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Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic!

Monday, October 13th, 2008 Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic!

The credit crunch is now really biting. The fastest epidemic is sweeping the globe at a rapid pace raising blood pressure, and causing a mass of fear and anxiety. But studies show that the fear can be averted. As reported in The Times (11 10 08).

Worry is a natural commodity but our primitive fear-driven flock instincts are to blame for spreading social anxiety and severe unease. Philip Corr of Swansea University argues “Uncertainty is more difficult to deal with than bad news. If you lose your house, your job, it’s tragic, but then you have a concrete problem to address,” he says. “If you are faced with higher interest rates, large fuel bills, rising food costs and the worry of what is going to happen in the next few months - that can have a catastrophic effect on people.”

Fear manifests and becomes corrosive as we exchange even larger quantities of worry with each other, thus compounding the problem. The human brain spots fearful expressions faster than any other emotion. It has also been established that humans can smell fear.

Furthermore, as Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, explains, the presence of anxiety heightens the intensity of people’s emotional interactions so that those who feel threatened and anxious are especially prone to catching other people’s anxiety and then passing on more of it. Again the suggestion of creating more of a problem emerges.

Staying calm is crucial, exercise, build a sense of community. Some suggest keep a gratitude journal so we can focus on the positives during the day instead of the stresses.

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