Hi there my beautiful lovelies! Hope you guys are doing well and staying safe. Since May 14, 2022, 35 people have traumatically lost their lives in three different mass shootings. What has been the most traumatic was the death of 19 children. For one, I have been crying every time I see the news and have trouble sleeping. I have been dealing with sadness, anger, and even overwhelming fear. However, I am using mindfulness to address my trauma. Today, I will share with you some tips on the use of mindfulness to address the trauma of mass shootings.
Trauma and How It Affects Us
As explained by the minful.org website, approximately 60% of North Americans experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Some of these individuals may go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition marked by intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to a traumatic experience that lasts long after the traumatic event has ended. These types of trauma have a negative impact on our brains. Human and animal studies find that traumatic stress is associated with decreased volume in the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, and left amygdala; brain regions that are highly sensitive to environmental threats.
Mindfulness To Deal With Trauma
Studies have shown that higher levels of dispositional mindfulness are associated with fewer concurrent PTSD symptoms in survivors of natural disasters, victims of sexual abuse or assault, and firefighters. Other studies looking at veterans have shown that mindfulness can help mediate the negative mental health effects of trauma. Additionally, a meta-analysis of 18 studies compared the effects of mindfulness-based interventions to those of a randomized control group in reducing the psychological symptoms of traumatic stress and PTSD. This study included data on 1,219 participants. Researchers found that individuals who participated in the mindfulness-based interventions demonstrated significantly lower levels of PTSD symptoms following treatment than various control group members.
Simple Techniques To Practice Mindfulness
Follow these simple techniques offered by verywellmind.com to practice mindfulness.
- Find a comfortable position either lying on your back or sitting. If you are sitting down, make sure that you keep your back straight and release the tension in your shoulders. Let them drop.
- Close your eyes.
- Focus your attention on your breathing. Simply pay attention to what it feels like in your body to slowly breathe in and out.
- Now bring your attention to your belly. Feel your belly rise and expand every time you breathe in. Feel your belly fall every time you breathe out.
- Continue to focus your attention on the full experience of breathing. Immerse yourself completely in this experience. Imagine you are “riding the waves” of your own breathing.
- Anytime that you notice your mind has wandered away from your breath (it likely will and this is completely normal!), simply notice what it was that took your attention away and then gently bring your attention back to the present moment—your breathing.
- Continue as long as you would like!
You can also watch the following that will help you with a quick guided mindfulness-based meditation to deal with stress:
The trauma of mass shootings has become a common part of our lives. Sadly, unless we take action and remove lawmakers who don’t care about the mass shooting issues and hide behind NRA and mental health, I am afraid we will continue to face this trauma. However, let us use mindfulness to be more resilient, and help us with the mental strength to get back our voice through our votes.
Please comment below as to how are you dealing with the trauma of mass shootings? I would love to hear your feedback. Please let me know what topic you want me to cover next.
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