(WGGB/WSHM) -- As the state slowly begins to reopen, doctors warn that many people may start experiencing panic attacks and anxiety.

This week began Phase 1 of the state's reopening plan. Next week, even more businesses will be getting the green light to reopen, but doctors are urging people to look out for signs that their anxiety levels may be heightened as they start to venture outdoors.

As restrictions across the Commonwealth are gradually lifted, some may have increased concerns about going to the store with more crowds or returning to work

“Most people should be able to function without being overwhelmed with anxiety,” said Dr. Barry Sarvet, chair of psychiatry at Baystate Health.

Sarvet told Western Mass News as people stop hunkering down, they may feel anxious, but if you feel incredibly overwhelmed, it could signal a bigger problem.

“There are many people who have an excessive degree of anxiety that's beyond what's realistic based on the risk,” Sarvet noted.

He said it’s normal to be worried during these uncertain times, but serious cases of anxiety could be harmful.

“Sometimes, people can become aggressive when they're overwhelmed with anxiety which can be dangerous,” Sarvet explained.

That can put yourself and potentially others at risk.

“They might tense up and it could be hard for them to do motor tasks or even driving can be dangerous if you're panicking,” Sarvet added.

There are things Sarvet recommended for anyone feeling even mild anxiety practice, including:

  • Mindful breathing exercises
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Meditation

Also, recognize when your feelings are becoming more severe.

“I think if people feel overwhelmed, if they're having panic attacks, that's a sign you should talk to a primary care provider as a first step,” Sarvet said.

Sarvet also recommended practicing enduring your anxiety by slowly starting to go out more frequently.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and weather.  Download the Western Mass News App

You can now get the latest Western Mass News headlines on Alexa.  Click here to activate the skill.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.