. What is important, you can`t be fearful, anxious, panicked, depressed… in low vibrations at the same time.
We are all vulnerable and sensitive to our weaknesses and we all have our share of lessons to learn for nobody is perfect, but we can decide to become mentally and emotionally stronger every day, to put some effort in raising our spirits and energy, to consciously choose positive outlook and to live the best version of this life. Make one step at a time, be patient with yourself and achieve your emotional balance. It’s possible and you can do it.
Be safe, healthy and full of love. For yourself and others. 💕
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