Living with Anxiety

Loretta is a young lady who works as a clerk in a trading company. Since she was little she often felt anxious. When she grew up, all kinds of stress in life worsened her anxiety: for example, she cares about how her seniors think of her, worries about her family’s health, or even feels scared to be hated by her friend just because she could not find a good restaurant for a meeting. Despite her company having no plans on firing employees due to the deterioration of the economy recently, Loretta is still afraid that her name would appear on the layoff list. Hence, she worked overtime, did not let herself rest during holidays by always checking her work emails and thinking about work. Lately, the epidemic has spread rapidly, more and more worries also came to her mind, making Loretta’s situation going from bad to worse. Eventually, Loretta could hardly focus on anything. She was always restless, with her muscles tensed and her heart rate accelerated all the time. She also noticed that she became more irritable, which had affected her relationship with her family unwittingly.

To prevent the situation from getting worse, Loretta decided to seek professional help. Through the Jockey Club Tour Heart Project (JCTH+), she got to know the eGPS service – short-term psychotherapy that is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy. She made up her mind to learn to handle the anxiety that led to her emotional distress. After a few sessions talking to the psychological well-being officer, she slowly understood what anxiety is. She noticed that most of her anxiety came from not being able to solve the problems she encountered immediately. For example, mostly during night time, she would worry that she may lose her job and would not be able to find a new one, and these thoughts would allow her to worry endlessly without helping her in coming up with solutions.

Moreover, Loretta also learnt to use some simple techniques to tackle her anxiety problems, such as listening to music or enjoying the aroma of coffee, which allows her to place her attention on other activities instead of her worries. When she no longer feel anxious, she could then focus back on her original activity. She understood through constant practice that it is inevitable that life contains different concerns, but now she is more confident in living along with anxiety. She also learnt to live in the moment, with her work efficiency increased as well.

Text:Psychological Well-being Officer Chan Chung Yan