In response to the inevitable fear and stress that people may be experiencing in the aftermath of this week’s violence in Boston, our friends at “Verily” magazine posted an excellent piece today by Amanda Fazzio called “Regaining Peace After the Boston Marathon Bombing.”
Here’s an excerpt:
When bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon this week, a coworker turned to me and said, “There’s going to come a time when people just stay inside.” Fear that we can’t go out in public, or enjoy life the way we once did, is a kind of terrorist aftermath that is wide reaching. As a native of a quiet, rural Connecticut town near Newtown, I –like so many people–became intimately acquainted with the feeling of fear that trauma could occur at any moment. But after the terrorism at Sandy Hook Elementary, I learned that terror and fear does not have to win out. There are steps we can take to regain a sense of safety and peace after tragedy.
1. Don’t focus on the horror. If you keep reliving it in your mind, you’re surrendering the battleground. Terrorists want to get inside your head and plant fear. Instead of dwelling on the pain and suffering of others, focus your mental energies on reaching out to those who are suffering. Nothing cures mental agony like action.
2. Read about good things people are doing in the aftermath. When terrorist events occur the media inundates us with all of the horrible details. Try to redirect your focus on the beautiful displays of human compassion and goodness that always surface after tragedy. For instance, immediately following the Boston Marathon explosion, Boston residents opened their homes to marathoners, creating a spreadsheet of addresses that went viral. Stories like this will remind you that the world is full of generous and good-willed people.
You should definitely read the whole thing.