You may have noticed that your anxiety has worsened since the introduction of mandatory mask-wearing. The very thought of having to dress you up can trigger unwanted emotions and irrational thoughts.
Covid 19 has already affected large numbers of people around the world. However, some may not yet have felt the importance of the virus's security measures. Until they have to carry them to buy their groceries or use public transport.
There can be a variety of reasons that masks can scare you, and you may find that you justify those emotions. You could have breathing problems, claustrophobia, or communication problems. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone in how you feel. Unfortunately, for some, there have been many negative effects resulting from the lockdown. Hence how you deal with the thoughts and move forward is important.
Why do you feel this way
Many people agree that talking to someone wearing a mask can be confusing. You may not be able to fully understand what the other person is saying, especially if they have hearing problems. However, it is important to remember that the person you are speaking to may feel the same about your mask.
For others, it could be a more ingrained problem, their anxiety could correlate with an experience they had in their youth that has been imprinted on their programming and social development. If you have suffered from claustrophobia or panic disorder in the past, knowing that mindfulness and meditation can reduce your stress levels and anxiety can provide comfort.
Notice the triggers
If you feel like you are beginning to feel uncomfortable and you notice your tell-tale signs of fear or panic brewing, tell yourself that you have realized it and are aware of those emotions.
Imagine a large red and white stop sign right in front of you. Imagine this every time you feel like you are feeling the first signs of fear. Silently say the words "STOP" in your head without anger or frustration and let your thoughts clear for a few seconds, then focus on something positive or something that you are grateful for.
Reacting negatively to these emotions and triggers is known as disastrous and can often distract us from the real problems that are preoccupying us. You may know people who think of all the bad ways to go out or do something they don't like. The negatives tend to outweigh the positives.
For example, someone may choose not to attend a social event because they are worried about taking the last bus home and this serves as an excuse for not attending. Think about how you can deal with this situation. You could take a cab or bus, share an elevator with someone, stay at a friend's house or hotel. Suddenly, the disaster doesn't seem that big, and you can learn to appreciate your own ingenuity.
Use this practice and apply it to wearing a mask when visiting the grocery store. Do you think I am in imminent danger? Will this mask harm me? Once you've learned to notice your triggers and stop the disaster, the only thing that will help you is being aware of it.
Technique for Anxiety Relief
Fear and stress can really take it away from you! Releasing this tension through meditation is a great way to let your mind and body rest and relax. Your judgment can become very damaged when it functions in such a negative way. Try this technique out. You can practice for as long as you want, but it is recommended that beginners allow at least 20-30 minutes to really feel the effects.
- Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Make sure you are comfortable. It is best to lie on a bed or couch.
- If there is daylight, draw your curtains or blinds and turn off the lights and light a candle and stand it in front of you but make sure it is securely positioned.
- Stare into the flame, draw your attention to how it moves, how it flickers, and how wonderful and warm it looks. Inhale very deeply and slowly, through your nose and mouth, creating a circular breathing pattern. Clear away all thoughts so that your mind becomes clear and centered.
- Don't worry if you get one or the other unwanted thought. Just re-center your mind and let the thought go away. Focus on your breathing and the stillness of the moment.
- Stay focused and try to get all thoughts out of your head. Enjoy the feeling of peace and tranquility for as long as you want while you assume this comfortable state.
This is a fantastic technique for those new to meditation as the goal is to focus on only one thing: the flickering flame. Once you can keep your mind still for an extended period of time, in this state you can focus on solving problems or letting go of a particular worry.
When you're done, blow out the candle and you'll be amazed at how great you will feel afterward. You will find that you have a new perspective on problems and can deal with things more clearly. Good luck!