SCOTCH PLAINS-- Many of us are feeling the anxiety of not knowing what is coming our way. The current COVID-19 pandemic has heightened uncertainty over the economy, employment, finances, our government, relationships and of course our mental and physical health. It is natural to want to feel safe. The fear of uncertainty can leave us feeling very stressed, depressed and anxious.
Managing our anxiety during a time of uncertainty is a challenge. For those of us who are planners, not knowing what is in the foreseeable future can be terrifying. When we have a plan, it eases our anxiety and it provides a sense of order. The order is what relieves us of our anxiety and eliminates any sense of chaos. When we plan our schedules it provides a sense of structure and normalcy. Not knowing what to expect can fuel our anxiety.
Structure and plans are great tools for keeping us safe. Knowing what to expect eliminates the fear of the unknown and brings us security. In some cases, it is absolutely necessary to plan. However, in our current state of affairs, we are faced with quite the opposite. We are in a new normal and everything from work, school, family and social gatherings is unpredictable and in a constant state of flux.
This is a good opportunity for those of us who like structure to practice going with the flow. It is not easy because it requires living with our anxiety. When we plan, our anxiety decreases. When there is no plan, our anxiety increases. Be aware of your anxiety and force yourself to sit with the anxiety rather than act on it. Feel the discomfort. Accepting the fact that there are situations that we cannot control or force can eventually relieve you of the anxiety and worry. The truth is that no matter how much you try to plan and prepare for every possible outcome, life will find a way of surprising you. Striving for certainty only fuels worry and anxiety.
Maintain whatever routine you are able to control such as exercising regularly, meditating, breathing exercises, eating healthy, etc. Focus on the present. One of the surest ways to avoid worrying about the future is to focus on the present. Switch your attention to what is happening right now. By being fully connected to the present, you can interrupt the negative assumptions and catastrophic predictions running through your mind.
When we try to control, we are working on achieving a desired outcome. Practice “letting go” and accept the fact that all will unfold the way it is suppose to and not the way you want it to.
Allow yourself to feel the uncertainty instead of fighting it.
At The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we are seeing clients virtually via Zoom FaceTime or Phone. Visit us at www.hellenictherapy.com or visit us on Facebook. Call 908-322-0112 for further information.