The Coronavirus epidemic is a worldwide concern that affects not only organic health, the political, economic and social system. It also affects on a psychological level, especially in the form of fear. How to control fear of an epidemic?
There is nothing more contagious than fear. Although, it is a basic emotion whose function is to defend after an alarm signal (like the one we live with the coronavirus), when fear increases disproportionately it can limit our daily lives. It can paralyze us, preventing us from managing our day to day. This is when it begins to be a psychological problem.
It is irrelevant whether the origin of fear is founded or unfounded, since the mind does not emotionally distinguish between real and unreal fear : it is experienced in the same way. Sometimes irrational and imaginary fear can even be more threatening than the real one.
That is why it is very important to control the psychological effects that the disease has on us and to know how to manage the consequences of preventive confinement , for example.
How fear manifests itself
The fundamental reaction that emerges in the face of epidemics is fear, which, in the short term, can generate the following symptoms :
- Worry and repetitive thoughts.
- Paranoid ideas.
- Lack of concentration.
- Extreme cleansing rituals.
- Somatic reactions (back pain, digestive pain, hypertension, etc.).
In the medium-long term it can trigger disorders such as: hypochondria , anxiety , obsessive-compulsive disorder …
10 Tips for Managing Fear
- Accept fear : this will be the starting point to overcome fear, do not deceive yourself, or minimize your emotions.
- Get informed properly : use official information channels and distrust rumors, but do not isolate yourself from the subject as a measure of self-protection: everything we avoid increases fear.
- Beware of overinformation : at first it can reassure you, but in the long term it makes us remain constantly on the alert and worried about risk.
- Don’t constantly talk about it
- Don’t look for symptoms where there are none
- Cultivate a good mood
- Protect yourself, but without overprotecting yourself: follow the prevention measures from official sources , but don’t go further. An excess of prevention will not make you feel safer, but on the contrary, it will increase your fear and that of those around you.
- Maintain some routines : it will help you normalize your day to day.
- Strengthen your sense of control : we can’t do anything about the catastrophic news we hear, but we can do anything about ourselves. Focus on the things that do depend on you.
- Consult a psychotherapist if fear overwhelms you or if it prevents you from carrying out your day to day normally.
What you should know…
- Sometimes irrational and imaginary fear can even be more threatening than real fear.
- The fundamental reaction that emerges to epidemics is fear. In the short term it can generate anxiety, stress, sadness, lack of concentration …
- Accepting fear, informing yourself properly without over-informing and not talking all day about the subject are three of the tips that can help you control your fear of the epidemic,