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Face anxiety head on druring tough times

Your heart’s pounding. Your palms are sweaty. You’re stressed out andanxious about the state of the economy — and you haven’t lost your job.

Your heart’s pounding. Your palms are sweaty. You’re stressed out and anxious about the state of the economy — and you haven’t lost your job.

In these gloom-and-doom times, with bad news seemingly lurking around every corner, how can we stop ourselves from constantly fearing the worst?

“High anxiety is one of the greatest internal enemies people can encounter. It blinds you to what’s around you,” Halifax psychologist Nina Woulff told Metro Halifax this week.

The first step to psychological peace, she says, is to plan for the worst. What would you do if you lost your job? If your spouse did? What’s the state of your finances? What could you cut, and what could you live without?

Then, consider how likely it is to happen.

“Rather than say ‘stop worrying,’ look it in the face,” Woulff suggested.

She says recessions can bring bright sides, if you’re able to see them. Losing your job could lead you to a new job you’d be happier doing. It could mean a few months’ more time with your family. For those of us still employed, watching others lose their jobs could help us feel grateful for what we do have.

If you’re the kind of person who worries about everything, though, Woulff said it’s important to recognize the triggers that will make you anxious, and avoid them.

“That kind of anxiety can be quite debilitating.”

 
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