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Anxiety and COVID-19 from Mumpreneur Movement Magazine

November 28, 2020

Anxiety and COVID-19

Misguided fear, love and connection

Article by Renée McDonald – as featured in Mumpreneur Movement Magazine https://mumpreneurmovement.com.au/

Fear.

What does fear have to do with anxiety?

When I work with clients with anxiety, concerns and worry, often many people are not aware of what’s underlying anxiety. Underneath anxiety is often fear and the fight or flight response (Porges, 2011). These triggers of anxiety and fear can be so overwhelming that it can create a schism in our minds and get in the way of our ability to connect with others (Porges, 2011). Yet, it is in these very moments that it is best for us to connect. Oxytocin has significance in these moments, as it is not generally released without connections (Porges, 2011). In other words, when we’ve been asked to disconnect, by our governments, courtesy of COVID-19, it drives up anxiety responses and limits our ability to connect with others. It essentially becomes a vicious cycle!

As women, we are innately aware about how fear and anxiety has been heightened through our inner compass, where we gain intuitive hits as women – in the sacral areas. We feel fear in our most precious areas in our body and I know, for one, I’ve felt the fear and anxiety personally in the most obvious ways by way of what I’ve been shown in my body in my menstrual cycle.

So… what’s on the other side of fear? For starters, the opposite of fear is love. This has been discussed by a number of spiritual writers, with these just being a few examples; Lichtenauer, 2017; Mouzina, 2020 and Perry, n.d..

Where is the love? I’ve looked around the world and there are huge pockets of care, though there is a great deal of loss, anxiety and lack of care and connection. ‘Not being allowed’ to hug, kiss and caress our friends or family members can bring up anxiety within us all – especially as we are sentient beings who are hot-wired for connection (Porges, 2011).

Why is a discussion of fear important – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 has raised up fear inside us and has really honed in, and taken hold as anxiety. Anxiety is what masks our fear (Porges, 2011). In addition, we are in the throes of a kind of collective trauma, collective grief and collective anxiety has gripped us all (Cherry, 2020; Kola, 2020). With so much focus throughout the COVID-19 pandemic being about ‘safety’, it heightens our fear, produces anxiety and takes hold of our unconscious minds.

So, what has COVID-19 left us with?

Overwhelming, what we’re left with, when we discuss ‘safety’ and health, we’re at the mercy of others, we’re stuck with a collective anxiety and limited connecting.

What’s the antidote?

The antidote really is to connect to others, though if we’re unable to socially – depending upon where we live – then it will be important in the coming months and years, that we work hard on connecting to our inner self first. Beyond connecting to ourselves, it will be important to virtually connect, or perhaps seek out support.

What has helped me through this time?

As a therapist, I’ve found support through participating in my own therapy and reaching out to loved ones. In addition, I’m loving meditation and deep breathing techniques.

I’d strongly encourage seeing a therapist, or working out a way forward through some self-development through this time, as prevention can often be better than cure.

It’s important that you know that you’re not alone. Reach out if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or in a low mood.

2020 has been an anxiety provoking year, so please take care of yourself.

 

References

Cherry, K. (2020). Collective trauma from COVID-19. Very Well Mind. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/collective-trauma-from-covid-19-4844357

Kola, A. (2020). How collective is the trauma of COVID-19?: The pandemic is traumatic for all, but the burden of suffering may be unequal. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hyphenated/202004/how-collective-is-the-trauma-covid-19

Lichtenauer, J. (2017). Fear as the opposite of love: Time for a reality check. One Esteem. Retrieved from https://oneesteem.com/fear-opposite-love/

Mouzina, A. (2020). Perfect love drives out all fear: Opposite of fear is love! Anastasia Mouzina Coaching Services. Retrieved from https://anastasiamouzina.com/opposite-of-fear-is-love/

Perry, R. (n.d.). Why is fear the opposite of love? Circle of Atonement. Retrieved from https://circleofa.org/library/why-is-fear-the-opposite-of-love/

Porges, S.W. (2011). The polyvagal theory. Neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, self-regulation. New York, NY: WW. Norton & Company.


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