2023 Author: Jessica James | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 03:31
We analyze with a psychologist how panic works and what will help to cope with it. The planet is experiencing a coronavirus pandemic and … a collective panic attack. In Russia, about a hundred people are sick, but if you look through the feed on social networks, you can feel as if the country is on the verge of an apocalypse. Yes, the virus is a serious thing, it is better to follow the advice of epidemiologists. And what to do with anxiety? And what about those who, amid global panic, are plagued by obsessive fears?
- Anxiety is actually a useful emotion. She gives a signal: "Danger, we must act." But the trouble is: the signal for some does not turn off, even when they did everything they could. Because stimuli from the outside world (reports from the front of the war against coronavirus) continue to flow in.
We find ourselves in a vicious cycle of stress response. Which, as luck would have it, reduces immunity. That is literally: if you don't learn to deal with anxiety, you are more vulnerable to the virus. Before any virus - the usual flu, for example, has not yet been canceled. There are exactly two things you can do with stress.
- Cope - adapt, adapt to a new reality. This is a more mature strategy, people with a healthy psyche are capable of it.
- Defending is a less mature response.
For example, denial is one of the infantile psychological defenses: I will pretend that nothing is happening and I will live as usual. In our case, this means not washing our hands, flying abroad, visiting public places. Such tactics will definitely help with anxiety, but there may be consequences for physical health. Another option for immature protection against anxiety is omnipotent control: I am the cause of everything that happens to me, and if I behave well and follow all the rules I can think of, the coronavirus will not touch me.
The psyche can come up with a lot of rules, and with severe anxiety, they develop into obsession: hello, the desire to disinfect hands and surrounding objects a thousand times a day, even if no one left the house for a week. Someone activates the consumption of information - creates the illusion of control over what is happening. In anxiety disorders, this is called protective behavior. It intensifies the panic. If you notice that you are typing "coronavirus" in a search engine, realizing that nothing has fundamentally changed there, then you are trapped in protective behavior. Because the anxiety rises after every dose of news. The saddest version of psychological defense is the immediate somatization of unprocessed emotions: if you get worried, something hurts right away. What to do if you can't deal with anxiety
- Grounding yourself in simple, structured actions: go over the closet, iron a pile of laundry, playing a good old movie.
- Try to be aware, for example, with the help of such attitudes:
“My own thoughts scare me. They are unreal. " “My brain perceives as a threat what is not next to me now. The nervous system is lying."
But at the same time, trying to forcibly “turn off” anxiety and pretend that nothing bothers you, if in fact it is not, is not the most environmentally friendly way of emotional regulation. A more mature option is to live, process, transform anxiety. Track in the body, breathe
This is not about control, but about deeper acceptance of yourself. Accepting oneself in anxiety, accepting oneself as a living crisis.
- We are looking for advantages in self-isolation. Physical fatigue is good for the psyche. It's time to do your body: fitness, running, dancing - whatever.
- Laughter is a great way to combat fear, anxiety, and panic.
Some people experience a neurotic reaction to fear in the form of a smile and even compulsive laughter (remember the Joker, but there is already a pathology). The psyche tries to compensate in this way: laughter is guaranteed to reduce the level of anxiety. In general, a crisis is always a test of the strength of the personality, how healthy your boundaries are, whether your internal supports are strong, whether your self-esteem is adequate, whether childhood traumas, frivolously patched up by achievements in your career or likes on social networks, hurt inside. An uncomfortable, unstable, uncontrollable world quickly reveals weak, dependent and infantile people. But there is always an adult option: to see a teacher in a crisis who showed in time where to strengthen oneself.