Yesterday someone asked me if I dealt with anxiety related to Brexit as he thought that business people are displaying anxiety. Then later in the day, a relative said that she couldn’t listen to the television anymore because everything was about Brexit and it was making her feel stressed and anxious.
This made me think about the millions of people who could be affected by Brexit in some way across Britain and the European Union. So now I am calling this anxiety that people are feeling with the changes as Brexit Anxiety.
Brexit Anxiety could affect individuals and groups or companies.
This blog is not about politics. It’s not about the rights or the wrongs of Britain leaving the EU, rather it’s about the often hidden emotions and feelings of anxiety that are sweeping the country. This is happening because Brexit is about change and change brings anxiety. It’s natural that the mind tries to logically work out what will happen to the individual and the people that they care about around them but sometimes there are no answers and the mind races with negative thoughts that have an impact on how we feel and behave.
Brexit will bring many changes so people are worrying because these things are often out of their control. Most worries will be about economic issues, personal finances, where they will live, work and relationships. For many people also its the fear of the unknown.
Anxiety happens when we feel threatened in some way. Its a fear or apprehension and it feels negative and uncomfortable. If it continues to rise anxiety can lead to panic attacks and ill health so its something not to be ignored.
On reflection, I even think some people were suffering from Anticipated Brexit Anxiety before the referendum and the decision to leave the EU was made. It seems that this was due to people not thinking that they had enough information.
So at the moment, the decision has been made, we are leaving. And now we are in the negotiation stage of deal or no deal.
This brings feelings of uncertainty and that’s scary. Uncertainty is perceived as unsafe, yet most things in life are uncertain.
Brexit Anxiety also stirs feelings of anger and frustration. Maybe the anger is due to leaving the EU. Maybe the anger is about not getting what you want or being able to influence politics. Whatever it is caused by anger and frustration that continues for a long time and isn’t released is unhealthy. It’s part of our ‘fight or flight’ response where primitive man fought the problem or ran away from it.
So how can we deal with Brexit Anxiety? Well, you could do things like the two people did that I spoke to yesterday- you could talk about it or you could switch off from it.
I believe it’s about getting life in balance. So eat well, exercise and talk to the people around you that you care about. Recognise the things that you can control and the things that you can’t control. Ask for help in difficult times. In some cases that maybe your doctor if you think your health is getting affected, or you could talk to a counsellor. But I think one way of reducing your Brexit Anxiety is to prepare. Prepare for uncertain times and reduce risks.
I’m going to observe this Brexit Anxiety more now. I’m also going to try to help more people relax because being relaxed helps you to reduce anxiety.