Stress of Holidays and Work

December 8, 2010 Peter Zawistowski

Work plus the holidays, especially Christmas and New Years Eve, put more stress on you and your mind than any other scheduled times of the year. One of the more common stress-related problems is panic attacks. panic-attack-womanPanic attacks are produced when panic deceives the brain into thinking there is an imminent danger. You could be standing at the outer edge of your company's Christmas party (or any party) and wham! The panic switch turns on. Every system in your body, from your heart to your sweat glands, kick into emergency mode. As the robot in the old Lost in Space tv show would say: “Danger Will Robinson, Danger”.

How to Manage Panic Attacks

Overcoming panic attacks takes a plan of response and your belief in:

  1. An opposite force, just as powerful as the emergency response. It is called the calming or relaxation response. Learn how to use it.
  2. Trusting your body to perform its role during the crisis. Blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, all can be controlled by the calming response versus the emergency response.
  3. Knowing when panic switch clicks on, you can click it off.

These steps may sound too easy, these are not cures for panic attacks but learned responses to counter the panic attacks. When an emergency response, for whatever the reason, finally shuts down, new sets of signals, the calming response, is sent to all parts of the body. Heart and lungs are told to slow down. Blood pressure is lowered and oxygen being consumed is reduced, as well as other bodily functions become more regulated.

By focusing the mind on calming, comforting images and thoughts, breathing slowly and deeply, you can be assured that change will take place in the body. There is a sense of ease. This is different than “relax and you will feel better.” Calming takes an effort, concentration on the relaxing thought. Whether that thought be a mountain stream trickling over rocks or seeing images of faces in the clouds. Next blog, I will go more into calming responses.

What is your calming response? Do you have one?

APA Reference
Zawistowski, P. (2010, December 8). Stress of Holidays and Work, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 20 from

Author: Peter Zawistowski

Leave a reply