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Staying Calm During an Emergency Can Save Lives

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/staying-calm-during-an-em_b_7749812

huffpost.com

Staying Calm During an Emergency Can Save Lives
Before we discuss what you can do to stay calm and focused in an emergency, let me tell you why it's important to stay calm and focused. When the body is under stress, it moves into survival mode, better known as the fight-or-flight syndrome.

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Reason for staying calm

Reason for staying calm

When faced with an emergency, you are biologically created to be reactive and to behave in an emotional manner rather than a thoughtful manner.

It is important to have a plan to keep you calm. Practice and rehearse routinely to internalize your plan.

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Technique #1

To reduce stress in the body and immediately relax:

Squeeze and release all the muscles in the body isometrically and simultaneously, three times.

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Technique #2

  • Breathe in to the count of three 
  • Hold to the count of three
  • Breathe out to the count of three
Repeat three times while telling yourself to relax.

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Technique #3

Close your eyes for one minute and focus your mind on some calming cue, for example, a place that you go to relax... a beach... the mountains... and hold that image three times to the count of three. 

It will reduce your blood pressure and lower your heart rate.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Sama Vritti or “Equal Breathing”

How it’s done:  Inhale for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4, all through the nose, which adds a natural resistance to the breath. Once you manage it, you can go up to a c...

Abdominal Breathing Technique

How it’s done: With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, take a deep breath in through the nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates with enough air to create a stretch in the lungs. The goal: 6 to 10 deep, slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day to experience immediate reductions to heart rate and blood pressure.

When it works best: Before an exam, or any stressful event.

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or whenever it’s time to focus or energize.

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Experiencing Panic Attacks

Experiencing Panic Attacks
  • Around 15 to 30 percent of us experience a panic attack at least once in our lives, which is essentially our body’s emergency response system.
  • Sym...

Understanding The Panic Cycle

There are three reactions that the body produces when in the grip of a panic attack:

  1. Catastrophic or danger-oriented thoughts, which fuel the feeling of fear.
  2. Physical symptoms, like sudden racing of the heart.
  3. An urge to escape.

Panic And The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) region of the brain is activated during a panic attack, and two opposing components get to work as needed:

  1. The Sympathetic Nervous System: Releases adrenaline and other hormones to help with the ‘fight or flight’ response.
  2. The Parasympathetic system: Calms the body and is mostly activated when one is relaxed.

Emotions During a Difficult Conversation

It’s hard not to get worked up emotionally when you’re in a tense conversation: a disagreement can feel like a threat.

But if your body goes into “fight or flight” mode,  ...

Breathe

When you start noticing yourself getting tense, try to focus on breathing (on feeling the air coming in and out of your lungs).

This will take your attention off the physical signs of panic and keep you centered.

Focus on your body

Sitting still when you’re having a difficult conversation can make the emotions build up rather than dissipate. 

Standing up and walking around helps to activate the thinking part of your brain.