When we feel fearful and anxious we can feel lost and dis-empowered. We may or may not be aware of the source of our anxiety. It could be an experience in the present or perhaps something from the past which is affecting the present.
Feeling lost and anxious can happen for many reasons – perhaps at a personal level we have experienced the death of a loved one, children have left home or we have been unable to have children, we are facing retirement, our job is no longer satisfying, our romantic relationships have lost their excitement, we are facing divorce or the breakdown of a special relationship, our health is compromised.
At a more general level we may be uncertain and fearful about events in our nation or globally. There is certainly much in the media on a daily basis bombarding us with traumatic events and potentially filling us with fear and uncertainty. Do we spend our time constantly plugged into social media so that our brains struggle to process what they are seeing, reading and hearing and become overwhelmed? It can be difficult to consider and face the uncertainties of life and our response to these.
When things go wrong and the world as we have known it is changing it can be a time to pause for a moment and reflect on where we find ourselves and what our response will be. In the aftermath of a traumatic event there is shock, disbelief, anger, musings around what we might have done differently and so much more.We may think that we will never again feel normal, happy and peaceful. It is really important to talk to someone that we trust to give us an opportunity to process what has happened or is happening. Whilst we are all challenged and changed by events that happen to us they can give us an opportunity to think about who we are in the world. How do we connect with other people – especially those who are different from us.
It can help to find a quiet place to think about the impact on us of feeling fearful and dis-empowered. Self-compassion is really important. When we are ready we can think clearly about how we may go forward. When we are in a state of panic and fear we may be frozen to the spot or just want to run away. Of course there are times when running away is appropriate. However when we find a safe place we will find our bearings again. We need other people who will listen and help us so that we can work towards building a new life with a new direction.