5 ways to cope with fear, worry and anxiety with changing external.

Through the last decades of the twentieth century we became accustomed to the idea that human beings are responsible for the extinction of this or that particular species of plant and animal, the destruction of one or another irreplaceable local or regional ecosystem, and more generally a significant loss of global biodiversity. The fear and anxiety related to epidemics and pandemics also influence the behavior of people in the community. Change whether natural, social or organisational is not preferred by individuals and it is this resistance to change and disturbances in daily conventional lifestyles induces feelings of fear, worry and anxiety.

The ability to respond emotionally to salient cues in our environment is critical for adaptive human function. Our ability to modify or control the nature of our emotional responses as circumstances change is equally important. According to Gross and Thompson (2007), the term ‘emotion regulation’ refers to the different types of regulatory processes that can control the physiological, behavioral, and experiential components of our affective responses. We may change how we think about an emotion-evoking stimulus, or shift our focus of attention to diminish an undesired emotion. We may also take action to avoid or cope with a distressing situation or to bring about a positive outcome. Effective regulation of emotion through these various processes is essential for both our mental and physical well being.

Cognitive emotion regulation involves using various mental strategies to modify a fear response. In active coping, fear is regulated through the performance of behaviors that reduce exposure to a fear-evoking stimulus. Finally, a fear memory can be disrupted after it is recalled through pharmacological or behavioral manipulations that block its reconsolidation. Because psychological stress defines an unfavorable person-environment relationship, its essence is process and change rather than structure or stasis. We alter our circumstances, or how they are interpreted, to make them appear more favorable in an effort called coping. Control coping is positive and proactive. One learns to manage feelings and get support.

Change is inevitable hence it is important to learn how to regulate the change. Ways to cope up with worry, few or anxiety:

A to Z of Coping skills for mental health

Acknowledge feelings and emotions:

It is imperative and essential for an individual to acknowledge the feelings and emotions felt by the individuals in order to reflect and introspect towards direction of positive change. Acknowledging of emotions helps in acceptance and helps in maintaining a sense of charge in a changing situation.

Maintain a daily routine/ schedule:

Analyzing schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely. It is important to learn how to say no and setting boundaries provided it is in the right faith and spirit.

Obtaining information from credible news sources :

Social media can be a source of creating strong influence on state of mind. It is important to filter the content and regulate the different accessibility points of information.

Meditation or physical activity:

Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness. The practice appears to have a variety of neurological benefits from changes in grey matter volume to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. It helps connect with inner-self and understand the essence of oneself.

Stay connected with loved ones:

Another important way to cope with worry, anxiety and fear is by reaching out to others. People are usually worried and hence hesitant in taking help and sharing their problems and emotions with their closed ones. This is sometimes induced by guilt or burden the person might be causing to the other person however, it is important to share and stay connected to loved ones or close friends. This helps in empowering oneself in building resilience therefore, reducing negative feelings in the long run.

Author: Ms. Mohini Thukran
Counselling Psychologist
Instagram: @mohini_thukran

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