The year 2020 was one that will go down in the history books. A worldwide pandemic, unprecedented natural disasters, and social unrest made it a time filled with anxiety, uncertainty, and stress. It’s been over 9 months since the COVID vaccine came out, and with improved safety measures, declining reported cases, and fewer restrictions, life has been able to return to some kind of normal for most people. So, why are cases of anxiety still on the rise? The fact is, although sheltering in place is a thing of the past and you can finally go to your favorite restaurant or concert venue, things are still far from being like what they were. With everything that has happened, and continues to happen, there is still plenty of uncertainty about the future.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people are finding it difficult to enjoy the fulfillment and happiness they once had in their lives. If you would like to speak with someone who can help you work through your feelings and feel more in control, we encourage you to contact Blair Wellness Group in Beverly Hills.
At the beginning of summer 2021, there was hope and anticipation as many COVID restrictions were starting to be lifted. Shortly thereafter, the news of the delta variant started to circle, thereby replacing optimism with fear and concern. This constant flux of emotions can take its toll on our bodies physically and psychologically. This is apparent in the continued increase in anxiety cases. People are still dealing with constant feelings of stress and worry.
Understanding Anxiety Amidst the Current Uncertainty
Anxiety makes people feel trapped, and unable to control their feelings or their environment. This results in wanting to escape from or change the current situation. Returning to work or engaging in a weekly night out seemed to be the answer, but when these things were no longer prohibited, many people found that their problems (and their anxiety) didn’t magically go away. For many, anxiety causes sleeping difficulties, trouble concentrating, and just a general feeling of being on edge. For others, anxiety goes hand in hand with depression. Feeling restless, nervous or afraid makes them want to withdraw and shut down.
The current state of the world has made many feel uneasy — as if the fate of their future is completely out of their control. However, it’s important to remember that there have been other periods in history where people have had to deal with great epidemics, social revolution, and political change. People have gotten through it in the past, and they will now. Although you may feel anxious over not being able to control other people’s actions, or protect everyone you love, you should take solace in the fact that you can control your own reactions to what is happening. Finding peace in being able to control how you react to the uncontrollable is the best way to reduce anxiety.
Types of Anxiety
The term “anxiety” is often used as a broad term to describe general feelings of worry and fear, but it’s helpful to understand this emotion in all of its forms. Everyone has anxiety from time to time, but knowing what is triggering your anxiety and when you should seek professional help for it are essential for your health and mental wellbeing.
While there are many different forms of anxiety, the following are some of the most commonly associated with present-day concerns including the pandemic and social isolation.
People with general anxiety tend to worry frequently, in a manner that is out of proportion with the impact of events, or even when there seems to be no legitimate reason to do so. General anxiety is a chronic disorder, usually without one specific cause, and it can be very disruptive to everyday life.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This anxiety disorder can make social interaction very uncomfortable because those who have it have an intense fear of being judged or rejected. Although many who struggle with social anxiety disorder often find its root in negative childhood experiences, those who have lived through today’s social distancing mandates are finding it difficult to re-engage with others.
This intense and disruptive form of anxiety is characterized by panic attacks — brief, but sudden instances of intense fear that can lead to breathing difficulties, nausea, and chest pain. Panic disorders are often associated with a frightening experience but they can also be induced by prolonged stress.
Tips for Managing Anxiety Now, and in the Future
Unless you possess a functioning crystal ball, there’s no way to know what lies ahead. Fortunately, there are things you can do now to build resiliency and better prepare yourself for whatever the future may bring.
Tip #1: Don’t Dwell on the Negative
If you’re constantly worrying about how bad things are or wondering when they will ever be the same, you’re only going to fuel your anxiety. Even spending too much time on social media or watching the news can make you feel worse. Instead, try to focus on the good things. Learn to be thankful for what you have and for the important people that are in your life.
Tip #2: Practice Relaxation Techniques
We live in a very busy world, and most people don’t take enough time for themselves. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make your mental health a priority and that means setting aside time to meditate, practice yoga, or whatever it is that brings you peace.
Tip #3: Make an Appointment With an Anxiety Psychologist
You don’t have to be clinically diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to make an appointment with a psychologist. Consider that seeing a psychologist is like preventative medicine for your mind. Just as you go to your doctor to maintain physical health, going to a licensed psychologist helps maintain positive mental health.
If you’re interested in meeting with a licensed clinical psychologist and professional anxiety psychologist, we invite you to make an appointment at Blair Wellness Group. We service clients in the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills areas, as well as West Hollywood, Brentwood, Santa Monica, and beyond.