Something about this time of year inspires people to reconsider their poor habits, fitness levels, and messy living spaces. You reduce your intake of alcohol or sugar, sign up for a gym or start jogging, and purge your bookcases and clothes. But why stop at the standard resolve areas with this jolt of energy and reevaluation? There’s a good chance that you need to reevaluate how you handle anxiety as well.
When you are anxious, it might be simple to revert to old, harmful thought patterns. Maybe you’re trying to avoid what’s making you anxious, or maybe you keep telling yourself to calm down. How are things going for you now? Most likely, the unpleasant talk and restless nights have gradually increased. When we attempt to suppress difficult feelings, it might be like trying to stop a wave. This neither slows the wave down nor lessens its force. It sends it momentarily back, guaranteeing its return, says clinical psychologist Sophie Mort.
Because your frontal lobes, the area of the brain in charge of control and being present, are not completely engaged when you are anxious, it is challenging to reason your way out of unpleasant sensations. Dr. Mort continues, “Your automatic pilot is in command. Because of this, it’s challenging to “snap out of it,” as is sometimes advised to those who are uptight.
The preceding two years won’t have helped, even if anxiety is a condition to which we are frequently genetically predisposed and have probably been suffering for decades. According to a research from the University of Queensland in Australia, anxiety cases have risen by 26% worldwide during the pandemic, with women being more vulnerable to it because of the stress of caring obligations. While things may be gradually returning to some semblance of normality, Dr. Mort warns that this is precisely the time when your nerves might suffer.
“In a difficult scenario, all that matters is survival.” The brain is fighting for its existence and in flight or fight mode. It would be harmful to let those emotions in, she says, but when you come out of a period of intense stress, the reality of all you’ve gone through floods in, and that’s when anxiety strikes. I’m experiencing that right now with a large number of individuals, including my family, my friends, and patients at my clinic.
It might be counterproductive to try to quiet such nerves. In order to provide you with new insight into the relaxation techniques that actually work, we went to therapy and the most recent scientific research: