Coping with anxiety

My article in the JEP; summary: here are some tips to help you with anxiety.

I’m writing this on Monday morning: going by the speed of change re covid-19 over the last few days, things probably will have changed even more by the time you read this, so I’ll concentrate on a few things that will hopefully help in any situation.

Telling you not to be concerned is no help at all because of course, you will be.

But I can say that changing the way you react to worry and concern will help a lot.

Your brain believes what you tell it, so if you tell it you won’t be able to cope, you won’t.

The opposite is also true, so tell your brain what it needs to hear. For example, ‘Yes, there is a genuine cause for concern, but I choose to be alert yet relaxed rather than anxious and unhappy. My coping skills are excellent, and I am resilient.’

Your brain likes familiarity, so keep saying these things to yourself.

If you want something to be true, but it isn’t quite yet, feel free to lie away! Make the lies believable, though; for example, I don’t tell my brain that I’m a nubile film star because it goes, ‘Yeah? And what about your cellulite and wrinkles?’ However, it does believe me when I keep telling it that I’m good enough, healthy and have phenomenal coping skills.

Thinking that way helped my recovery from M.E.

If you find it’s hard to disengage a fearful or angry emotion from a situation, square breathing help you do just that. I don’t advocate smoking at all, but to give you an idea of what it’s like, square breathing has the same effect as when someone takes a deep drag and then relaxes.

For example, if you suddenly are feeling hyper-anxious and cross:

  • breathe in deeply for the count of four
  • hold for four
  • breathe out for four
  • hold for four
  • Repeat 1-2 times
  • Then think, ‘OK, I am anxious: brain, what are you trying to tell me?’

Then you get your answer and you’re better able to then think, ‘OK, what can I do to sort this?’

For anyone worried about the virus and/or its ramifications, I have made a hypnotherapy-cum-visualisation recording that will help you; you can download it for free from my website. Remember the brain likes familiarity so, to get the full benefit, listen to the recording daily for at least three weeks.

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Jacqui Carrel is a Rapid Transformational Therapist who helps people shed anxieties, fears, phobias and addictions. You can download her free recording from jacquicarrel.co.uk/free-hypno.

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