Dealing with Mental Anxiety
The implementation of public health measures and loss of livelihoods as a result of COVID-19 has brought about an increase in stressors, leading to some distress and anxiety among the population. According to the COVID-19 Mental Wellness Taskforce, mental well-being remained a challenge for over half of the youth population (52%) polled during the second half of 2020.
There are two distinct processes involved when it comes to dealing with anxiety: long-term and short-term. In the long term, coming to understand the roots of your particular anxiety will help you diminish and lessen the anxiety attacks that you may experience. However, that can be a drawn-out process, in contrast to anxiety attacks that are very much "right here, right now". When that happens, try to calm yourself down ASAP to regain control of your thoughts and exacerbated fears.
Even so, it is not uncommon for people struggling with anxiety to feel weak and alone. In an in-depth study conducted by IMH’s Research Division, it was reported that of the respondents who were averse to seeking professional help, a whopping 80.9% of them indicated that they would rather manage it themselves!
Take Myoui Mina of TWICE (one of K-Pop’s biggest idol acts) for example. Her struggles with “extreme anxiety and insecurity” saw her withdraw from TWICE’s 2019 world tour for professional medical treatment, much to the shock and worry of fans.
In a Zoom interview with Teen Vogue, Mina revealed that she was initially scared, and contemplated whether she should even publicize her condition. “But I’m a human being. I have a heart. That’s why I suffered."
Anxiety disorders respond well to treatment, especially if action is taken early. Psychological treatments like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can assist with developing a range of skills to identify and manage emotions more effectively. Strategies for managing anxiety include:
- Becoming aware of what makes you anxious
- Learning and practising breathing and relaxation techniques
- Challenge negative or unhelpful thinking
- Exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet
Managing anxiety is most effective when we have strong social support. As Mina revealed, “what really helped were the other members. After months of rest and treatment, Mina is now happily and actively part of her group’s promotional activities! As such, it goes without saying that friends and family play an invaluable role in providing support to those who are trying to manage anxiety.
Remember, health isn't just about bodily health. Our mental states are intimately tied to our physical health too! There are many treatments and support options available for people who may be feeling anxious. If you, or someone close to you, are having difficulties dealing with anxiety, please do not hesitate to seek help early!