Paris Terrorist Attacks: 5 Ways to Face Your Worst Fears

This weekend 129 people were killed by terrorist attacks in Paris, France with 80 seriously injured. The certainty of whether other attacks are imminent either there or in our own homeland is unclear, however, we were still gripped by the same emotions we felt on 9/11: terror, disbelief, sorrow and fear.
As we see terrorist attacks escalating in our world such as those in France, Beirut or the downing of the Russian jetliner that killed over 200 people, some may feel a sense of impending doom or increased anxiety. Questions like “am I safe or how do I explain this to my children,” are all being asked. We trust in our nation’s leaders to keep us safe and hope that they will continue to do so. Meanwhile, to help lessen any fears you may experiencing, it is important to engage in healthy ways to face your worst fears.

5 Ways to Face Your Worst Fears

1. Stay Present Focused. Focus on the main tasks you have to do as you go about your day. Life, work or kids doesn’t stop. Make note of each accomplishment or task.  Give yourself a reality check by asking simple questions of which the answers you give will help to settle your mind: “Are my kids safe in their school, am I safe in my workplace?”

2. Limit the News or Social Media. Remember how we saturated ourselves with the news after 911. If you do so you will overstimulate your mind and might unintentionally increase your anxiety level. Turn the TV or radio off and put on some soothing music. Put your phone down and don’t respond to every twitter feed or Facebook post.

3. Process Your Fears With Those You Love. Talking to your spouse or a trusted friend who can help to give your comfort or reassurance helps.

4. Act In A Way to Make A Difference. Many feel helpless in times like these. Although you may not be able to do much to help the victims, you can do something to help others in need. Give blood, donate to the Red Cross or a local charity, volunteer, and give support to a military family.

5. Pray. During times of unbelievable tragedy whether it be a terrorist attack or a horrific earthquake one of our first responses can be to pray, for the victims and their families, that the hearts of those who want to do evil be changed and for God to bring good out of sorrow. Doing so gives us an immediate connection with people in our world who are in pain.

If you find that you are still experiencing symptoms such as sleeplessness, flooding of negative thoughts, shortness of breath or an unwillingness to engage in your normal every day activities, you may need additional help to overcome your anxiety. TLC has trusted therapists who are experts at helping those with anxiety or panic symptoms. Feel free to call 407-248-0030 to schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation.

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Author: Lyris Steuber, MA, LMFT is a Lake Mary Marriage Therapist & Couples and Individual Counselor with Total Life Counseling Center. Total Life Counseling Center specializes in marriage and families and our experts can be reached at (407) 248-0030