A recent survey indicates that 33% of Americans are currently experiencing the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, undoubtedly a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Increased heart rate, dizziness, sweating, and shaking are some physical symptoms of anxiety, while mental symptoms include excessive worrying and feelings of tension. When someone feels that their safety is at risk—as many people are feeling right now—the symptoms of anxiety become more severe and more frequent. But experts say that there is an inverse relationship between anxiety and decision-making: as anxiety heightens, the ability to make good decisions slackens.

At our clinic, we regularly treat patients suffering from anxiety and other psychiatric conditions. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues on, we’ve noticed that many patients are relying on our team to guide their decision-making process. We are—of course—happy to help. But the truth is that, with anxiety running so high, our brains simply don’t have the ability to fully focus on the decision at hand.

Scientists explain that, when the brain is stuck in “fight or flight” mode, it can get stuck in a vicious cycle thinking of worst-case scenarios. That leaves us tasked with the challenge of interrupting that cycle in order to make a decision based on logic and not emotion.

Here are some tips for reigning in your brain when it’s reeling out of control:

    • Engage in a relaxing activity that leaves you feeling good: take a walk, enjoy a cup of tea on your patio, call a friend…whatever stress-free activity you enjoy!
    • Meditate, take yoga classes online, or practice mindful breathing: there are countless scientific studies that prove these activities to be incredibly effective for the relief of anxiety
    • Go for a drive. Crank the tunes and take a scenic drive.
    • Cuddle up with your pet. Our furry family members are actually skilled anxiety reducers!

At the end of the day, there are some things you simply can’t control—some things that you just need to let go of: your daughter’s messy bedroom, for example, or the fact that the grocery store has been sold out of chicken breasts for the last four weeks. Invest your energy, rather, into the decisions that matter…and there are a lot of important decisions to be made these days. Should we cancel our wedding? Should we cash in our investments? 

Oftentimes, the best we can do is, well, the best we can do. Not every decision we make will be perfect, but staying calm, thinking through your options, and making a firm decision can keep the brain from cycling through scary scenarios, and prevent your anxiety from getting the best of you.

Contact Vitalitas Denver

Vitalitas Denver is Colorado’s leading provider of ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression and anxiety and one of only a handful of clinics in the US to offer high level psychiatric and anesthesia care. We understand that current circumstances are stressful and that mental health conditions are on the rise as a result. Ketamine isn’t the right solution for everyone, but if you are suffering from chronic depression and have tried several other treatments to no avail, you may be a candidate. Contact us to learn more and find out if ketamine could help you.

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