All over the world, 1 in 13 people deals with anxiety on a daily basis. This is not a big number if you look at it like this, but considering that there are almost 8 billion people on Earth, 1 in 13 equals almost 600 million people and about 40 million of them are Americans. Even if it is hard to believe, over 75 percent of the people suffering from anxiety don’t get the proper treatment.
What is anxiety and how does it manage to take over our lives?
Anxiety is a disorder that occurs because of something that happens in our brains. Human beings have a part of their brains called the prefrontal cortex that is bigger than the one of animals because its role is to predict the future. Anxiety usually happens when we stress about future events.
Our brains imagine different situations and interpret them in specific ways. Let’s say that you have to speak in front of 50 people tomorrow about your job. Your brain has the capacity of anticipating this event. If you think that you are going to screw it up, your brain will activate a mechanism called fight or flight response.
This means that your brain senses danger and will either activate the fight response, which means staying here and fighting the danger, or it will make you run away. Fighting or running will not actually happen because you are not actually in a dangerous situation, but your brain will be very active in worrying about the problem and there you have it, anxiety.
People with anxiety can look at their motorcycle ramp and conclude that they have made the wrong choice in purchasing it. After doing that, they could have an anxiety attack and miss the fact that there are some really good ramps that they could replace their ramp with, but somehow, they miss this aspect.
Anxiety and ways to cope with it during isolation
We live a historical event and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemics comes with a lot of challenges. People are usually more anxious during periods like this, even those who have never had problems with anxiety. There are many things that could worry people and they can be different for every individual.
Some of the reasons that can cause anxiety are the fear that they or a loved one could get the disease and even die, the fear of the unknown, the fact that we do not know when this is going to be over, the fear that they will lose their jobs, their homes or that they will not have money to buy food. The stressor can vary and some of them can even be irrational.
Scientists have come up with some solutions for dealing with these types of anxieties which are accompanied by other feelings caused by isolation that include loneliness, the feeling of disconnection from other people, suffering that you are not able to be with your loved ones and, for some people, the feeling of unfulfillment.
To overcome these feelings, there are some things that we can do that are backed up by science. First of all, we should keep communicating with our friends and loved ones through phone calls, instant messaging, and video calls. Reading a good novel can also create a sense of connection because we enter the story and live the story in our minds as if we were there.
Also, try to exercise to reduce the anxiety hormones and reduce the time you spend watching the news. If you are worried about planning ahead, try not to make plans and live each day as it comes and focus your attention on the thing you love doing so that your brain does not have time to think about what makes you anxious.