Do you have doomsday anxiety?

·2-min read

From health crises to war, people around the world are facing many challenges right now.

In light of the tough times, there has been a rise in people experiencing "doomsday anxiety", or a constant fear or worry about the end of the world.

Aaron Surtees, psychologist and hypnotherapist, has seen a massive surge in calls about how to cope with this issue, and accordingly, has shared his five top tips for relieving acute stress linked to world worries.

Accept bad things can happen

Blocking out bad things is akin to living in a fantasyland.

"There are challenges and some are very difficult and painful. There may be good and bad days. The best way to proceed is by taking one day at a time. The next day may be a better day, so try and stay with this mindset," he said.

Learn the STOP technique

This stands for stop, take a breath, observe the body and thoughts, and put it into action.

"Physically saying out loud the word 'stop' can be very powerful in tapping into your mind on a subliminal level," explained Aaron. "It allows a person to think with clarity and puts a block on negative thoughts by rewiring the mind into a positive mindset. This technique can be very beneficial in relieving stress when you encounter symptoms or feel triggered."

Manage 'doomscrolling'

It's no secret that constantly scrolling through social media or news apps can have a negative impact on your mental health.

"Observe yourself over a few days and pay attention to your scrolling habits and allow yourself time to use your phone for this purpose and when to put it down or away," the expert shared. "In addition, try muting or unfollowing any accounts of users who instigate your doomsday anxiety, and give yourself 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to scroll freely. The rest of the time only use your phone for simple communications or work."

Repeat affirmations

To help ease anxiety, create three positive doomsday-busting affirmations that shift your subconscious thoughts away from your fears.

"Supportive phrases will empower you to hear positivity and help strengthen your subconscious," he said.

A good example is: "I am safe and those I love are safe and secure."

Do some fact-checking

With so much happening in the news and the prevalence of online forums, it can be hard to decipher what's real and what's fake.

"Not all information you read, see or hear is accurate and can be misleading when you are in a state of worry," Aaron added. "Read things slowly and carefully, checking dates and looking at the context and news source of the information you are watching or reading. Is the information from a reliable authority? How trustworthy is it? Taking a practical and considered viewpoint will drastically reduce your doomsday anxiety."