Getting to grips with strong emotions during lockdown

man standing in front of a mirror in the grips of a strong emotionHave you noticed that you’re losing your cool more easily recently? Many people are reporting that they’re finding they have less patience and their mood is much less stable than normal. As a result of the pandemic and ensuing lockdown people have heightened worries about their families, about their jobs and about their health.  On top of this their routines and regular outlets for managing stress and anxiety are not as accessible. This can lead to people experiencing wildly fluctuating emotions.

Research from the University of Sheffield and Ulster University observed a spike in depression and anxiety after Boris Johnson’s announcement of a UK lockdown on 23 March to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. As the weeks have progressed other emotions have been coming to the forefront. If you’re feeling angry for what seems to be no apparent reason, can’t shake your frustration at the world or are snapping at people more often, know this: you’re not the only one. These feelings are signs of distress as our coping skills reach breaking point; anger is often a reaction to a different feeling such as fear.

An example of this is the anger that’s often seen on social media where people shame others who aren’t social distancing and arguments start about whether it is irresponsible and uncaring to not leash your dogs in the park because they might be vectors for Covid-19 transmission.  Underneath the anger is fear, the fear that we might get sick, that our loved ones might suffer. Beneath frustration might lie worry.

Professor Miche, a psychologist and director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London noted that people may be experiencing more heightened emotions now that lockdown is starting to ease and there are different measures of freedom granted to different parts of the population. These perceived inequalities in who gets to go where, and why can lead to strong emotional reactions and feelings of injustice or outrage.

Hypnotherapy can be used successfully to help people gain a better understanding of and control over their emotions. The National Council for Hypnotherapy states that “people can suffer from a wide variety of distressing feelings such as panic attacks, anxiety, jealousy, guilt, anger or inadequacy. Whatever the feeling, hypnotherapy can offer an effective, natural treatment without any unpleasant side effects.”

The goal of hypnotherapy is not to suppress the emotions, but to work with the client to achieve a more balanced and calm state of being where they notice their emotions and choose how to react to them. The therapist works with the client to achieve better emotional regulation which allows them to express their feelings in ways which are productive, instead of lashing out in fear or anger, freeing up time and energy for more positive emotions and experiences.

To contact a fully trained, insured and registered hypnotherapist, use the NCH therapists finder.