How to manage stress at home
It is proven that after a natural disaster, 40-50% of the people who survived it get nervous and scared.
It is normal reaction and goes away in time, but it may also grow in a panic disorder.
Panic disorders may also go away in time when a normal healthy person just "goes on with his life". Some people may need to be medicated for a while.
In all cases - you should not self medicate when a panic attack comes. If you try to use tranquilizers or sedatives in such a case - you may do more damage than help. Often after pill abuse - you need to take a course of antidepresants to recuperate your nervous system.
It is not an easy decision from your doctor to put you on pills and he will probably do it as a final measure if time and counseling does not help at all.
To get scared or panicked from a tornado, earthquake, fire, tsunami is normal human reaction. It is your life - threatened. The same reaction is triggered when a relative dies.
Drinking males may also feel the effect of panic attack after heavy alcohol abuse. Often the hangover mornings are triggering fears - sometthing wrong is happening to the body.
Blood pressure rises, the hearth thumps, cold smelly sweat chills the body, often an urge to go to the toilet accompanies the attack. A weaker person may also feel the need to empty his stomach... you get the picture.
Panic attacks may be dis-comfortable at best, but they alone cannot kill you.
However - having them few times per day may require medical attention.
How does a panic attack looks like?
Normally it goes for 10-15 minutes, with:
- High blood pressure,
- Elevated pulse and heartbeat,
- Breathing difficulties,
- Overwhelming fear.
All of this happens because specific stress hormones are injected in the bloodstream. Adrenaline and noradrenaline. They trigger a normal "fight or flight" response from the whole body.
Blood vessels constrict, so the oxygen enriches all tissues (especially muscles), heart rate goes faster, so more blood circulates to help eventual fight or quickly going away from danger. The skin perspirates rapidly, so the body is cooled from this strain.
Chill! It is normal.
It is a normal reaction to fright and you cannot control it willingly. People suffering from panic attacks should not be blamed for their condition.
People having attacks should visit a medical specialist, and if needed - take antidepressants. It is not something you should be ashamed from and taking pills does not make you crazy.
SSRI medications are not a threat. Very often a patient is ready to take any pill, but when you tell them to use antidepressants, they start to ask funny questions.
- No, you are not crazy.
- No, You will not gain fat. Exactly the opposite will happen.
- You will not have the heavily medicated and sedated expression.
- And, NO - You cannot get addicted to them.
Actually 80% of the people in the modern world (USA, Canada, Japan, Western Europe) are taking or have taken low doses of antidepressants in some stage of their life.
The stress, the higher expectations at work, kids, family issues - all have a punch at our heads and sometimes we crack. We don't need to be in deep depression to take low doses of antidepressants.
Actually the doses prescribed are a lot lower than the ones prescribed for deeply depressed and suicidal patients.
SSRIs and the other modern pills don't create addiction. Their mechanism of action has nothing to do with tranquilizers and sedatives. They don't make you happy and calm immediately. They recover your natural state in a month or two instead. They are often prescribed in 6 month programs with lowering the dosage in the end. You should never self medicate with tranquilizers and sedatives just to "have a good night sleep".
Share and unload.
Share you thoughts with your best friend or a trusted family member. This is the most simple and efficient way to unload.
If you are ashamed of your thoughts or don't think it is safe to share - Write everything on a paper sheet, read it loudly and then burn it.
This method helps you take control of your thoughts and apply some order in them.
Let yourself at least 1 hour per day under the blue sky with enough physical activity.
"No time because of work" is the most idiotic excuse - get up earlier, get off from the bus 2 stops earlier and walk the rest.
Stop the car 2-3 blocks away from office.
Walk the stairs instead of using the elevator.
If you are already physically active ... Warm bathtube works miracles on a bad mood and tiresome work day. (not suitable in hypertension and cardial illness suferrers)
Herbs good against stress.
The most widespread herbs around the globe are also best for battling stress:
- Valeriana root,
- St. Johns wort.
Have a cup of herbal tea before bed, sweetened just a bit.
Alcohol in small doses.
It is proven to help when you need to recover from a hard day. This is confirmed even by teetotalers and defendants of soberity.
In small doses, alcohol protects your heart but small doses are not easy. Drinking only 50 grams of alcohol per day may be a challenge.
If you are not sure you can stop with 50 grams only - don't start drinking. Overabusing alcohol is poisonous for the liver and has heavy impact on the whole body system.
You can replace them with a glass of wine or a pint of beer. It's basically the same.
Travel a bit. Alone.
- Grab a backpack. Take a hike. Small walk outside the city. On foot.
- Visit a friend in another city.
- Visit a relative.
Those small travels help collect your thoughts and put some order in your head.
Visit a spring resort or just go to a some place new.
Whatever change you do in your weekend routine will help you feel better.