How to stop panic in its tracks

1 comment

I’m a pretty level-headed person, generally calm and composed. However, I panicked this summer on a road trip after losing GPS signal.

I had just finished walking in the mountains, two hours away from the airport. My flight was in four hours. I needed to return the rental car.

It was a beautiful day. I gave myself plenty of time.

After I keyed in the destination & pressed the ‘Directions’ button, the app simply circled with the word ‘loading …’. After a while, it came back & said: ‘the server appears to be offline’.

I restarted my phone & tried again. Same message.
I hopped onto another navigation app. Same message.
I restarted the phone one more time & tried again. Same message.

Now, I started panicking … … I was so prepared, but I didn’t expect the GPS to stop working. I almost cried.

We all panic from time to time. Even the best, prepared & most composed of us will encounter something unexpected. And we panic.

It’s only human.

The thing is, when we panic, our physiology mandates that fight & flight response to take over. Blood rushes from our fore-brain to our limbs so we can run or fight.

Physical prowess takes over. Mental ability takes a back seat. After all, our ancestors didn’t think their way out of approaching tigers.

Except, today’s world is a lot more complicated. The disasters that we encounter require a lot clearer thinking than when things are going well.

We need more blood in our brain, not less.

A simple way to bring more blood to the fore-brain is to place one hand over your forehead. Breathe deeply. Relax your shoulders & elbows.

Doctors have discovered that there are points on the head that help bring more blood to internal organs & muscles. They’re called neurovascular points. The bumps on your forehead above the eyebrows are some of those points.

Hold that position for several minutes. You’ll find the blood coming back to your forehead. You’ll find yourself less panicky and calmer.

And then, you can figure a way out of the mess you find yourself in.

Now you know this simple yet powerful tool. And it’s not enough that you know it. You won’t remember it when you panic, unless you take time to train yourself and get into the habit of using it.

To train yourself, set aside five minutes each day for two weeks. Sit comfortably. Recall a situation that made you panic or feel upset. Place one hand over your forehead and hold. Remember to relax & breathe deeply.

Once you build this muscle memory in your brain, you’ll remember to use this tool when you need it!

What made you panic in the last 3 months? What’s your experience when you place your hand over your fore-head while recalling this situation? Share with me in the comment box below.

Dr. Dan ZhouHow to stop panic in its tracks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *