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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > August 2019 > Define and dial it down PANIC

Define and dial it down PANIC

Why do we find ourselves feeling totally overwhelmed, seemingly out of the blue, and how can we return to equilibrium?

Certain situations stress us out, bring us to tears, or make our blood boil with rage. Usually, it’s perfectly clear why we’ve reacted that way. But what about those occasions where some of us experience such an utterly overwhelming sense of panic that it genuinely feels like we might die? That, according to Joshua Fletcher, psychotherapist and author of Anxiety: Panicking About Panic (CreateSpace, £8.99), is all down to our nervous system. ‘There are two sides to our nervous system: the sympathetic nervous system, which makes us feel on edge and stressed, and engages our ight-or-light stress response; and the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the sympathetic system,’ he explains. ‘The parasympathetic nervous system is activated when you rest, do something that you enjoy, eat well, or meditate.’ In short, when you panic, the sympathetic takes over.

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About Healthy Magazine

Introducing the brand new healthy! We’ve got a fresh new look and have spruced up our content, including challenging new franchises, a dedicated vegan section and inspiring real life stories. Our central theme this issue is mental wellbeing – a challenge that doesn’t seem to be getting any easier, even as we are getting better at talking about it. Hopefully our ‘safe space’ is just that – somewhere you can explore and develop your own mental health. We’ve also investigated the gender disparity in football, explored the growing (though illegal) trend of microdosing, and chatted to chef turned wellness advocate Lorraine Pascale about her own mental wellbeing journey. Plus, we’ve brought in an expert panel to review all our content, ensuring you’re getting the very best and latest health, fitness, food, beauty and wellness advice. Find all this and more in the new issue of healthy