If you feel like you might just lose what’s left of your mind some days, you’re not alone. Uncertainty, combined with all the bad news out there, can send our thoughts spiraling out of control into apocalyptic territory. It’s hard not to be fearful all the time.
Fear has a purpose. It’s a basic instinct to keep us alive. But when we’re bombarded with bad news and negative information all day long, the opposite starts to happen, and we end up in a constant state of panic. That’s why it’s more important than ever to try to control the stimuli that enter our lives in a continuous stream.
It may be challenging, but we can choose to control the information we expose ourselves to. We can choose hope over fear. The following tips can help you short-circuit your anxiety.
- Limit news intake, especially that of mainstream US media. A study found that US media is far more negative in its coverage of the pandemic than international media or scientific journals.
- Clean up your social media feeds to eliminate posts from contacts who constantly share negative content.
- Try to neutralize your fear by putting it in perspective. How likely is the worst case scenario you’re ruminating about?
- Breathe! A deep breath is like a pattern interrupt for your stressed mind and body.
- Move. It’s pretty hard to stay fearful when you’re moving your body. Go for a walk around the block, walk up and down the stairs in your home or building, put on some music and dance around your living room.
- Practice gratitude. Focus on the things that are good in your life.
What helps you when you find yourself becoming fearful?