Last night after dinner while having a conversation with my partner about the 4th lockdown in Melbourne and its impact on businesses, instantly triggered a massive anxiety attack. He wouldn't talk to me for a bit and ... just heavy breathing is all I heard...
This is not the first time ... 2020 has been particularly challenging for him and most businesses, professionals, parents, Partners and many other people around us.
Anxiety at work due to toxic culture, excessive demands, unhealthy pressures, long hours, job insecurity has always been there but there is this new layer with the pandemic which is causing havoc globally.
I started looking a bit deeper to find out scientifically why we feel anxious and found a very interesting study.
PURPOSE OF ANXIETY
Anxiety protects us from harm. Psychologist Rollo May first wrote in 1977: “We are no longer prey to tigers and mastodons but to damage to our self-esteem, ostracism by our group, or the threat of losing out in the competitive struggle. The form of anxiety has changed, but the experience remains relatively the same.”
So true that even though we aren’t chased by predators in today’s world, we are chased by uncertainty about the health of our loved ones, whether we’ll have a job next week or next year, whether our company will go bankrupt — worries that provoke the same neurological and physical responses.
Data shows that anxious people process threats differently, using regions of the brain responsible for action. They react quickly in the face of danger. They may also be more comfortable with uncomfortable feelings.
Which is very interesting yeah!!!
So what I further found out was that when ANXIETY is channeled thoughtfully, anxiety can motivate us to make our teams more resourceful, productive, and creative. It can break down barriers and create new bonds.
ANXIETY ISN'T USELESS!
In an economic crisis like right now, the anxiety that keeps us up at night may help us fathom a solution to keeping our businesses open. ... But left unchecked, anxiety distracts us, zaps our energy, and drives us to make poor decisions. Anxiety is a powerful enemy, so we must make it our partner.
SO HOW DO WE HANDLE ANXIETY ?
Angela Neal-Barnett, an award-winning psychologist, expert on anxiety among African Americans, and author of Soothe Your Nerves, is a firm believer in being honest with yourself.
When you name a feeling — by saying to yourself “I’m anxious” — you can begin to address it. You can learn how anxiety informs your behaviour and your decisions and what causes it to surge, which will equip you to manage it.
Decades of research on emotional intelligence have shown that people who understand their own feelings have higher job satisfaction, stronger job performance, and better relationships; are more innovative; and can synthesise diverse opinions and lessen conflict. And all those things make people better leaders.
Have a Wonderful time in Lockdown!
Hope this helps for you to deal with the feelings that erupt due to all the crazy uncertainties we face in our lives with the current scenario!