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Panic is useless

Did you know that panic causes bad situations to become one hundred times worse? Once panic sets in, the problems will continue to get worse. During a natural disaster, this could and will cause more lives to be lost. These lives are the unnecessary ones that could have been saved if only we stayed calm.

Lightning storm

Let’s take a look at a smaller scale of panic. How about the panic that some have of thunderstorms. Some people will have panic attacks during such storms. This can be something that person may feel they have no control over. These panic attacks are very real and can cause very real bodily harm. Panic attacks like these can cause heart attacks if they are bad enough. I’m no doctor and have never claimed to be, but I do want to help these people to understand not only the physical damage, but also the mental damage these can cause.

First let’s examine exactly what panic is. Panic is the fear of something that is believed by the person or persons  to be beyond the person or persons control. The dictionary states panic as “To feel overwhelming fear.” Now I must ask, has panic ever helped in any situation? Of course not, so we must train ourselves not to have these overwhelming fears. Easier said then done I’m told, however the military has been training panic out our people from all walks of life for as long as there has been a military. How do they do this, you may ask? With training and more training. The mind can be trained to think beyond panic. This is by no means any kind of brain washing. This is simply looking at a situation with a different point of view.

I’m not suggesting that you join the military to solve your panic situations. This is not necessary. You can do this on your own if you just put a little thought into it. Let’s take our fear of thunderstorms as an example. If you have a fear of these and they bring you to a panic, ask yourself this, “Is my panic changing the way the thunderstorm reacts?” The answer to this is of course a big fat no! Okay, so is your panic over these storms causing you trouble? Well of course it is. You are allowing something you have no control over to harm you unnecessarily. You are hurting yourself physically and with allowing your brain to control you instead of you controlling your brain, you are actually hurting yourself mentally. You may not like these storms, you may even hate them and you are allowing them to beat you up and cause you harm for no reason at all. The thunder is going to boom, the lightning is going to crack and the rain is going to come. What are you going to do to stop it? Absolutely nothing! It’s going to happen if you like it or not. So why let the fear take over when it’s not going to help? If you want to help yourself, get indoors, close the windows and enjoy the light show and drums. There is something happening that is awesome to experience and you didn’t even have to pay admission. Not a band in the world is going to give you that kind of show for free.

I must add this before I decide not to, we all are caught off guard by panic sometimes in our lives. When we are caught, it depends how fast we can get ourselves back under control that counts. As a trained fire fighter, the one thing that I should never do is panic during a fire, but it happened to me once over something very small in size. When my wife and I had first moved in together, I had an episode that still bothers me and yet makes my wife laugh to this day. I was watching television, lounging on the couch while my wife was cooking dinner. Out of the blue, my wife very calmly said, “Scaggs, I have a fire.” She had a small grease fire on the stove. Instead of calmly getting up and putting out the fire, I jumped up, almost leaving my skin still on the couch and yelled, “where, what!” Then she looked at me with a small grin. This seemed to calm me down and I had the fire out in the matter of seconds by putting a pan lid on the pan. There was absolutely no rhythm or reason for my panic, but it did happened. I have seen alot of bad fires, but I panicked on a very small situation. Until I calmed down, I was making the situation worse. Once calm, all was well. So you see, sometimes even training can elude us. Don’t beat yourself up too badly over things like this. Just file these instances for future reference and don’t make the same mistake again.

Tornado

Let’s move on to natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. Is panic going to help during these things? No, not even close. If you panic, your setting yourself up to be one of the many that will be searched for when it’s over. The person who can put aside the panic and look for a way out, has the greatest chance of survival. Of course your going to be scared. You wouldn’t be human if you weren’t, but don’t use that when things are happening. When it all comes down, this is the time to use your brain for survival not for running in circles. When it’s over, that’s the time to get the shakes and let the tears flow. Don’t start out failing! Think survival not panic and you have a chance to see tomorrow. If you panic, chances are slim that you will survive.

So what is panic? Panic is not only fear but also failure. You have already quit on yourself before you have even given yourself a chance. As far as these panic attacks that come to some of you out of nowhere for no reason, there is a reason. You need to figure out why you are having these so you can move on to getting rid of them. Until you have overcome them, breath through them and ask yourself, “Is there a reason I’m doing this now?” It will help. Take care my friends and Remember, we are all in this together.

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Calm down supervisor

  I feel the need to write about supervisors and their health today. I have worked for a variety of people through my long working history and have seen many supervisors react to various situations. There are ones who take things as they come and others who go into full-blown panic mode.  To be a successful supervisor and also keep your health in good shape is a hard thing to do. I will be the first to stand up and say, if your health is deteriorating because of the job you hold, it’s time for a change. 

Now, I’m not suggesting you quit your job or step down from your position,  I’m saying you need to calm down and take one nightmare at a time. Having a heart attack because you are too stressed at work is no joke! Here is my suggestion,  if you work in a high stress position, then you need to prepare for it before getting to work. What do I mean? Okay here goes, I’m preparing to go to work, let’s say in the mining profession, I have one hundred people I am responsible for when I get there.

A woman with file in hand talking with her boss while he sits at his desk scratching his chin

Now, when working in the mines, equipment breaks, people get hurt and upper management wants more out of my crew than I can produce during my shift. Do you get the picture?

Firstly, let me throw this out there, keep home at home and work at work.  This will keep your family happy and keep your mind on your job. Now back to our mining job.

When you leave your house for work, you should go into work mode. Always leave one hour early in case of traffic, flat tire or weather. Also, leaving early will help you prepare for the nightmare that’s about to happen. When you get to the parking lot don’t go directly into work. This is your prepare time. I suggest you do not carpool if you are a supervisor. I know it saves gas and all but you need to prepare yourself without those that work with you taking away your focus. Now you are sitting in your car alone with the radio off. Just imagine the worst day that could happen today. Keep this going for half the time you have before you have to go into work. Did a piece of equipment break? Did you lose electricity or water or something else that is essential to the company? Did a person or persons you need there call off sick? Think of all these things happening today.

The other half of your time is imagining how you’re going to fix these problems. Did you find your solutions to each situation? Now you are prepared to go to work because you have a plan! If you go in and some or all of these things happen today,  it’s ok because you have already figured out how to cope with each situation. If you go in and none of these things happen, well then, you will have that fantastic day you have been waiting and wanting for a long time.

Always remember, when things do happen, deal with one nightmare at a time. If five employees are talking to you at once,  you can’t hear anything but noise.  Pick one employee to tell you their problem, and then move to the next person. Usually picking the calmest one is the best because it gives the others time to settle down before it’s their turn to talk.

I know it’s hard out there, and I feel for you, but you chose this job, so learn to work within your abilities and most of all keep your health. Your family needs you as much, if not more than your company. Be safe, healthy,  and deal with one nightmare at a time. Remember, we are all in this together.