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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

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Still Feeling Jumpy?

Ten Ways to Calm Those Nerves


Do a reality check: "We have to look at the odds of this happening again. Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? No."

Practice positive thinking: "When we start having those frightening thoughts, one thing we should do is ask ourselves 'Is this a productive thought or something my imagination is reacting to?' If it is a productive thought and actions need to be taken, then take the necessary steps. If it is a nonproductive thought that will only add to anxiety, it's important to refocus your thinking with a more positive thought."

Limit your exposure to the media : "I tell people if the news is bothering you, it's OK not to watch it, or at least don't watch it before you go to bed. Read a fun novel instead.

Educate yourself on panic attacks: "Once somebody has been medically checked out following a panic attack and they are reassured that this not a cardiovascular or other physical health problem, then they can be assured that it is probably a panic attack, which is frightening but not dangerous. It is important to understand that panic attacks themselves are our body's way of preparing us for the threat of danger in that the adrenaline increases, the blood rushes to vital organs, and our body's natural flight response. When this happens in the face of an immediate and real threat to our well-being, it is what enables us to respond accordingly and get out of harm's way."

"Now, should a person continue to have panic attacks that are unprovoked by any real threat, or should the fear of having one stop them from carrying out their daily functions, they should speak to a health professional."

Don't be afraid to get help: " If you find that you are continuing to have nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks, emotional numbing or avoiding activities and places, or that you are experiencing irritability, trouble concentrating, feeling detached from others and if these continue after several days or weeks, it is important to know that you can -- and should -- get professional help. Severe stress or traumatic stress can be effectively treated. If you find yourself or a loved one not able to move forward and get on with your daily routines, please think of it as a strength rather than a weakness to seek professional help."

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