What are you doing to cope with ANXIETY? How the war in Ukraine has affected our collective anxiety.

Anxiety is so much more prevalent now than it was prior to the pandemic. Not only have we all gone through life-threatening experiences, but the world has been rendered even more unsure and unstable with Russia invading Ukraine.

Some critics accuse us of being far more upset with the war Russia created because it’s happening to white people, while no one seems to care about people of color in other nations.

While that may hold true for some people, I believe it has more to do with the unthinkable happening in 2022. Russia had previously called Ukrainians “brothers”, connected by a shared past, so when one “brother” attacks another, it seems like the world we knew has been irrevocably changed.

In no way do I seek to minimize the invasions and acts of war being carried out in other countries; for years I have been sickened and horrified by those situations, as have many around the world.

While wars in many parts of the world have been occurring for years, the current invasion of Ukraine seems to have rocked the whole world, even when Russia’s invasion into other territories didn’t seem to stir people quite the same way.

Why? Why is this war different?

I believe it has a lot to do with our collective conscience feeling shocked that one “brother” could do this to another.

If that happens so easily, who then is really safe? Our anxiety levels shoot up when we feel unsafe, and if they’re sustained over long periods of time, they strangely manifest in ways that come out as anger.

Uncontrolled anxiety can turn into overt anger

When anger is allowed to prevail instead of dealing effectively with the anxiety, it becomes outwardly destructive to others.

If you look at the angriest people publicly venting their anger, you will soon see that the issues they are venting on are the things that scare them the most. (Whether they fear something outside of themselves, or are actively denying the very thing within.)

Take a look at the angry people in your life – what is underlying the anger? Are their anxieties manifesting as anger?

The fear quickly gave way to anger, which is what often happens to each of us.

“Understanding what precipitates a person to act in no way excuses them from their negative words or actions. We’re each responsible for what we say and do, and need to be held accountable for such.”

Tamara Kulish

Those of us who allow our anxieties to run free run the risk of destroying precious relationships, families, and entire communities.

Angry people who are working hard to limit the rights of groups of people they fear are working to assuage their own anxieties.

Anxiety creates feelings of solitude and despair

The crazy thing about anxiety is that it lies to us, telling us we’re alone with our feelings!

Anxiety lies to us telling us the situation we’re looking at is far more dire and awful than it actually is, creating even more anxiety.

Anxiety lies to us telling us that unless we do something radical or drastic, our very EXISTENCE or life as we know it is at stake!

Anxiety lies to us, keeping us blind to all the facts in a situation and only focused on one small area which may not even hold the danger we fear it does!

Anxiety focuses on the apparent dangers while ignoring the solutions sitting in front of us.

Anxiety distorts our perception of reality, filtering out positive solutions in the negative echo chamber it creates.

TAMARA KULISH

Tools for dealing with Anxiety

When we become aware of our anxiety, we can start to deal with it.

There are many techniques and tools to deal with anxiety, some work better for some people and not so much for others.

Too often some very powerful tools get dismissed too early by people.

Why?

When we try something new, especially as it relates to behavior and thoughts, it feels UNNATURAL!

When something feels unnatural or even uncomfortable, we tend to drop it quickly and revert back to patterns that are familiar.

I have found from my own experience that I needed to persist in my attempts to learn and eventually get comfortable with the new techniques which would help me.

This is part of a cool process called brain re-wiring!

Disclaimer: my thoughts and opinions are based on my own observations and experiences. Please seek help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Connecting with others

Sometimes when we talk with other people we discover they’re struggling with the same issues in life, and that helps us feel like we’re not so alone with our anxiety!

Such was the case between me and Moksha who writes the Happy Panda blog. (I have copied our conversation below.)

Simply knowing we’re not the only one struggling with anxieties can be immensely freeing, because we realize this is real and not something we’re imagining!

This knowledge then helps to free up valuable emotional space to begin to be able to deal with the anxiety.

This is one reason why support groups work so well in our wellness plan!

The tools to deal with anxiety need to be used throughout our whole lives!

How often do we think that the coping skills and the new tools we learn will be used for a set amount of time, and then we’ll be “okay”?

Then we feel disappointed with the process, saying it failed to “cure” us or make us “all better”!

Here’s the scoop: there is no “cure”! It’s not a one-and-done thing!

It’s a lifestyle change!

When we consistently work to make the changes, we are in fact working to re-wire our brains!

As we develop new Neural Pathways (see Brain Rewiring), these become our go-to responses in life, helping us to navigate through all that life throws at us!

🌺🌺🌺

My conversation with Moksha

How Anxiety Affects My Day To Day Life! Posted by HAPPY PANDAon MARCH 29, 2022

I’VE TALKED ABOUT MY CRIPPLING ANXIETY IN A LOT OF PREVIOUS POSTS. FROM BEING IN CONTROL TILL 2020 TO TAKING AN UGLY OPPRESSIVE FORM IN THE POST COVID ERA – ME AND MY ANXIETY HAVE COME A LONG WAY. WHILE I’VE MENTIONED THE ISSUES I HAVE FACED BECAUSE OF MY ANXIETY, I HAVE OFTEN REALIZED THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO DON’T SUFFER FROM ANXIETY OR RECOGNIZE ITS EVIL HEAD, DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW ANXIETY CAN IMPACT A PERSON’S DAY-TO-DAY LIFE. MORE SO BECAUSE A LOT OF US SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY DO TEND TO LEAD NORMAL LIVES ON THE SURFACE. DESPITE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE SHARING THIS PORTION OF MY LIFE, I WANT TO SHOW HOW ANXIETY IMPACTS MY DAY-TO-DAY LIFE, JUST SO THAT IF YOU COME ACROSS AN ANXIOUS PERSON, YOU TREAT THEM WITH KINDNESS, AND IF YOU ARE LIKEWISE INFLICTED YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Moksha from HAPPY PANDa

Tamara: 🌺🌺🌺

I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles with anxiety. I get it. I’ve lived through it. 

In order to better handle it, I needed to develop some tools to be able to face my day-to-day experiences. 

What at your tools do you have and are developing? What helps you lift yourself up? What helps you stop sliding down the rabbit hole further?

You’ve got this!

Moksha: 🌺🌺🌺

I put distance between myself and whatever is spiking my anxiety. I go for a walk, listen to music or just watch an episode from my favorite show to just clear my head. And of course, breathing exercises whenever I’m close to a panic attack.

I’m so sorry that you suffer from this too. What tools do you use?

Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes it feels so made up everything that I’m feeling, it helps knowing I’m not the only one.  

Tamara: 🌺🌺🌺

It’s a real thing! Not everyone understands this! 

I’ve had Chronic Shingles for years and thankfully they’re mostly in remission. However, I’ve had to learn the hard way that I don’t have the stamina that other people have and so I need to take very good care of myself or my health goes downhill fast. I run out of gas easily so doing too much isn’t advisable. 

When I get run down, I’m susceptible to depression and anxiety. I learned that the hard way, so now I monitor myself carefully.  Even so, anxiety can still creep in, primarily because I’m not monitoring myself constantly, and sometimes when I do feel better, I overdo it! 😜

When I start to experience anxiety symptoms I go into self-analysis mode: have I been getting enough sleep! Do I need more rest? 

Which supplements do I need to boost with? Extra vitamin C, B complex, add some D. Fish oil capsules, CBD to sleep. 

I also have learned that getting outside for a walk really helps. It’s that magical elixir of fresh air, sunshine, mild exercise plus I use a combination of meditative prayer AND positive feedback to both settle my mind and lift my spirits. 

I relearned how I speak to myself.

I had to totally learn a new way because speaking kindly and positively to myself felt unnatural and uncomfortable. I easily slipped back into speaking harshly and very unkindly to myself for that was the natural extension of how I had been spoken to and treated. 

By teaching myself to speak kindly and nonjudgmentally to myself, I gradually rewired my brain, changing its natural go-to’s for my thoughts. 

Out of everything I have done, that was the most difficult

It’s very difficult to do and requires long-term perseverance. There will be backsliding because the brain fights against rewiring itself.

It is possible, it just takes time. 

No one is weak or a bad person when their mind slides down the negative rabbit hole.

However, we’re probably the only ones who have the deep power to change it!

Relief from external people and events is only for a short period of time, but doing the hard inner work of teaching ourselves to like ourselves yields longer-lived rewards!

The nice thing about becoming the person who lifts ourselves up is that we’re always available, even if we do need to give ourselves some prodding to do so!

Practicing speaking nicely, kindly, and suspending judgment is a key piece for this to come together!

It is difficult to do in the beginning because it feels so unnatural!

Don’t give up on it though!

Keep doing it and with time it feels a little more natural! With time we grow very comfortable speaking positively to ourselves because we have come to see it is true!

I’m sharing more posts that may be helpful for you:

More good stuff:

Teaching ourselves to like, even to love ourselves

By changing our inner dialogue, we change EVERYTHING!

Challenge: When a negative thought enters your mind, think three positive ones. Train yourself to flip the script!

Red Ocean or Blue Ocean? How do you think?

An answer to dealing with the Inner Critic!

My top 10 most viewed posts, plus a few bonuses!

A helpful trick to be able to overcome negatively Comparing Ourselves to others…

Do you only accept yourself if you look a certain way?

A new you! Is this possible?

Please go to my Archived Posts page to find more wonderful posts to check out!

Blessings!
Thank you for sharing this post and for following me!
Tamara
https://tamarakulish.com/ Archived Posts: https://tamarakulish.com/archived-posts/

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Developing Happiness When You Can’t Find It and How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level are available in paperback and Kindle. Audio book available!

Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:

Removing Inner Blocks,    Anger Journal,    Guided Anxiety Journal    Joy & Mindfulness Journal     My Boundaries Journal   My Inner Thoughts Journal   

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16 thoughts on “What are you doing to cope with ANXIETY? How the war in Ukraine has affected our collective anxiety.

  1. Beautiful post as usual!!
    The last two years have been heavy on all of us and now this added craziness! 😥
    I honestly love all your advice! It’s always practical and doable and never preachy. I like how you mention that backsliding happens during this healing process cause boy, have I gone back after making postive strides towards healing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. ❤️

    Happy Mother’s Day in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure! Thank you! Sending Happy Mother’s Day wishes to all the moms and mother figures on your side!

      Yes backsliding is NORMAL!! Lol! When it happens to us we get so judgy of ourselves don’t we?!! We somehow expect immediate perfection, yet it’s a process! 🥰🌻 sending good vibes!!

      Like

  2. This war indeed is unbelievable, saddening and terrifying – reminding people of the uncertainties always looming upon them. Coming out of the pandemic, sensitive humans are a raw recipient of yet another blow to their turst in the goodness of brotherhood. Mental health and emotionalk healing have become of utmost significance to be able to ride th waves of anxiety and anger that would tend to easily surface.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are exactly my thoughts too! We’ve all been going through the emotional wringer. I’d say roller coaster but that’s a lot of fun for some and I doubt anyone has been having fun grappling with the range of emotions from all the events that we have collectively gone through!

      I think it’s important to talk about how our sense of safety we thought we had living in modern times, in nations seemingly embracing more and more modern notions, has been seriously shaken.

      I haven’t even talked about potential PTSD some may be experiencing if their living conditions had been adversely affected.

      All of our mental health has been challenged and we all need to consciously practice self care to get through this!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very enriching to read your post and this comment too – I agree with you, we all are deeply impacted with the shake up of our realities. I know I am needing so much slowness and space to allow the energies to flow through – I feel deeply grateful for the capacity and privilege to be able to take the time exactly as guided from within.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you! I totally agree! I feel it’s taking me longer to be able to process things now and be able to move through them. I feel my mind is stressed and it’s taking more inner work to help myself! I find when I write about something it’s because I start to unpick what’s speaking to me about it and why it affects me so much. The writing process gives me the inner understanding that I need to be able to ground myself and to center myself.

          Once I go inward and figure out what is going on then I go outward with it to connect it to the bigger world and with more people.

          This writing process is quite uncanny in its ability to help a struggling mind process things!

          I know some people write posts which are like an inner stream of consciousness. My inner process requires order, so my writing process comes out more cerebral than from the gut. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I guess right now my inner self needs this kind of orderedness to be able to handle life in 2022!! 🤓

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Your process does get expressed in a very organized and orderly way, and I believe that is very impactful and helpful to the world n a practical way. It is a gift whatever way you are doing this – writing does help unpack in ways we can’t predict or plan. Your posts bring out the clarity for the mental/emotional experiences that most are dealing with and also for the solutions that are directly applicable.
            I am finding myself in a novel state – I do not have the capacity to be stressed, so needing space, silence and slowness to allow the energies of the world to pass through – there is a peace I am feeling like never before.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks for your feedback! It’s very encouraging! I’m awed by your current state of not feeling stressed and able to move through everything! That’s definitely what I’m working on!

              I found myself feeling very surprised how deeply I had been affected by this war in Ukraine. I’m half Ukrainian but my other mother’s side apparently negated that for some Ukrainians when I was a kid, because my brother and I were told we weren’t real Ukrainians. So because I had felt rejected by that side of my heritage I had mentally let it go and hadn’t really identified with it. My mother’s side is Jewish and German, and each of those peoples also rejected me because of the opposite elements that they presented.

              In my mind I belonged to no heritage, I was just a Canadian and a citizen of the world. Once the war started and I very surprisingly had strong feelings of patriotism for Ukraine spring up, I needed to look at my own past. I went to Orthodox Easter service in a new church in my new city, and had a chance to speak with the priest about this and he welcomed me. My daughter pointed out that many Ukrainians have changed their minds about Jewish people, so much that their president is Jewish, so my 25% is no longer a big deal.

              These past weeks have been a very healing time for me with a lot to unpack from my past, a lot to separate from and to reconcile with.

              I find myself scrolling through the news stories with bated breath to find out the latest news about Ukraine, saddened by the terrible stories and cheered when I hear about their drones bringing down the invaders weaponry. To find my inner balance and keep my sense of peace is a daily work. I’m having to employ all of my techniques and tools to keep myself from feeling stressed out.

              My other life problems seem to pale in comparison, but they still need to be dealt with, so keeping sane and calm is even more important!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I am honored that you shared with me my friend, thank you. Our various identities from the past, and the wounds attached to them often stay dormant when we are doing our life work towards balance. Yet there is mostly no escape from them until they are healed at some point, for us to return to our authentic spirit way of being. I remember my surprise at some triggers that threw me off the curve with such intensity that took away my ability to function. This can really shake our reality and functional capacity. It requires utmost regard and care for what it is, plenty of time and rest and giving yourself experiences on a daily basis that shift you towards some calm and balance. And perhaps giving up some things that are known to trigger. It indeed is a daily practice and conscious effort – I have called these phases healing holes in some of my posts. It does pass I believe. Spirit guides. Much Love my friend. You are supported. Your work is a gift now and always.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Thank you so much my friend! I feel I can share parts of my journey freely with you and you understand the depths. Yes, it’s quite surprising how some very strong emotions can get brought up by events. One person said that the memories of our ancestors get hardwired somewhere in us, so that’s why we resonate so strongly with some things. Makes as much sense to me as anything else, so I’ll go with that!

                You speak of gratitude often. I believe what I felt after that was the gratitude of healing from a deep hurt.

                Yes, very much like filling in holes! Holes in the spirit can be the most difficult to fill and to heal from, but when it happens it feels quite intense!

                I have been doing exactly as you have suggested: practicing good self care! Having that conscious thought of “I have been shaken but now I’m going to sit quietly and let my spirit rest” feels so good, luxurious almost! I now enjoy luxuriating in those moments instead of uncomfortably rushing through it. Those moments of self care are now received with gratitude and peace instead of feeling like I’m stealing time away from something else more important!

                Like

              3. Yes we do carry identities from across lifetimes – the same ancestors also have our back!

                It is intense, I agree.

                A Big YES to all you say in your last paragraph. I too use the word Luxurious when I am able to get here – and I believe now that you are here, you are so close to the rim and out! it is brilliant out there, you will see :))) Much Love & Hugs my friend, you got this!

                Liked by 1 person

              4. Thanks so much my friend for this encouragement and support! I feel so much lighter than I did before. I had shoved that dark shadow from my past deep down and it’s amazing how great it feels already! The dark shadows from our pasts don’t need to stay hidden and it’s wonderful how healing can happen in a short time! I’m going to luxuriate in peace this evening! Thank you! 😊😊

                Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a testing journey, but that is its point. We learn to face us, break that old wiring and love ourselves more because of it. Just in facing ‘us’ is a very powerful thing, in understanding us is also a very powerful thing, to understand those inner fears and in doing so break their power over us and allow something wonderful back in, that love we have ever looked for. This is a very powerful journey, be proud of it, for it is building something wonderful. Great post Tamara, and thank you for sharing your love ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this awesome feedback Mark! Absolutely! This is a time where we have opportunities to learn to love and to take care of ourselves! It’s absolutely imperative that we learn to do so! These times don’t have to break us no matter how difficult they are. We each have the power (and the responsibility) to do this for ourselves, for truly, no one but ourselves will know exactly what we need and when we need it! So glad WordPress is letting you through to comment! Always good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

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