As a leading UK Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist I specialise in treating all different types of anxiety, coronavirus anxiety is a new issue and spread like wildfire with social media. Now with a second lockdown imminent, it’s likely to flare up again, so here is some important background information, and a technique I created especially to treat stress and anxiety:
Fear is a natural response to an immediate threat whereas anxiety is a response to imagined tragic and terrifying possibilities, the symptoms of which are detailed here:
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Can Include:
- Sweating (particularly palms and forehead)
- Shaking hands and limbs
- Breathing difficulty/Out of breath
- Lump in throat/Dry throat
- Chest tightness/pain
- Diarrhoea/Frequent urination
- Fatigue and weakness
- Poor Concentration
Psychological Symptoms of Anxiety Can Include:
- Instability of mood
- Low confidence
- Poor emotional control
- Inadequate feelings
- Feelings of uncertainty
- Hiding feelings
- Exaggerated thoughts and feelings
- Heightened arousal
- Emotionally exhausted
As well as regular anxiety there are different types of anxiety-related illnesses; generalised anxiety disorder is where someone feels anxious a lot of the time with no real stimulus, panic attacks are an extreme form of anxiety where you actually feel like you are going to die at that moment. Phobias are an irrational fear of things are not dangerous i.e. house spiders, clowns, blood etc. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is am illness where the sufferer has obsessive thoughts about terrible things happening (usually to others) so they develop compulsions e.g. hand washing, tapping etc. in the belief that this will prevent the terrible things from happening.
With 'Coronavirus anxiety' it's about putting the actual danger into perspective first i.e. what are the real risks are, for instance, the vast majority of deaths are in elderly people with significant health issues.
Also, the most effective way I found of overcoming anxiety is not to fight it. If you imagine anxiety as a small gremlin intent on making your life as uncomfortable as possible, it starts small but it grows every time you pay attention to it or try to fight it, so it’s important to know how to keep it as tiny as possible, but it’s not easy so I’ve created the ‘LIMA Protocol’ 4 step process to help you.
Nick Davies’ ‘LIMA Protocol’
Loosen - As soon as you recognise the symptoms; shortness of breath, fast heart rate, shaking etc. make your body go as loose, limp and floppy as possible, sit back in your chair, lie down, relax every muscle from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes. Now this essential step is not easy as the gremlin (anxiety) doesn’t want to lose its grip on you, so it will bombard you with irrational thought to get you moving and panicking in order to feed its addiction, ignore every thought and focus on this relaxation and step 2 your breathing.
Inhale - It’s important to breathe diaphragmatically as we do this when danger has gone and it activates the ‘parasympathetic nervous system’ in the brain which is responsible for returning the body to rest, relaxation and recovery. Instead of breathing where you expand your chest and lift your shoulders, push your stomach out to breathe all the way down to the bottom of your lungs, hold the breath then dump the breath in a way where it’s like you’re letting out a loud sigh, continue for 10 breaths.
Meditate – focus on a single point on the wall or ceiling whilst you are doing your breathing until your peripheral vision begins to blur, this is a sign that you are in a state of eyes open meditation, you can keep your eyes open or closed for the next step.
Affirmations – Now repeat the following phrase 10 times in your mind s-l-o-w-l-y - “I am safe, healthy calm and relaxed”.
About Nick Davies
Nick is a media-friendly, leading UK Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Sports Performance Mind Coach, Trainer and Speaker in the UK and Europe. Known as "The PTSD Whisperer" because of his specialism in treating trauma quickly and permanently. He has been published in Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Daily Telegraph, Glamour, Daily Express, Sunday Post, Daily Star, New, Women’s Health, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Own, VT, Feel Good You, Take a Break, Health & Wellbeing and has appeared on the radio several times championing mental health. To find out more visit www.ndhypnotherapy.com (therapy), www.wsoh.co.uk (training school), www.blast-technique.com (PTSD and trauma treatment and training and www.ndsp.co.uk (sports performance)