Over the last 6-8 weekS, I have started to feel my anxiety levels rise. That heaviness in my chest that keeps me awake at night. It happened so gradually I barely noticed it at first.
When the feelings hit me, it was too late. I knew what caused it, reading one too many articles trying to make sense of current events.
What started as a problem in China has escalated out of control. It’s all that people seem to be talking about where ever I go. Then on top of that, I found myself doing my own research.
It was getting too much for me. I needed a break.
Then my friend called me, I usually would answer straight away, but I had a feeling to let it ring out which I found strange. Moments later, a message came through with a link to an article about the outbreak.
Only reading the first lines, I knew that the article was what he wanted to talk about. Within minutes I texted back saying that at this time I couldn’t have another conversation. He completely understood.
People are fearful and starting to panic. ‘I was starting to panic.”
At that moment, I knew I had to make some changes. It took me a few days to find out what was fuelling the fear, the top three I would like to share today.
Consuming To Much Content
Firstly, I limited the amount of news I was watching. Yes, it’s necessary to be informed of what is going on around you and be up-to-date, but if you are checking your news feed, etc. every hour then you are consuming a lot of fear.
This point also extends to friends and the people that you follow on social media. Each one of our responses to fear is different. What I found was, some people keep it to themselves as they didn’t want to annoy or upset me.
Some people had to tell me what they had just read. And some people had their own opinion on what is going on, and research information that supports that viewpoint. Then needed to fill me in on all the data.
The last two group of people I know have the best of intentions, but if you are a person like myself that is affected by fear, then a constant stream of uncertainty and negativity can produce anxiety.
Having had panic attacks in the past, I have to be careful.
If you have problems with anxiety, my advice is limit time on social media. Facebook is probably the worst, as a lot of fake news floats around on that platform; there are a lot of fabricated stories out there.
The worse kind of people are the people that feed off other peoples fear. Striking more fear into people’s hearts at this already stressful time is disgraceful, in my opinion.
Feed Your Mind
The media, in all its forms, are doing an excellent job at pumping fear out into the world, giving us all the worse case scenarios, and of course, the public need to be aware, so the second point I would like to make is, ‘FEED YOUR OWN MIND.’
When I took note, I noticed that I was spending more time listening to news and talking about the problem, rather than spending most of my time feeding my mind with Gods word.
In moments of uncertainty it’s so easy to be consumed by fear.
So I highly recommend making reading scripture, and prayer the main focus of your day. Start your day by reading or listening to anything that puts your mind in a positive state.
Even a few words can change anxiety to faith.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 is very powerful and an excellent way to centre your mind if you feel anxiety build up in your heart. Psalm 91 is probably one of the best scriptures for times like this, which is much longer so not as easily said throughout the day.
Feeding your mind can even extend to favourite film, comedies, documentaries, anything that changes the negative narrative that is going around everywhere at the moment.
Wash & Blow Dry
The last is probably the most obvious, but it’s that important that it can not be said enough times. Wash your hands as often as possible. It’s only when I became aware of how often I touched my face, mouth, and eyes throughout the day did I realise how important this step is.
Something that I have been doing is wearing gloves when Im out doing shopping, etc. It’s just added protection as you are less likely to rub your eyes or nose when you are wearing gloves. Just something that I have always found.
When I applied the above methods, my anxiety levels dropped within a couple of days. Reading Psalm 91 a few times throughout the day calms my mind, and Proverbs 3:5-6 is something that I can say repeatedly if I do find myself getting anxious.
If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed at any point over the next days and weeks, I suggest that you give these three methods a go to calm your body and mind.
When you are in control of your feelings and emotions, there is excellent relief.
Consume nourishing content to build you up and make you stronger. Feed your mind with faith and stay away from fear. Staying safe doing what you can to avoid contact with the virus.
I wish yourself, family, and friends happiness and health.