• Jason McCarty

Dealing with Anxiety

Updated: Sep 11

Are you experiencing heightened anxiety due to COVID-19?  I want to share some tips with you.

First of all, it is normal to feel worry and anxiety at a time like this.  Many people are struggling to make sense of things and it can be difficult to deal with uncertainty.

The best way to deal with anxiety is to stop trying to control it and focus instead on your body, not your thoughts.

  1. Stay Present

  2. When we are very anxious we become disconnected from our body.  Our nervous system is on alert and wants to fight, flight, or freeze.  But since there is nothing in front of you that is dangerous, that energy manifests as anxious symptoms.

  3. Try to get into the present moment.  Google some “grounding techniques” so that you have some tools to bring you into the now.  Right now, this very moment is safe.  While there are challenges going on, you will be able to deal with them one at a time.

  4. Focus on Your body

  5. While this is a way to get grounded, it’s also important to conceptually start thinking this way.  Put your attention to the sensations in your body.  ACCEPT them.  Tell yourself they are only sensations and do not try and make them go away or THINK your way out of it.  Thinking and control only make it worse.  Calm yourself by feeling your body sensations.  Then go for a walk, a run, lift weights, etc.

  6. Practice radical acceptance

  7. There is a lot we do not have control over.  While this can feel scary at times, our attempts at control can often make our feelings worse and they don’t work anyway.  Sometimes we have to radically accept what is going on in our lives.  When that becomes too difficult, then it’s important to radically accept what is going on in your body RIGHT NOW.

  8. Breathe

  9. Take lots of deep breaths.  It helps to slow heart rate and calm your nervous system.

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© 2020 by Jason McCarty, MA, CCC