How Meditation Helps After Tragedy Strikes
Today is September 11, 2017. This date already has huge significance as it is the anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States when many lives were lost and families were destroyed. It’s an event that created anxiety and stress for not just Americans, but for millions across the world. It will be a day we will never forget or stop mourning.
But today, on top of that horrific memory, thousands of people are also suffering the wrath of Hurricane Harvey and Irma as they try to access the damage, rebuild, and get some normalcy back into their lives. And although people are coming together to help those suffering, sadly, just when things start to become “normal” again, the underlying political divisiveness that existed prior to these events will most likely rear its ugly head and create more anxiety and stress in our lives.
And lets not forget the wrath of cyber attacks. The cyber attack against the United States election is still under investigation and on top of all that, Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, recently released an announcement that a cyber attack exposed the social security numbers and personal information of up to 143 million people in the United States, Canada, and the UK.
It all makes you want to SCREAMMMMMMMM! And you know what? That’s OK.
As the meditation manager at SoVital, I am feeling the same way and decided to write this post in an effort to somehow offer hope and guidance on how to cope and feel in control when the world seems so out of control.
Whatever You’re Feeling is OK: Let it Out!
This is a crazy time. People are anxious, stressed, angry, sad, or all of the above. Just realize that these emotions are real and part of the human condition. Whatever you’re feeling is OK and you just need to sit with these feelings to make sense of what is going on around you. There is great relief in just putting your feelings out there, whether by talking to loved ones or writing them down in a journal or scrap of paper you find on the floor. You don’t have to put on the brave face, bottle everything up, and soldier on. If you want to cry…just cry. If you want to scream…scream. You’ll be surprised by the guttural physical and emotional relief you’ll feel by just “letting go” of what you’re feeling.
I can’t express how the power of meditating can help during times like these. And even if this is something foreign to you, just trying to find some time to sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breath for as little as 10 minutes may be enough to help calm your nerves and give you the strength you need to take the next step to pulling yourself up and out of whatever you are suffering. Obviously, as a meditation manager, this is my “go to” when I need to find clarity, solace, or healing. I meditate regularly, but go a little deeper when going through a particularly difficult time and it has always helped me feel better.
Pray for Guidance
If you are religious and prayer has always been there for you, then continue to pray. Just like meditating, it provides you with the opportunity to sit silently, calm your body and mind, and seek the guidance or direction you need to be able to move forward both mentally and emotionally.
Move Your Body
Wherever you are, if you are physically able, just get your body up and move. Walk around. Do jumping jacks, squats, or pushups if space is an issue. Whatever it is to get your blood flowing and the feel good hormone serotonin coursing through your body will help lift your mood and spirits as you face whatever it is you’re facing.
This may sound crazy if you’ve just lived through a hurricane, but the point is…you lived! Be Grateful! Even in times like these, there are things that you can be grateful for. Is your family OK? Were you able to save your pets? Does your house only need minor repairs? Do you have a network of friends and family that will hold you up and help you through whatever you’re experiencing? Are there organizations and counselors available to offer assistance in what you need? You may have to dig deep on this one, but if you can find three things you’re grateful for and repeat them to yourself everyday it might help make this time a little more bearable.
Remember, This Too Shall Pass
I know this is also another thing that is hard to believe and probably annoying to hear if you’re in the thick of a tragedy and I totally understand. But, the reason I included this is…it’s true. Think of how many times in your life you were devastated by something or someone and thought it was the end of the world. We’ve all been there. But somehow, you were able to crawl your way out of that dark place to see the light again. Just remembering how you did this in the past will help you realize that you can do it again now.
Hopefully the advice above will help you through this difficult time. Know that loving kindness is closer than you think if you just ask. Reach out to your family and friends and whomever you need to, to rebuild your life, whether it be physically, mentally, or emotionally.
On behalf of SoVital, we’d like to let you know that we are sending loving kindness your way to help you with whatever tragedy you are dealing with. Stay strong! You’ve got this!
Have you used meditation to cope with tragedy? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.