Handling the Horrors and Stress from the Navy Yard Shooting Attack

by Dr. Kathleen Hall
s.e.l.f care, navy yard shooting

What on Earth is going on? Monday’s Navy Yard shooting sent many people in the nation into new levels of shock. Why is this happening; and only days after the 9/11? Did we not learn anything from the Fort Hood shooting in 2009? Have we spawned angry copycats in the U.S. who are resorting to guns and violence to make a social and political statement?

The events of the Navy Yard shooting does not only affect the gunmen and the victims. This terrifying incident will haunt the survivors of the shooting rampage, the community, victims’ families and friends and finally, the rest of the world that watched this event unfold.

While we wait for more details to come out about the shooter(s), many of us are going through survivor’s stress, guilt, and grief. Without properly dealing with and managing this level of stress and pain, physical symptoms like headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and heart disease can manifest themselves. Please take a moment to stop and consider the following stress and grief tips.

  • Talk about it. Share your feelings with others to reduce stress. Releasing these feelings through communication will help you cope.
  • Surround yourself. Spend time with family and friends enjoying the emotional support bonds bring.
  • Limit your exposure. After living through it, you do not need to relive it. Avoid images of the disaster as well as 24-hour news channels that play the footage again and again.
  • Busy yourself. Anchor yourself and your mind in any activities you enjoy. Keep your mind busy with reading, watching movies or get yourself moving by taking a walk or going for a run.
  • Take care of yourself. Utilize our S.E.L.F. care methods and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will make you more anxious and depressed. Browse our site for articles on S.E.L.F. care.

We are all shocked and filled with sadness for the victims and their families. If you need more information on managing survivor stress or grief, please email me at kahall@mindfullivingnetwork.com.

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