Managing Stress In An Emergency

african american woman sitting at computer
Unfortunately, emergency situations are almost inevitable. While it would be ideal to simply avoid hardships, or to always be able to handle them calmy, this is not a reality. Many people react with high anxiety or panic; which is not good for them or people around them.

When people panic or become highly anxious, their fear replaces clear thinking. This can lead to inaction (a kind of emotional paralysis), emotional and problematic decision-making, and unnecessary distress. All of this interferes with effective responding; such as carefully gathering needed emergency supplies.

Unfortunately, panic and fear can spread through communities, potentially making already difficult situations worse. So, it’s important to remember your actions and reactions affect those around you – family, friends, and especially children.

So, to help yourself and those around you manage the effects and after-effects of all of life’s storms, try the following tips:

Stay calm: If you feel flooded by your fears, it is essential that you calm yourself. One way to do this is to take some slow, deep breaths. Place one hand on your chest and your other hand on your belly. As you breath, the hand on your stomach should go up and down while the hand on your chest should not move. This is called diaphragmatic breathing and is designed to help calm your body.

Learn the facts: Rather than allow yourself to become overwhelmed by all that you see in the media, pay special attention to what applies to you. Get information from local authorities. Learn what the concerns are for your area and what local authorities are doing to address those concerns.