Uncertainty and Anxiety

by Baruch Zeichner, MA, NCC, LPC, LCMHC

We live in uncertain times.  Covid, political unrest, climate change, all big issues that concern all of us because they threaten our well-being.  Humans instinctually do what it takes to survive, or at least what we think will allow us to survive.  Right now our survival faces threats that are biological and social, and these overlap.  The Corona Virus presents the most obvious threat to our survival, but since it has been politicized in some countries, like the US, there is overlap between the biological and the political.  Likewise climate change threatens our lives, and the politicization of climate change creates overlap again.  In other words, these three things all overlap in a Venn Diagram.  The point is that yes it is real, threats to human survival exist.

Humans are sensitive creatures.  We perceive with our physical senses and we perceive with our emotional senses.  We detect emotions in ourselves and others, and our emotions are often in response to our experiences.  We experience emotions regarding the threats I outlined above.

If you are having emotional responses, if any aspects of our reality cause you to feel sad, or angry, or afraid, you might also be feeling some anxiety.  Anxiety is one of your body’s natural responses to stress. It’s a heightened state wherein your adrenal glands are activated, fueling your mind and body to respond to the stressor.  Sometimes anxiety is like an alarm, sometimes it’s like a massive storm.

There are a variety of techniques one can employ to reduce anxiety.  Pharmaceuticals is one.  Nutritional and/or herbal remedies can also be helpful.  Learning to regulate your nervous system through mindfulness and breathing is perhaps the most accessible since it doesn’t require a trip to the doctor or the store.

Relaxation & Finding Inner Teachings is a set of three audio recordings which lead the listener through a guided imagery experience designed to reduce anxiety and increase a sense of well-being.  If you have no experience with meditation or guided imagery, these are a great place to start.

If you are someone who already knows how to meditate or engage in deep relaxation, these tools can help you to reduce anxiety.  Knowing how to do something and remembering to do it, however, are two different things.  I encourage you to remember the tools you have, and to use them. You may already have at your disposal methods to make you feel better, even during these uncertain times.

Originally published at Baruch’s Blog.