Swine Flu Anxiety


If the economy isn’t enough to give you agita (see my earlier post), then all the press about swine flu might do the trick.

Let’s recall the basics of anxiety: something bad, we’re not sure just what but it’s bad, may happen in the future and there’s nothing we can do about it. I discussed this in the third post in this series, last October. More formally stated, Wikipedia has it that “Anxiety is a generalized mood state that occurs without an identifiable triggering stimulus. As such, it is distinguished from fear, which occurs in the presence of an external threat.”

If you’ve been following along, those two sentences give a key to one of the ways to deal with anxiety. That is, turn anxiety into fear. We should get as specific as we can about the nature of the threat and then do what we can to prepare for it. After that, get on with your daily life, stop ruminating about the potential threat, enjoy the Spring.
In that vein, here are links to the most recent and reliable information I could find about swine flu.

In addition to the tips on what to do in those articles, here are some recommendations for general emergency preparedness.

Now, turn off the TV and do a bit of light exercise. Then make plans to go out and have some fun. And remember to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night and eat a sensible diet. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and other drugs.

Long term stress suppresses the immune system. So by following these steps, you can reduce your stress levels and maintain a healthy immune system just in case you need it later.