It is a reality: human beingsare gregarious animals. It is no accident that Aristotle referred to our species as political animals.

The natural desire to live with others and participate in society is inherent in us. It seems that the coronavirus pandemic comes to question this condition that, as social beings, categorically defines our behavior.

Note: More than ten months after the global health emergency began, several countries around the world have chosen toimpose partial or absolute lockdowns. Depending on the severity of the situation in each case, the restriction measures in terms of how much freedom people have to walk on the streets and meet with othershave become more severe.

In the wake of this institutional lockdown, various manifestations of anxiety have become increasingly common.

The fear of a potential contagionhas gripped people for almost a year, coupled with thesustained anguish of the loss of a loved one, the job insecurity that opted for confinement, orthe terror produced by misinformationon social networks.

These emotions are on the surface, and when they cannot be channeled properly, they generate important consequences on people’s well-being. These are just some of the most common manifestations. (1)

1. Panic attacks

One of the most widespread manifestations of anxiety, after long periods of exposure to ahostile environment, are panic attacks.

To highlight: According to the Mayo Clinic, it is asudden crisis in which the patient suffers a powerful fear, caused by a real, potential or fictitious threat. (2)

Whoever experiences a panic attackfeels that he is losing controlof a certain situation, which overwhelms him and leads him to make impulsive decisions. In the most severe cases, peoplefeel they can’t breathe, havesevere dizziness, and are atrisk for a heart attack.

2. Difficulty paying attention

Memory and concentration in daily activities have been diminished as a result of confinement. Instead ofsustaining attention for an adequate period of time, a significant increase in the forgetfulness that people experience in daily life has been observed.

The affectations are also manifested at the cognitive level. In addition to being unable to concentrate on specific tasks —which they could otherwise carry out without major eventualities—, there has been a Growing tendency to feel confused.People feel anguish at not being able to achieve them as easily as they did before, and they doubt themselves to the point of paralysis.

3. Social irritability

Although social distancing has been one of the most effective methods to stop the spread of the virus, it is a reality that has negatively impacted the way we relate to others.

Note: It is common that, in a space with significant concentrations of people, people feel uncomfortable. In this way, they close in on themselves, and find obstacles when engaging in common conversations.

Social irritability is a condition that the pandemic has accentuated. (3) Generally, people tend to get blocked when they have to interact with someone else. In this way, they remain blank or have difficulties expressing themselves, which represents difficulties for them to develop functionally.

4. Insomnia

In addition to impacting direct social relationships, the Covid-19 pandemic has blurred labor relations. Workspaces have changed. The days, too.

So people who have had to migrate their schedules to digital platforms have had to adjust the rhythm of their days to alternate between household chores and fulfilling their obligations at work .

To highlight:As a result of this sustained stress, according to CNN en Español coverage, people have lost sleep. This lack of deep rest has also producedthat they do not have the same performance at work. (4)

On average, a person suffering from insomnia may wake up about three times a night, unable to fall asleep during the night. This condition is accentuated during important periods of distress, whichprevent those affected from sleeping properly.

5. Tachycardia and choking

Although it is true that there are different nuances in anxiety disorders, it is a reality that the body somatizes the stress episodes generated by the condition. In the most extreme cases, patientsfeel a constant tightness in the chest, which often leads to a sensation ofUncontrollable suffocation.

In the same way, the body reacts to this abnormal pattern of behavior with strong tachycardia. These signs should not be underestimated, as they can evolveinto heart attacks if the affected person is hypertensive or overweight. (5)

Recommendations to combat anxiety

  • One of the most effective remedies to combat anxiety is conscious breathing exercises.
  • Practices such as meditation or yoga promote a leisurely rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, which restore calm to people.
  • Exercising regularly to release the energy contained in the body after a prolonged period without activity.
  • In the same way, learning to identify negative thoughts and being able to observe them from a distance goes a long way to being able to stop constant anxiety patterns.
  • Otherwise, it is always advisable to approach a specialist, particularly when cases are more severe and require some type of medication.

Key takeaways

  • As a result of this institutional and global confinement that has touched us, various manifestations of anxiety have become increasingly common. This is due, among other things, to the fear of possible contagion, the loss of a loved one, and even the terror produced by misinformation.
  • The manifestations of anxiety can be reflected in panic attacks, difficulty paying attention, insomnia, tachycardia, feeling of suffocation, among others.
  • We recommend mindful breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed, anxious or having panic attacks. As well as learning to identify negative thoughts that cause you anxiety or panic.
  • It is also recommended to go to a specialist if by your own means it is difficult for you to combat these attacks or if you require a medication.

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