Keep Calm
By: Sibendu Das / March 19, 2020

How to Keep Calm and Not Panic When Times Are Challenging

If you are losing control over what’s happening around you, always remember that you do have control over what’s happening within you. Etch that statement permanently onto your mind as that’s the key to keeping calm and not panic in times of distress.

Any disruption in life is usually met with panic — a little or a lot, depending on the individual. Even before we get started with the how’s of reducing panic, let’s begin with a good look at panic itself.

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What is panic? Well, it is a sudden, uncontrollable and intense fear or anxiety or discomfort… a fear of losing control or going crazy. What can you do to avoid panic? The first step is to recognise the fact that you are panicking, and accept it.

Once you acknowledge your panic, then it’s time to work on it.

How to switch the panic button off?

By slowing down. If possible, don’t react immediately. Step back and allow yourself some time to collect and process as much information as possible on the situation at hand. Correct information is necessary to avoid confusion. Clarity of vision comes only with the right information.

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Do not fall for rumours. Seek information from genuine sources. Do not rely on social media as your primary source of information. Ask a professional. Get help, if needed. Check the source of information before acting on it. Fake information is dangerous.

Be patient. Patience has always been a virtue, more so during tough times. And the easiest way to cultivate patience is to meditate.

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Disengage and look inwards. Listen to your inner voice. Deep dive into your being and do some soul searching. Let the guiding light come from within.

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Detach yourself from the immediate point of distress for a bit and try to see the situation as an outsider. When you step aside, you often notice the finer things that one tends to ignore when in the thick of things. If you find it difficult to mentally dissociate from the disruption, try diverting your mind by taking up a new hobby, engaging in some creative pursuit. While it is not advised to be in denial of the situation, too much of engagement is also detrimental to your mental health. Strike a balance.


Reconnect with nature, with yourself. Often, in the rat race of life, in the mindless pursuit of success, we fail utterly to appreciate the finer things in life. Take care of yourself before you take on the world.

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Pamper yourself with the little joys of life. Your mind has been fed enough of fear and anxiety by your surroundings. Now it is time to feed your mind with some healthy dose of happiness. Yes, do not feel guilty of indulging in the little pleasures of life just because the situation you are in is grave. Crack a few jokes while dining with the family, play a video game with your daughter, watch a comedy with your father, dress up as if there’s a party at home or simply bake a cupcake for yourself. Allow your mind the breathing space so as to deal with the challenging times with strength.

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Try and be positive. Practice gratitude. When you start noticing the little things in life that are adding to your happiness, you start feeling safer, more in control. That helps. Afterall, what are disruptions really for? Well, if you doze off at the steering wheel of life, distress and disruptions come at you like blaring horns only to shake you up from slumbering your way to a disaster. Recognise that and be thankful.

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