By Stan Popovich
You never know when a disaster may strike unexpectedly. Unfortunately, a person can become paralyzed by fear and anxiety to the point that they are unable to function or think clearly when something does happen.
As a result, here are some suggestions on how to stay calm and focused when a disaster occurs.
1. Take deep breaths
The key is not to panic when something goes wrong. Taking deep breaths will help to reduce your anxiety and help you to think more clearly.
2. Think of something positive
After taking some deep breaths, the next step is to think of something positive. A person could think of something that will help to counter any negative thoughts.
3. Evaluate your surroundings
Once you calm down, be aware of what is going on around you. Try to find things near you that can help you get to safety. In addition, use common sense and good judgment in your decisions. For example, don’t stand by a window during a tornado or stay low to the ground when your building or home is on fire because smoke always rises.
4. Develop a plan to get to safety
After evaluating your situation, try to come up with a strategy to get yourself to safety. In addition, follow any safety advice from others if you have access to a radio or cell phone.
5. Give yourself positive encouragement
As you make your way to safety, keep telling yourself that you will make it and that you will survive. In addition, continue thinking of something positive to reduce your anxieties. It is important that you do not panic as you make your way to safety.
6. Educate yourself on surviving a disaster
Talking to a mental health counselor is a great way of finding ways to manage your fears when a disaster strikes. If you live in an area that is prone to certain disasters, educate yourself on what you should do if something happens. Being prepared could mean the difference between life and death.
Stan Popovich is a Penn State graduate and the nationally known anxiety author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear”— an easy-to-read overcoming anxiety book that’s helped thousands of people to confidently manage their persistent fears and anxieties. Stan has over 20 years of personal experience in dealing with fear and anxiety. For more free mental health advice visit Stan’s website at managingfear.com and read Stan’s articles and his blog. The above is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Mr. Popovich is not a medical professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here.