Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer
  • For Medicare
  • For Providers
  • For Brokers
  • For Employers
  • Search
  • For Individuals & Families:
  • For Individuals & Families:
  • Shop for Plans

    Shop for Plans

    • Plans through your employer
    • Learn about the medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral, and voluntary benefits your employer may offer.
    • Explore coverage through work
  • Log in to myCigna
  • Log in to myCigna
  • Shop for Plans

    Shop for Plans

  • Member Guide
  • Find a Doctor
  • Home Knowledge Center Coping with Anxiety and Fear of Terrorism and Violence

    Coping with Anxiety and Fear of Violent Attacks and Terrorism

    Offering some coping strategies if you are feeling increased fear.

    Sometimes it seems like the world is becoming an increasingly dangerous place. We hear about bombings in public places, random shootings, and other reports of unpredictable, senseless violence against innocent people. It’s made us more aware of our vulnerability. Our fears are renewed with each report of yet another violent attack.

    As a result, many of us have increased anxiety and fear as we go about our daily lives. If this sense of fear is ongoing, it can make it difficult to concentrate at work. It can result in stress-related illnesses and affect our quality of life.

    Below are some coping strategies if you are feeling increased fear as a result of violence being discussed in the media or happening in your community. Those who have been directly impacted may want to seek professional help or support services. These services can be accessed through your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Check with your employer or human resources department for more information.

    How to Cope with Anxiety and Fear of Terror

    • Understand what is being done to protect your community. The more we know about the danger, the more effective steps we can take to help minimize our risk. Make sure that you are getting your information from a reputable source, such as the Department of Homeland Security. Be sure to follow all directions from state and local authorities, including law enforcement.

    • Be aware, but not fearful. Awareness—paying attention to your surroundings, and noticing anything unusual about people and their behavior—is helpful. Being constantly fearful is not helpful. It can actually limit awareness. Fear is a focus on what could happen, which can leave you less aware of what is happening. A sudden feeling of fear is an important clue that something may be wrong. If you are always fearful, that sudden feeling can’t emerge as a clue.

    • Focus on what you do have control over. The images we see, the stories we hear, and our own thoughts about violence can increase our anxiety. The average person may believe there is little they can do to avoid potential violence. While we can’t control the bigger picture, we can control things in our own lives that might reduce our risk of being victims. For example, you might develop a safety plan for you and your family. You could discuss how to react in the face of danger and how to seek shelter.

    • Balance your thoughts. When feeling overwhelmed by tragic events, it’s hard see the good in the world. Try to balance feelings of pessimism by remembering the people and times in your life that have been positive and comforting. Recall times in history when change has happened for the better. Finding this balance can broaden how you see the world. This can be empowering and give you courage during a difficult time.

    • Minimize your exposure to news media. Once you have gotten the facts, don’t keep watching replays of events. While it’s important to stay informed, constant exposure may add to feelings of distress. Try to give yourself a break from the tragedy and thoughts and feelings stirred up by emotional news stories.

    • Maintain a normal routine and lifestyle as much as possible. This encourages us to feel normal by acting normal.

    • Allow your feelings. If you notice that you are having strong feelings, acknowledge them. Don’t try to ignore or deny them. It may be helpful to talk about your fears or concerns with people who support you. We get emotional support by giving voice to and sharing our concerns.

    • Feeling physically strong can help you feel emotionally strong. Make sure you get enough rest. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise and being physically active can reduce stress. Avoid alcohol and drugs.

    • Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. These can help you get control over the physical symptoms of anxiety.

    Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is Here to Help

    For many people, the strategies mentioned above may be enough to cope. However, at times an individual may have difficulty managing intense reactions. If this is the case, you can call your EAP and ask for a consult. You will be connected to a trained mental health professional. You can then discuss a plan for moving forward and learning more coping skills. It’s important to reach out and get help if you feel fear is interfering with your daily life. Check with your employer or human resources department for more information.


  • Trauma
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • This material is provided by Cigna HealthcareSM for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical/clinical advice. Only a health care professional can make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment plan. For more information about your behavioral health coverage, you can call the customer service or the behavioral health telephone number listed on your health care identification card.

    I want to...
  • Get an ID card
  • File a claim
  • View my claims and EOBs
  • Check coverage under my plan
  • See prescription drug list
  • Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility
  • Find a form
  • Find 1095-B tax form information
  • View the Cigna Healthcare Glossary
  • Contact Cigna Healthcare
  • Audiences
  • Individuals and Families
  • Medicare
  • Employers
  • Brokers
  • Providers
  • Secure Member Sites
  • myCigna member portal
  • Health Care Provider portal
  • Cigna for Employers
  • Client Resource Portal
  • Cigna for Brokers
  • The Cigna Group Information
  • About Cigna Healthcare
  • The Cigna Group
  • Careers
  • Newsroom
  • Investors
  • Suppliers
  • Third Party Administrators
  • International
  • Evernorth Health Services
  • Cigna Healthcare. All rights reserved.
  • Privacy
  • Terms of Use
  • Legal
  • Product Disclosures
  • Company Names
  • Customer Rights
  • Accessibility
  • Non-Discrimination Notice
  • Language Assistance [PDF]
  • Report Fraud
  • Sitemap
  • Washington Consumer Health Data Privacy Notice
  • Cookie Preferences
  • Disclaimer

    Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT). The Cigna Healthcare name, logo, and other Cigna Healthcare marks are owned by The Cigna Group Intellectual Property, Inc.

    All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna Healthcare sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of Arizona and New Mexico.

    Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna Healthcare website. Cigna Healthcare may not control the content or links of non-Cigna Healthcare websites. Details