In the midst of increasing panic ridden occurrences in the world around us today, how do we make sure that Fear doesn’t take over our lives?
FEAR is a normal and required generative response to threat, be it emotional, social or physical and pertinently so designed to keep us out of harm’s way. Our response to threat is dependent on the limbic system and the neo cortex of our brain working together to appraise and, respond to the different threats to survival. Our body too responds triggering a Fight or Flight response pumping us with adrenaline to make sure we either escape, or beat and conquer the threat we may be facing.
Sometimes these systems in our body can respond disproportionately even to threats that may appear to be, but are not really impending or serious. In the absence of a rational, evidence-based and measured approach we then get into the mess of worry, panic and anxiety. If unchecked and not worked on, these situations can lead us into risks of psychological distress and may be even disorders (Anxiety, Panic or Obsessive Compulsive Disorders) in the long run. People who tend to get alarmed easily and worry excessively need to attend to it appropriately and swiftly, alleviating themselves from emotional distress or pain.
One way to deal with unnecessary panic is to avoid de-stressing by getting into the very portals of stress. For example, if there are some indications of a physical condition, immediately getting onto Google and checking out symptoms associated with possible diseases, would only spiral anxiety levels. Most times some physical changes can be harmless. So distracting oneself and adopting a ‘Watchful waiting’ is what we can do.
When there are threat situations, information explosion is another act that can do more harm if not watched. Logging into all the possible media sites and checking frequently could increase the fear to higher levels. While it may be necessary to stay abreast of what is going on pertaining to a posed threat, less frequent checks or reliable, impartial sources of information can prove more useful. Information is most useful if it is rooted in facts and is evidence-based.
Staying connected is important during times of any threat to physical or emotional self, since it keeps one in the right perspective and puts loneliness at bay. In the current scenario of a health threat that is looming large across the world, it is important to be alert and take measures to stay safe. However, this distress need not take our lives and normal activities to ransom. Maintaining the right outlook, reducing stress, doing what is necessary and keeping calm to carry on with our lives would be most essential to do away with unwanted fear.
If you continue to feel overwhelmed and anxious please do reach out to us at LeanonMe through the LeanonMe wellness app. We would be happy to help you.
AUTHOR: Portia, Lead Counsellor
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