Tip #98: How To Deal With Anxiety In The Wake Of A Terror Attack

Tip #98: Look for the best in the world, even when it seems like there’s only the worst.

The why: I write this post with the heaviest of hearts, emotionally exhausted and scared.

Last night my beloved city came under attack.

So far, seven innocent civilians have lost their lives, and 48 are seriously injured.

There are no words to describe the tragedy.

In the wake of all the madness, you can’t help but feel hopeless, helpless, lost and afraid.

For someone with anxiety, the very thought of leaving your house amongst the atmosphere of terror can send your mind into a panic.

The news tells us that danger is everywhere, politicians admit there is no way to prevent every attack. No road, place or time seems safe.

So what can we do in the face of such reckless hate?

Number One – Look For The Helpers

It is so easy to begin to believe that the world is only a bleak and dangerous place.

I refuse to believe that. I can’t believe that.

Whenever a tragedy like this occurs and the night seems that much darker, by sunrise you will always hear stories of heroics and helpfulness. Stories of a community standing together.

People offering beds, free rides home, fundraisers, cups of tea, anything to help the victims.

The brilliant doctors, paramedics, policemen and women who run towards the danger, not knowing whether this trip will be their last.

In times where the world seems lost, they are beacons of hope. Hope that the good in humanity is still there, still fighting, still emerging from the ashes of these atrocities.

There may always be people who seek to divide us, to kill us, to make us give up what we hold dear. But there will always be people who seek to unite us, to heal us, to make us remember why we carry on.

Look for the helpers, they will always come.

Number Two – Turn Off The News

It’s easy to be sucked into the news cycle. Endless stories and reports of death and destruction. We find it hard to look away.

This can cause a great anxiety within us.

It’s important to know our limits, and when we need to, switch it off when it gets too much.

Of course, we have a duty to be informed and to mourn the victims of these attacks, but we also have a duty to ourselves to keep our sanity.

It’s okay to unplug occasionally.

Number Three – Keep Doing What You Do

The only way that these monsters get to win, is if we give them what they want: division, fear, and to destroy our way of life.

As hard and fearful as it may be, it’s important to keep living your life. To be vigilant and prepared, but not let yourself get shut off from the world.

The more you stop going to events or places, the more your brain will associate the notion of leaving your front door with danger and fear. This can lead to a whole host of further anxiety and panic attacks.

Even if you start small, taking a walk, going to see friends for a drink in your local area, or going into a garden if you have one, it’s important to get outside.

Stay strong. Stay loving. Stay safe.

Number Four – Look After Each Other

Whether that’s checking in with a friend, giving a loved one a ring, giving money to a charity, giving someone a hug, go out and do something good today.

If we want to live in a society without hatred, without evil, without horrors, we need to begin to create it ourselves.

Now more than ever we need to stand up for our values; love, compassion, human rights, belief in the good of human beings.

Now more than ever, we need to stand together.

We need to show each other that there is hope, there is goodness, there is light in the world. We do that by being the best that we can be.

In the wise words of Doctor River Song: “Virtue is only virtue when there is nothing left.”

When it feels like there is no hope, no way out, no solution, if we can still be good, still do the right thing, then that is our victory.

So long as there are people, and there are many of them, who will always be kind, loving and peaceful, then the evil in this world never truly wins.

If we give up our goodness in the wake of these attacks, if we succumb to fear and hatred, then we have truly lost everything.

To the families of those who have lost loved ones, I am so truly sorry. No words can easily alleviate the suffering of grief. But we are standing with you, through it all.

To the people of London, I love you.

Today I vow to celebrate life, to leave my house, to go out anyway.

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