Welcome back! What’s changed?
After a partial summer reprieve from lockdown many are now finding ourselves returning to a state of disconnect. For some the prospect of long nights, reduced sunshine and lack of human contact is causing feelings of panic and anxiety.
Fellow hypnotherapists confirm an increase in clients suffering health anxiety, worrying about their own safety as well as those close to them. Feeling a lack of control in the current situation can exacerbate pre existing conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorders and PTSD. Increased insomnia problems, heightened phobic responses, growth of unhelpful habits such as smoking, drinking, nail biting, comfort eating, skin picking can be just some of the undesirable consequences for many clients who feel their stress, anxiety and moods are spiralling.
One client told me recently how she likened the current conditions to living in war time, without the guns and ammunition but with an overwhelm of fear and dread nonetheless. The lack of visible foe caused a buildup of feeling described almost like paranoia.
It’s interesting also how this silent enemy, COVID-19, encourages withdrawal from human connectivity, as opposed to the theme of the Blitz when communities left their doors unlocked and pulled together in their struggles.
Rationing during the times of WW11 meant the system was fair for all, whereas during these times, the media is quick to report the soft underbelly of social behaviour deteriorating to “every man for himself”
An interesting insight of childhood told by a survivor of a country ravaged by war, describes memories of life as almost idyllic. The sun shone, flowers bloomed, their limited needs were met and the connection and security being around family outweighed the constant awareness of bombs dropping nearby.
What changed? Are our real needs so different? Our general contentment seems to be declining despite comparative increased prosperity. I wonder why our fears are amplified by this Coronavirus. Kate Braestrup serves as an American chaplain and accompanied officers to inform families of the death of their loved ones after the tragic events of 9/11.
Her observations of the human response in their darkest moments are confounding. In the midst of desperate shock and all consuming realisation of their loss, in a comparatively short period of time, rarely longer than 20 minutes, their mind moved to asking a rational question, such as “where is he/she?”, “when can I see him/her?” From within the maelstrom a glimpse of calm perspective emerged. Incredibly at such an early stage of awareness of the most awful thing happening to them, they were able to make a small start to rebuild or at some level to formulate a plan. Such is the resilience of human beings.
No matter the extent of our fear, we endure. We come from a long line of biological survivors and whatever the emergency, we can rely on the fact we have the resources within us, as human beings, to cope.
When faced with life limiting prognosis, it’s common to quickly identify what is really important to us. Then, we develop an instant ability to shed the window dressing. In achieving this awareness, peace can be located amid the decluttering.