I'm starting to see clients who are experiencing excessive anxiety over the new coronavirus, COVID-19. In this context, 'exessive' means that it's spoiling the client's experience of life, causing them to take action or avoid doing things beyond what is advised by official advice. If that sounds like you, it may be time to make a change.
Why has the response been so loud and all-consuming? A lot of it is to do with uncertainty, coupled with bad news. (Here and here are sensible stories that delve into this in more detail.) In trying to resolve the uncertainty, we end up consuming more and more of the bad news - and the uncertainty doesn't go away. The media can't and won't just stop putting out stories because there's a shortage of new information - it just doesn't work that way. What drives the media is interest and, increasingly in these social media-dominated times, engagement. So if the stories are being read, they're being written. They won't stop. But that does leave you with one option...
If there's one thing you can do that will make a big difference right now to your anxiety around this subject, it's this: dial down your media consumption.
I just googled COVID-19 and there are 2.4 billion results. On the Australian Daily Mail page (sheesh, the things I do for you) there are 18 coronavirus stories (or more - I stopped counting).
Nobody needs to read all that, and certainly not your or I, and absolutely certainly not if you are already anxious about the subject.
If you have anxiety around health, or anxiety around this issue in particular, then every single one of those headlines and stories and tweets and posts you read gives your body another unnecessary spike of adrenaline, a little surge of 'Alert!' signals all over your body.
If there are significant developments, you probably have someone who can tell you about them.
Yesterday I had a client delete Twitter from her phone during the session.
So think about what you're consuming, and just as you wouldn't expect to be healthy on a diet of fast food and sugary drinks, so you can take charge of your media consumption. You'll feel better right away, and you will know that you are taking control over something you can control.
If you need to discuss your anxiety over this or other health-related matters, call me on 0423 793887.