One challenge of lock-down is understanding exactly what’s happening out there in the big wide world. So we was grateful for the recently published Office of National Statistics survey results on the UK’s reaction to coronavirus. Click here for the survey results.
Two things struck us here at Life In Action. First, over 4 in 5 adults in Great Britain said they were ‘very worried or somewhat worried’ about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on their life right now. Second, nearly half of adults (46.9%) reported ‘high levels of anxiety’. We are sure of this as we have a big increase recently in the number of new client referrals that want support for anxiety during the lockdown.
Jason, our Clinic Director said his first thought about this is that it’s not unreasonable to be anxious at the moment. After all, we face an invisible, persistent and lethal enemy about which even the experts seem to know little, and we are all increasingly hearing of those close to us who have caught the virus and of those who have died. And there are other, but no less significant, worries: when will this end? Will my job survive? One of many major differences with the Blitz of 1940 and now is that then everybody was kept so busy on ‘the war effort’ that they had too little time to worry; now we have too much.
Anxiety has become bad. We would be very foolish to live our life without having some concern for the future but anxiety is more than concern; it’s a worm that gnaws away in our mind, a shadow that hangs over everything which never seems to go away. In fact, anxiety feeds on itself; it’s easy to become anxious about our level of anxiety. Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.
Anxiety is bad news in so many ways. Medically, it is a stress that, over the long term, harms the body. Psychologically, anxiety turns difficulties into insurmountable obstacles and makes sensible people do unwise things. Anxiety erodes away at the good things in our lives: it’s difficult to be generous when you are worried about paying the bills in six months’ time and it’s hard to be kind if anxiety clouds your vision. Anxiety poisons life: in a phrase, it’s hard to be cheerful when you’re fearful.
So how do we defeat anxiety? Some people trust in statistics and decide that because they are fit, young, isolated, the probability of a serious infection is low. Others put their faith in luck: they cross their fingers or stroke their rabbit’s paw. Others appeal to fatalism: if I’m going to get it, I’m going to get it. Still others put their faith in positive thinking and endlessly repeat, ‘I’ve survived so far, I will survive!
We prefer to use the therapeutic approach and look at positive ways we can survive during these difficult times by focusing on what we can control and what we can influence and let the rest filter through our subconscious minds. Talking to a therapist is a great way to elevate and help reduce stress and anxiety, a balanced view and a point of contact is helpful in times of need. Why not consider making a call to us to see if any of the many services we offer could be of help to you or a loved one. We look forward to hearing from you.
Stay Safe. Life In Action Ltd.