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Do You know -
What Panic is and how to calm It
Although the mainstream media is trying to reassure people not to panic over the Ebola virus, reports are springing up that many folks already are.
- This is a good time to take a deep breath and think about what is going on when we panic. Likewise, it is important to remember that there are some simple steps which can calm exaggerated fears before they get out of hand.
- Simply put, panic is an irrational perception of an imminent crisis that is manifested by both physiological and emotional signs. It occurs when the reasonable part of our brain is hi-jacked by the primitive fear center, the amygdale. Although it feels real, it is crucial to know that panicked reasoning and conclusions are distorted and do not express either accurate perceptions or good judgment.
- The best way to tell panic from a reasonable fear is that factual reassurance isn't helpful in calming a panic. One who is In a state of panic-induced terror is not reassured by a reality that differs from his/her fears.
- In times such as these, when real threats are present but the exact extent of the danger is not known with certainty, it is a good idea to examine your fears carefully and not jump to catastrophic conclusions or to immediately assume the worst. Being aware that panic reactions are common can help alert a person to reality test the validity of his/her worries.
- Brain research which has been gathered from returning combat solders has proven that the best way to reality test panic thoughts is to allow them to be verbally expressed, perhaps in a journal where a dialog can take place between the scared part and the reasonable part of one's awareness. Allowing and giving yourself permission to say what you fear most - without immediate criticism - helps to re-establish access to the reasonable part of our brain and to calm the panic experience.
- Understanding that moments of panic are normal human experiences that can be processed and calmed before they lead to unwise and impulsive behavior is important in times of uncertainty. With a little practice, you can learn to talk through rather than to act out the frightened impulses we get when we panic.
Rev. Michael Heath, LMHC 10 2 2014
Coming up Next: November 7th, 2014 at Maple Downs in Fayetteville NY:
Coping with Senior Stress
Come and hear Rev. Heath Discuss effective ways to reduce needless stress and to cope with the stressors you can't get rid of.
*note for Windows 8 users: MS still has some compatability problems with the 9wsyr website video streaming. It is not your computer.