How to handle panic and anxiety disorders

panic Everyone knows that stress and anxiety are bad for health, yet, not one teaches us how to deal with such situations.  Most of us have to struggle for years before we learn how to deal with panic and anxiety.

However, the key to managing both stress and anxiety is preparation.  Panic and anxiety are your body’s reflexes to its surrounding. In the past, such reflexes would have helped you survive in the natural environment. But in today’s work place, panic and anxiety only create health problems.

Since panic and anxiety are behavioral and related to your reflexes, you can control how you react to a situation by training yourself to come up with positive reflexes rather than negative ones. Joseph Wolpe, a pioneer of behavioral therapy, developed a technique called systematic desensitization for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders and phobias. This technique aims at gradually desensitizing you to distressing triggers.

You can use the following exercises to treat anxiety and panic attacks:

1.    Try to Relax: Adopt some relaxation techniques when you feel the onset of anxiety or panic. Breathe deeply, because when you panic, you reflexively take in shorter breaths than normal. This upsets the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body, causing you to feel nauseous or dizzy. Deep breathing will give you the extra oxygen that you need to prevent you from feeling dizzy and will help you relax.

2.    Escape to solitude: When faced with anxiety, sit down in a quiet place, and try to relax your muscles. Most companies have a small garden or even a parking lot, head for such a place that is away from your stressful environment and try to relax your body. Even a ten minute break will refresh you and clear your mind.

3.    Visualize: Use your imagination to de-stress. Imagine you are at your favorite vacation spot or with someone who makes you feel great. Bring to mind all the good things, like the song from the movie the “Sound of Music” – remember your favorite things and you will immediately feel better.

4.    Dial a Friend: Sometimes the simplest solutions are so simple that we miss them. Talking with a friend who cares for you and understands you can help you release some steam. The idea is to get some respite from the stress. If you aren’t comfortable with talking, then keep a diary. Call up your friend or write a letter to your diary to get the panic out of your system

Remember, that you are in control of your life. You can choose to make it happy or stressful. But both happiness and stress require your effort, so why not work towards being happy instead of stressful?