In this day and age, being mindful of your surroundings is of the utmost importance. The ongoing global pandemic has not made it any easier, not just for ourselves but also for everyone around the world. It’s no secret that the infectious disease has created a sense of unease, especially to those who have germ anxiety or what is known as mysophobia.
As the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths related to it increase daily, so does the anxiety levels of every individual who live in fear of this infectious disease. Needless to say, mysophobia and germ anxiety should not be taken lightly. These deserve our attention, and we need to take all the required measures to cope and manage this condition.
If you have mysophobia, you can overcome it in a myriad of ways. While doing any of these is easier said than done, taking your time and asking help can go a long way.
What is Mysophobia?
In Greek, “Myso” means germs and “Phobo” is commonly referred to as fear. Put them together, and you get mysophobia. This mental condition pertains to the fear of getting contaminated with germs or dirt. With this definition in mind, people with mysophobia wash their hands with soap and water or sanitize their hands with alcohol habitually.
Additionally, mysophobia may be an extension of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD. However, what sets the two apart is that mysophobia deals with the irrational fear of germs and dirt while OCD is characterized by repetitive actions to minimize obsessive thoughts.
How to Overcome Germ Anxiety?
It is no secret that working on being germ-free deserves your full attention. The last thing you’d want to happen is to be stricken with COVID-19. Knowing the facts and doing some research will help ease your fears and prepare you for avoiding infectious diseases.
Seek out information from reputable sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or better known as CDC. For good measure, ask advice from doctors and physicians you can rely on for medical advice and treatment options.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
If there is a stimulant that induces anxiety, then caffeine is the main suspect.
By consuming high doses of it, your heart will begin beating faster and become more tense. That is also when we enter a “fight or flight” state of mind, a precursor to anxiety and panic attacks. Although people who have panic disorder and social anxiety disorder are the most affected, those with an irrational fear of germs are not exempted.
Consider avoiding coffee, tea, or any beverage that contains caffeine. If any of these options can’t be avoided, try having them in moderation.
Meditate and Relax
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to cope with mysophobia or any form of anxiety. It may come in the form of yoga or mindfulness. The latter helps you be aware of what the body feels when anxiety kicks in.
You may also opt for other relaxation techniques that can calm yourself. These include journaling, listening to music, sharing your thoughts to others, and playing with your pet, among other methods. In other words, just keep yourself preoccupied. We have our ways of being mindful of our thoughts, so stick to what works best for you.
Your peace of mind is key to overcoming mysophobia.
Time to bring out your sneakers and athletic apparel, because working out regularly can keep your mind off mysophobia. Any form or level of physical activity is a stress-relieving endeavor that not only helps you lose weight and stay fit, but also reduces the symptoms of mysophobia. As a result, coping anxiety and stress associated with the condition would now be manageable.
Make an effort to run, bike, swim, lift weights, play basketball, or even walk. Since many of us are stuck at home, you may even want to try a couple of fat-burning cardio exercises.!
This may serve as your last resort. Anti-anxiety or antidepressants are usually prescribed to people with severe bouts of anxiety or unmanageable panic attacks. However, those with symptoms associated with mysophobia may be prescribed by their doctor. It is then followed by therapy to help the patient create healthy thinking patterns.
Bear in mind that medication is only half of the battle. Doing any of the aforementioned methods for overcoming germ anxiety can make living with the condition more manageable.
Coping with mysophobia or any form of anxiety is no easy task. It entails plenty of patience, willpower, and resources to achieve desirable results. The good news is germ anxiety can be managed by knowing the facts, avoiding caffeine, relaxing, working out, and taking your meds.