Coronavirus and anxiety is a challenge many of us are struggling with. But you don’t have to be ruled by anxiety. The spread COVID-19 is a new reality, but you control how you consume the information and respond to it. Mimi Fong explains how to stop the negativity, panic and anxiety from taking over.
We’re all impacted by coronavirus as it sweeps through our communities, driving fear, panic, anxiety and uncertainty. Everywhere we turn, there is news coverage, social media posts, or warnings about impending disaster, as well as scary misinformation.
If you have existing anxieties, this has probably triggered you.
Coronavirus and anxiety: We’re all feeling the strain
Everyone has an opinion, sparking heated debates, inflammatory comments and even personal attacks, as people release pent-up frustrations and fears.
As parents, our survival and protection instincts are kicking in. We’re asking ourselves:
‘What’s going to happen if schools are shut?’ ‘Who will look after the kids?’ ‘What’s going to happen with work? ‘Will our businesses survive?’ ‘Where are we going to get food and essentials if the supermarkets are running out?’ ‘How will we pay our rent or mortgage?’
So whilst the physical toll has been widespread, it’s the psychological and emotional effects that are even more far-reaching.
As a Master NLP Practitioner and Life Coach, it’s been an interesting glimpse for me into human nature and how we respond to adversity, what happens when our primal instincts truly overtake us. So let me reassure you. If you’re experiencing heightened anxiety, stress and sleepless nights, you’re not alone.
You can stop negativity, panic and anxiety from overwhelming you
Here are my six tips for protecting yourself from the strain caused by coronavirus and anxiety, so you can emerge a stronger, wiser, better version of yourself:
1. Use deflection
Deflection is a deliberate action. It’s not ‘burying your head in the sand’ and ignoring reality.
Instead, you choose to:
- Face negativity head on
- Accept that it’s there
- Choose not to take it on board
‘What you resist, persists’: Negativity, fear and panic only fuel more negativity, fear and panic. It’s a vicious cycle.
2. Focus on what you can control
We can’t always choose what’s happening around us. But we can choose how we respond to things.
Just like a viruses is contagious, so are negative emotions. So spread calm, empathy, love, kindness and joy.
3. Practise kindness
Don’t fall into the trap of speaking from a place of negativity and fear. Instead, share your opinion respectfully and constructively.
Accept that other people may have a different view, as we all see the world through our own unique filters.
Seek out positive stories and share them. For example, a woman whose events business has been obliterated by the effects of the virus. Not knowing how she was going to pay her rent, she spoke to her landlord. He wiped her rent for the rest of the year, with no expectation of being paid back.
4. Keep your sense of humour
It’s an old one and still a good one. Laughter is truly the best medicine. And a great way to keep some perspective.
5. Minimise your stress
Studies have shown that fear and stress can suppress the immune system.
Freeing yourself of fear cam help strengthens your immune system.
You might consider ways to reduce your stress, which in turn helps with managing your feelings around coronoavirus and anxiety.
- Make your daily focus on a healthy immune system and do everything to support that
- Make a time to express your feelings, either to a friend or family member, or in a journal
- Pursue interests that you enjoy
6. Reframe your feelings on coronavirus and anxiety
Be aware that COVID-19 conversations or information might be triggers for any existing anxieties you have, fuel for your fears, or heighten your sensitivities.
- Notice if this is happening
- Accept it; don’t indulge it
- Understand where it’s coming from and why you’re in that cycle of negativity
Once you understand these factors, you’re on the way to breaking free from y0ur fear.
I know this because I’ve experienced this firsthand.
There were times in my life when I struggled with negativity. I chose to let it overwhelm me. I felt stuck and out of control. It wasn’t until I understood where this was coming from and why, that I had my lightbulb moment and things started to change so I could start enjoying life again rather than worrying about ‘what if’’.
I realised there were specifically four things holding me back and stopping me from being happy, positive and in control again. Once I knew what these were, I was able to reframe this and see everything differently. Just as we can all do right now with everything that is happening around us.
Let’s all choose to see this as an opportunity to rise above it. To come together and support each other… rather than attack and put down. To be the shining role model of strength, hope and love. Let’s show the world the best of us.
Mimi is a Master NLP Practitioner and Life Coach specialising in anxiety and confidence in women. She is happy to answer any questions you might have or talk to you about your concerns. To find out what the four things are that were holding Mimi back and stopping her from being happy and in control again, download your free copy of ‘4 Reasons You Can’t Break The Cycle Of Negativity And Self-Doubt’.