Insulating for Anxiety
In Nova Scotia, we may be feeling anxious with imposed restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and after last weekends tragic and senseless events the feeling of anxiety may have heightened.
With heightened anxiety, it can be more difficult to recharge your battery. Dr. Bill Howatt of Howatt HR mentioned changes to your mental fitness plan to accommodate for the additional drain on your battery is warranted. Perhaps increase family check in frequency, additional moments of gratitude throughout the day, or allowing more time for yourself.
Dr. Howatt says anxiety is when our conscious and unconscious move into a hyperarousal state. He says this happens as our minds have 30-45 thoughts per minute, 40,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day and the majority of these thoughts happen unconsciously.
We are meant to have a certain level of anxiety as this keeps us alert and allows us to react quickly when necessary. For some people this can actually make them feel powerless and out of control when the alarm doesn’t turn off.
When you get caught in an anxious loop you may have:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increased risk for addiction
- Questioning values
- Increased errors
- Increased hopelessness
- Weight loss
How do you stop the anxious loop? Try any one of or a combination of the following:
- Deep Breathing
- Progressive Relation
- Count your breaths
Once you stop the anxious loop, explore why the anxious loop began. Methods to do this include:
- Note how you were feeling and give those feelings a name – identify them!
- What were your thoughts at the time?
- Ask what else could the thoughts mean?
- Ask yourself four or five times the meaning of your thoughts and you will find you exhaust the negative and move towards positive meanings.
- Use your resources
- Farm Family Support Center (1-844-880-9142)
- Online resources such as the “The Big White Wall”
- Your social network or a trusted friend
- Medical Professionals
A few additional resources that may be of benefit in insulating for anxiety include an Anxiety Quick Survey, using personal coaching techniques such as learning to think positively, and breathing relaxation exercises.
Take the Anxiety Quick Survey online to assess your anxiety risk level. The levels range form non-issue, to low, moderate, and potential serious concern. Which category do you fall under? What actions should you take?
Reference the following e-book called My Personal Success Coach: A Guide to Personal Wellness by William A. Howatt, Ph.D. for learning techniques on learning to think positively see Chapter 4 of the e-book.
Breathing Relaxation Exercises
Also, in the e-book look at page 197 to discover some breathing relaxation exercises to break the anxiety loop.