Managing our worries in worrying times

Neill Boddington, an OU mental health advisor, has some tips for managing our worries and helping you to be more resilient.

What does the planes inflight safety briefing tell us about wellbeing?

I want you to think about your last trip on a plane (sorry if I’ve reminded you of a cancelled holiday!) As the plane moves off and you have the safety briefing… I want you to consider the part where they explain what to do if there is a decline in cabin pressure… “Masks will drop from the ceiling, put yours on before helping others.”

Why are we instructed to put ours on first? Well, because of the importance of making sure you look after yourself. These unprecedented times we’re all living through now can be worrying and bring about feelings of anxiety and stress. News stories telling us of changes we must make about how we live our life or (let’s be honest) gossip and speculation, can also unsettle us. Then there are also children to entertain, work deadlines to meet, and not forgetting studying to fit in. Is it any wonder that we might find ourselves feeling stressed and anxious? So at times, we need to find ways to put ourselves first to help manage these feelings. 

Unfortunately, when we get stressed our brain can work against us. Thoughts and feelings are not always rational as we apply emotive reasoning created out of the ‘fight or flight’ response rather than logical thinking. We become ‘hijacked’ in our thoughts and irrational thinking patterns can take over. We’ve all done this. Just think about when you have reflected on a situation and said to yourself, “Why did I do that?”.



Neill Boddington
Neill is an Open University mental health advisor.


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