With the recent 9% U.S. unemployment rate, millions of people now have no way to make a regular income. This has a huge emotional impact on many of these people, and on the people around them. In fact, Anna (not her real name) who lives in the Denver metro area got laid off twice—once two years ago when IBM laid her off after 10 years of working at the company. After 6 months, she obtained a job with a company that contracts with IBM—same job, lower pay. After a little over a year, she was laid off again. Not because she wasn’t good at what she did—she received awards at her job—but because jobs were being sent overseas.
Unemployment creates anxiety and depression
When most people are laid off, their nervous system goes through a shock. The bottom drops out of their lives, and they shift into a fear process different from “normal life,” that profoundly affects how they view themselves and relate to other people and to the world. One could call it unemployment anxiety or unemployment depression.
Their perception of life shrinks and they feel boxed in. It’s harder to think flexibly, “outside the box.” Anna, for instance, increasingly could only think about lack of money. Rather than being able to see her situation as temporary, it seemed that she would always be out of a job and that her situation would continue along a trajectory of increasing insecurity. She began to imagine herself out on the street, homeless. It became more difficult for her to leave her apartment. It got to where she could barely get up in the morning, because she had no energy.
Stress and trauma result in rigid thinking
This is not unusual. When people’s circumstances suddenly change in a negative way, they go into a state of stress or trauma, living from fear, and they relate to most of what happens during the day through this filter of fear. Where before, they had a sense of choice and control, they now experience being at the mercy of circumstances. It’s very difficult to stand outside of this perception.
Getting unstuck from unemployment depression or anxiety
Nevertheless, it’s important to push oneself to action every day, even if it means taking a short walk, calling one friend, applying for one job (even if you don’t think you’re going to get it), running one errand. Depression and anxiety stop physical, emotional and relational movement. People become encased in metaphorical ice. Movement melts the ice and helps people’s thinking to become flexible again.
It’s also important to take pro-active action to get help. EFT is a positive, supportive method that often helps quickly with unemployment depression or anxiety: EFT-Emotionalfreedom.com .