The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. – Franklin D Roosevelt
Unfortunately, one of the ripple effects of a traumatic event, is anxiety and fear. When we have experienced or witnessed an event which has threatened our life or safety, or that of others around us, it can lead to feelings of intense helplessness and uncertainty.
We may experience:
- Re-living the traumatic event – We may experience intense emotional or physical reactions, such as sweating, heart palpitations or panic when reminded of the event.
- Being overly alert or wound up – We may experience sleeping difficulties, irritability and lack of concentration, becoming easily startled and constantly on the lookout for signs of danger.
- Avoiding reminders of the event – We may deliberately avoid activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings associated with the event because they bring back painful memories.
- Feeling emotionally numb – We may experience a loss of interest in day-to-day activities, or feel cut off and detached from friends and family, or feel emotionally flat and numb.
These thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming, and in order to heal these wounds, I have found we need to face these feelings honestly. We need to accept and tolerate these feelings, and to express and release them over time.
Find a quiet place to sit.
Place the palm of your hand on your stomach and the other hand over your heart. Begin breathing slowly and deeply.
Notice how your breath calms you and connects you.
Allow your feelings to be present.
Feel them rise up and breathe them out deeply.
Notice how the intensity passes when you allow yourself to breathe deeply.
Connect to the stillness around you. Allow your fears to release.
May everyone affected by the tragedies in Paris, find peace.