All of us are currently living through a period of time never witnessed before in our lifetime. Covid-19 has changed all of our lives; our normal daily routines have been altered. We no longer have the normal freedoms and routines; many of us are working from home or some may have worries about security or may have lost jobs. Some of us will be working on the front line in health services and clinics, helping to care for us. Pupils and students are at home, as schools and colleges are closed.
This change and disruption to our lives will bring anxiety and fear to many and for some that can take over and cause stress levels to rise.
When anxiety levels rise negativity builds up, we can then start to negatively forecast and catastrophise, imagining the worst-case scenarios. By imagining what might happen if someone we know or love catches the virus, or what might happen to our job or our security can send our mind into a whirl as our imagination runs away.
What can we do to help ourselves cope if we feel overwhelmed with worry?
Serotonin is a chemical produced by nerve cells and contributes to feelings of wellbeing and happiness and this helps us cope when things get difficult.
When we feel anxious we often stop doing the very things that can help us feel better.
In my hypnotherapy practice I talk a lot about how we can help ourselves cope better with feelings of anxiety and worry by creating a steady flow of Serotonin. We can do this by doing the 3 P’s:
Positive action – doing something just for you, taking time out to do something you enjoy. Helping or supporting someone.
Positive thinking – each day think about 5 things that you are you pleased to notice about how you are coping – it doesn’t matter how small.
Positive interaction – though we cannot go out to interact with friends and family right now, fortunately we have plenty of ways to interact via technology, supporting each other and creating happy times and fun. It’s fabulous to see all the funny videos flying around. If you are lucky enough to have a pet at home you will know something of the comfort they can bring.
If we try to do these 3 P’s every day we will keep the production of Serotonin flowing. If we are keeping a steady flow of Serotonin then we will find ourselves much better able to cope, think more clearly and be less anxious.
What else can we do that will help ?
Exercise will help burn off stress hormones and release endorphins which help bring about positive feelings. Whilst at the moment we may be restricted to indoor exercise there are lots of online videos available with a whole range of exercises and activities to suit everyone.
Meditation /mindfulness can help calm overthinking and racing thoughts. Again there is a plethora of meditation and mindfulness videos and apps available online that will help guide you through the process.
Relaxation techniques – when we feel anxious we create tension unconsciously by tensing muscles, often in the shoulders and by clenching the jaw. By practising relaxation techniques that involve progressive muscle techniques ( gradually relaxing each muscle group from head to toe) we can release that muscle tension. When we are physically relaxed we are mentally relaxed and when we are mentally relaxed we are better able to cope. This takes practise, but you will feel a real difference if you can take 10 -15 minutes each day to do this.
If you feel you are struggling and are wondering if hypnotherapy may help, please do not hesitate to contact me for a free and confidential chat about how I may help.
I am currently offering online video hypnotherapy sessions.
Meanwhile have a good day and stay safe.