Our fears

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Paris to pay tribute to the victims of last nights' horrific attacks

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.   –  Franklin D Roosevelt

Source: http://www.epa.eu/photos

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.

A Meditation

 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.

33 thoughts on “Our fears

  1. Yes, breathing like this helps.
    But it is so much more than Paris. Syria. Beirut. Every day in our world there is some kind of terrorist attack. It is too overwhelming.
    Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. And love.

  2. Great tragedies and conflict often lead to great ideas and resolutions. The process is painful and so unfortunate. The outcomes, however, present greater hope and direction for a world seeking guidance and unification. My heart reaches out to all those people all over the world suffering during this time in our history.

  3. Very practical psychological traumatic stress symptoms to look for, as I think people are feeling things they might not expect. And then loving, meditative ways to deal with the feelings. Love and fear – such a fine line during times like these. You encourage people to choose love. Thank you.

  4. A wonderful post, as I think people again are faced with fear ~ potentially changing the way we go about our lives ~ but it does not have to be that way as your words say, meditating (and/or contemplating life) can bring us back to a place of peace. We carry on.

      1. Thanks Karen I do struggle with anxiety, especially at night, waking often and struggling to get back to sleep because I have an overactive mind. In the day its not as bad and I manage it with keeping busy.

    1. It is often at night in the silence, that we can face this anxiety. Just practising simple breathing exercises like alternate nose breathing, can really relax our mind and our busy thoughts.

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