Saturday, April 20, 2013

We will endure. Six ways to handle trauma

The grueling images from the Boston massacre tore at my heart and haunted my dreams.
Tearful people sat in my office and talked about their shredded sense of security:
" I am afraid to go to my classes, the movies, the Mall". I heard it many times over this past week.

The fact is that "evil" has always existed in the world and our abilities to predict or stop it leave much to be desired. What is magnificent ,however, is our species' ability to persevere and thrive in spite of it. So here is what I would suggest:

  1. Turn off the TV and turn on music. Repeated exposure to traumatic news is retraumatizing  and   sets off negative thinking patterns. Music calms the emotional brain centers.
  2. Go out with friends or family and have a fun time. Laughter is a natural antidepressant.
  3. Do some exercise: walking, bicycle, yoga... Endorphins is another natural antidepressant.
  4. Be with nature: the ocean, the parks, your garden. Nature heals.
  5. Pick a task, no matter how big or small, from your To Do List and finish it today.
  6. Spoil yourself. The iPad, new phone, the manicure you had wanted, GO for it. Terrorists want to reduce us to miserable recluses and destroy our way of living because they are losers and jealous of our successes. Fight back. Reaffirm life.
We can not totally avoid evil or crisis, but we can control how we handle them. We have and we will endure.

And of course if trauma symptoms continue see a psychologist. We are here to help.

No comments: