with Anxiety During High Risk Terrorist Alerts
Fear and anxiety are normal human reactions to a perceived
threat or danger. However,
such uncertainty is manageable if people keep the threat
offers the following advice on how to live with the fear
and anxiety caused by the recent increased alert:
yourself about the potential danger. Facts are frequently
less frightening than rumors and myth.
If television or other news reports significantly increase
feelings of anxiety and helplessness, don’t watch
or read them; you don’t need to know every last
detail. Television news of violence can be frightening
to children, especially when it is viewed repetitively.
Find ways to distract yourself from thinking about the
potential for harm. Get involved in an activity that
you can control: work in the garden, clean the basement,
do volunteer work, take up an old hobby, take a “time
out” and go to the movies or a play.
Take advantage of the weekends to refuel. A day or so
away from normal routine—whether spent at home
or on a weekend getaway — breaks the cycle of
preoccupation with disaster.
Talk about your anxiety with family or friends; avoid
When you find yourself worrying about the unknown, mentally
change the subject.
Avoid or at least minimize alcohol and caffeine intake;
caffeine can add to “the jitters,” and both
Get regular exercise.
If you smoke, don’t increase your tobacco consumption.
While it may seem to ease anxiety in the short run,
increased smoking poses significant long-term health
If you are uncontrollably fearful and preoccupied with
the threat of harm to the extent you cannot continue
your daily activities, you should consider talking to
your physician or a mental health professional. Symptoms
that indicate a need for a medical evaluation include
but are not limited to:
Changes in eating and sleeping habits;
problems: stomach upsets, back and neck aches, headaches;
Inability to focus or concentrate on the task at
Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities;
Extreme fear of leaving your home.