Monthly Archives: August 2020

Anxiety within Today’s World…

Anxiety within the many unknowns of today’s world!—Anxiety is not a new reality or concept but it is something that is shifting in how it presents: the patterns and the side effects that we need to pay attention too.

Do you tend to want to avoid social events, animals, schools, parks, work, planes or basically any situation that causes anxiety? As the one experiencing it, how are you attempting to manage and cope within it?

Possibly you are responding to aspects of the anxiety, but it is likely not as helpful as those techniques and tools once were. When we are shifted within an anxiety response the amygdala is activated and therefore; the flight-fight-freeze response urges you to respond within a fearful way. More often than not the flight or freeze response is indicated for an anxiety response. Unfortunately, in the long run, avoidance makes anxiety worse. Finding ways of controlled exposure within our limits to expand our window of tolerance is key.

A concept that I strongly recommend is ‘Laddering’.

Individuals who are able to manage their worry and break it down into manageable chunks (the different steps along the way working towards the ultimate goal). Laddering uses this chunking concept and gradual exposure to reach a goal.

An example: Let’s say you’re afraid of sitting on the swings in the park, as a new anxiety as a result of COVID-19. Instead of avoiding this activity (especially since parks are now open), create mini-goals to get closer to the bigger goal (e.g. go to the edge of the park, then walk into the park, go over to the swings, possibility you wipe them down with an disinfectant [washing your hands before and after] and, finally, get on a swing).
You can use each step until the exposure becomes too easy; that’s when you know it’s time to move to the next rung on the ladder.