Natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes, as well as disastrous events like car accidents, crime, and bad injuries can be extremely stressful, not only for those directly involved, but also for those left behind.
These events often leave you feeling helpless, your sense of security destroyed, leaving you feeling vulnerable and afraid. Whether or not you were directly impacted by the incident, it’s perfectly normal to experience some level of anxiety, fright, and uncertainty about the present and the future.
For the most part, these feelings slowly fade as the days and weeks go by, but some people will have problems returning to a normal life.
If this sounds like something you’re going through, try the following:
Don’t worry about getting better right away.
Different people have different ways of responding to trauma, so don’t believe you should feel better the next day or even the next week, not even if your neighbor or family member does. Remember, there is no such thing as a “correct” way of responding to an event, or dealing with your reactions and feelings.
Avoid dwelling on the event.
While there is technically no correct way of getting better after the disastrous event, it also doesn’t do any good do keep thinking about it. Dwelling on frightening and painful experiences will only serve to impede your recovery, overwhelming your emotions and making it difficult to think and act clearly.
Don’t ignore your feelings.
However, not obsessing over the event doesn’t mean completely ignoring it and the feelings it stirs up. Your emotions will always be there, whether you’re ignoring them or not. Similar to how crying often has a cathartic effect, you will ultimately feel better if you naturally allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling.
Talk to someone.
The reason therapists can work wonders is because they serve as a sounding board for people to vent their emotions. You can talk to a therapist, or your friends and family, about your feelings and fears. You’ll probably have a hard time expressing your thoughts, but it’s important to get them out, and as you talk it will become easier.
Bad things happen. Wishing that they didn’t or trying to forget that they didn’t, won’t make you feel better. By taking a few simple proactive steps and some help, you can learn to control your reactions and recover your life.