Brexit anxiety seems to have hit many people hard, and the dictionary definition can provide an immediate explanation as to why.
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.
Whilst half the UK population are rejoicing in their vision of a brand new start, the other half are distressed, disappointed, scared and confused. However, all of the UK population have one distinct commonality and that is an overwhelming feeling of ‘uncertainty’!
Whilst uncertainty can for some create an element of excitement and motivation, the need for certainty is a significant and vital human need in providing reassurance, safety and security and so therein lies the cause of an overwhelming wave of ‘BrAnxiety’ which has hit a significant number of our population.
UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY & YOUR FEELINGS
BrAnxiety sufferers are feeling overwhelmingly vulnerable and under threat, and any perceived possible threat to our survival, whether real or unreal sends information to the most primitive, reactive part of our brain which creates unavoidably noticeable signals to instinctively protect ourselves. This is known as ‘The Fight or Flight’ mechanism.
Albeit a very normal physiological response to a danger or threat, the Fight or Flight mechanism evolved to enable us to run away, fight, or on occasion freeze to be less visible if in danger.
As the Fight or Flight mechanism is activated, a combination of nerve and hormonal signals prompts our adrenal glands, (located at the top of the kidneys), to release hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline increases your heart rate, blood pressure and energy supplies, whilst cortisol which is our primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream. This enhances your brain’s use of glucose and slows down anything that is detrimental to the efficiency of your fight or flight system. When in danger, cortisol can literally save your life, so why are BrAnxiety sufferers not feeling extricated from this fearful and anxious situation?
The answer is simple. There is no physical enemy, predator or risk to deal with and terminate this perpetual unease. The Fight or Flight response was designed to deal with actual fear for our lives, but in todays evolved world, is now predominately triggered by feelings of, but not physical threats. However, as we continually engage our Fight or Flight response, we experience physical symptoms designed to temporarily change the way the body is functioning in order to enable rapid physical response. These include:-
Heart beats faster
Circulation increases blood supply to our brain and muscles.
Blood pressure and body temperature rises.
We increase oxygen levels by breathing more (leading often to hyperventilating)
Pupils dilate so we have a greater awareness and vision.
Brain activity alters to think less but react more.
Digestion slows down
Dump mechanism is instigated to make us lighter (this can include the need to use the toilet or vomit).
7 STEPS TO EASE BREXIT ANXIETY
1. Understanding your physical symptoms (above) will reassure you that your body is trying to protect you and not working against you.
2. Knowing that ‘uncertainty’ is a significant trigger to your symptoms, assure yourself of the aspects of certainty you do have in your life, such as family, friends, a work contract, a skill you posses, physical capabilities etc.
3. Create positive and fun distractions
4. Try mindfulness, yoga, deep breathing or meditation.
5. Look at ways to naturally produce the brains feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine through exercise, listening to music, decreasing sugar, decreasing stimulants such as coffee, getting some love action, a massage, some sunshine and laughter.
6. Surround yourself with positive and fun family and friends.
7. Remind yourself of the certainties we have been given such as:
• The leave process will take up to two years allowing action by our government and a long period of transition
• We have a good relationship with the USA, a world superpower who we can now commence trading with directly
• We have among the most respected and sought after financial services providers in the world
• London is one of the world’s largest financial centres
• We are a great trading nation
• We are the fifth largest economy in the world
• We excel in science, art, engineering and more
• We have some of the most respected universities in the world providing our country with exceptionally wise and educated people
• We are a hardworking, resilient, developed nation
• English is the official language of more countries than any other language from all around the world, including USA, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the Caribbean, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, giving us an instant commonality
• No matter what our choice of vote, our geographical location of our country has not changed and we are still part of Europe.
As the majority of Great Britain has now chosen to take responsibility for itself, whether we agree or disagree with our parting from the European Union, we too as individuals have to now take responsibility of ourselves to create as much positivity, unity, love, compassion, friendship and CERTAINTY as we can both with our friends, our family and our neighbours both here and all over the world.
The Speakmans ©