managing coronavirus anxiety and fear

Coronavirus Anxiety & Fear Management

It is impossible to not notice the latest headlines about the new Coronavirus which has emerged in China in the last month of so. News outlets are filled with sensationalist stories of death rates, quarantine and symptoms leaving even a calm person feeling worried. Newspapers sell copies and ads based on dramatic headlines so it is important to find a way of managing Coronavirus anxiety and fear.

Anyone reading these headlines would naturally feel slightly worried but now imagine that you are a person who already suffers from anxiety especially related to health or germs. If you are one of these individuals it is possible for your anxiety to get out of control.

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Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Fear

If you suffer from GAD then a portion of your life will be filled with worries about almost everything. The Coronavirus scare is just another factor in a number of issues that are vying for your attention. It is important than in the case of this virus you don’t currently amplify your worries. Currently, the risk to anyone in the UK is incredibly small and the likelihood of you contracting it is highly unlikely. Remember to put things into proportion.

It would also be useful to reduce Coronavirus fear and anxiety by limiting your access to news articles on the subject or reading people’s opinions on social media. It is well known that many of these will contain misinformation and conspiracy theories which will be totally inaccurate. Why bother inflating your anxiety by paying attention to them.

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Coronavirus Health Anxiety

In addition to generalised anxiety issues, there are two other distinct groups who may be experiencing heightened anxiety at the moment. The first is those with underlying anxiety related to their health. If you suffer from health anxiety you may be preoccupied with worries about every twinge, ache or pain in your body. You may also be hyper-vigilant about approaching anybody who you think may be showing what you perceive to be symptoms of Coronavirus.

In this case, tackling the underlying cause of the original health anxiety may be important. Remember than health anxiety is just a way of keeping you away from danger. Your mind would have learned to do this many years ago because of an incident that happened to you or a family member or friend. Remind your mind that you are currently safe and that there is no need to panic. Get a sense of perspective and use some of the anxiety reduction methods below to calm down your fear response.

Coronavirus and OCD

The second group of people who may be suffering at the moment are those who have OCD particularly with regards to germs or contamination. When a new virus comes along that seems to threaten danger it can be easy to make this a focus of our attention. I have no doubt that OCD patients with a fear of germs may be particularly on edge the more they hear about this latest virus especially with all the advice on handwashing.

As with the first group understanding why your brain needs this worry is important. For example is the worry about something harmful happening to you or more likely when it comes to OCD that you will harm someone else with your “negligent” behaviour. It is not unusual to find that this form of OCD starts in childhood after an incident where the child blames themselves for a hurting another. Getting help from a therapist to remember what the original incident was can be a great way of getting a sense of perspective and reducing the fears.

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 Methods to Reduce Anxiety

Get a Sense of Perspective

Assess the risks before worrying unnecessarily about events that are highly unlikely to happen. Currently, the chances of catching the virus are incredibly small in places such as the US, Canada and Europe. Compare this to the flu where in the US alone 10,000 died. Many more people were hospitalised yet this is not mentioned daily in every paper. Ignore sensationalism and only look at official government advice.

Take Time out to Relax and Reduce Stress

All anxiety is increased by stress and worry. The best way to reduce this is to find a way of managing that stress. This can be doing exercise, using mindfulness techniques or listening to our self-hypnosis downloads. Regular practice will make a big difference in how you feel and start to make you feel calmer and more in control.


When a worry starts to appear in your mind find something to do that will distract you. Phone a friend, bake a cake, play a computer game to occupy your mind. Eventually, your brain will forget the underlying worry and calm down.


Learning to regulate your breathing and slow it down can make a huge difference to the anxiety response. The internet has many breathing techniques that can help to make a difference in how you feel. Find one that works for you and use it whenever you feel your anxiety rising.

Online Anxiety Reduction Course

Alternatively, why not use our online anxiety reduction course. Managing Coronavirus anxiety and fear is so much easier when you have a helping hand. Our online anxiety course is designed to help you understand why you have anxiety and then gives you a whole host of methods to help you manage your worries. The course includes five self-hypnosis for anxiety downloads which you can use at home so that you can increase feelings of relaxation. Just head on over to our online store to get your copy.

You may also want to read:

10 Gifts for People With Anxiety

Stop Anxiety by Rewiring your Mind

Martina McKeough