Shocking News – How to Minimise the Impact

At some point in your life, you receive news out of the blue that has the ability to instantly heighten all of your senses to the point of nausea, anxiety, sleep disorders, digestive changes and muscle tension causing pain.  Your body is in effect going through the exact same response of our ancestors' tens of thousands of years ago when under threat by a beast or natural disaster.  Its called the flight and fight response and how well you recover from the initial insult, will pave the way for the 'aftershocks' that are often in close succession.  Left unchecked the effects of shocking news can create more consistent adverse health problems such as depression, irritable bowel symptoms, stimulant dependancy, chronic insomnia and exacerbation of existing health problems including skin and respiratory conditions.  The key to thriving through and managing the impact is in the maintenance and support of your adrenal system and regular communication of your true emotional responses to your circumstances.

Here are my top ten tips for maintaining the internal 'control' over your instinctive responses and reducing the impact of shocking news:

1. When things are going well, acknowledge it and use that time to build your stress adaptation through regular exercise, healthy eating and balanced rest - restorative yoga is and excellent way to comfort your mind and body - certain poses will help to support your nervous and adrenal systems.

2. During the initial impact of the news, keep an eye on how you are breathing - naturally you will shallow breathe, so force yourself to deep breathe when receiving the news

3. Avoid using alcohol, food or recreational drugs to hide from the uncomfortable feelings you are experiencing - if you completely feel them, you will build emotional resilience to future events. Eat simple foods - even soups at this time is wise as it is easier to digest and absorb.

4. Consider using adrenal and nervous system focused herbal medicine to assist in the production of adrenal and mood supporting hormones. It is easy for the production of these to slow down leaving you exhausted and depressed over a period of continual insult.  It is recommended to consult a professional so that all considerations of combinining herbs and your current health responses and medication do not adversely interact with each other.

5.  Prioritise sleep and focus on making that an important part of your management approach. When your sleep is constantly interrupted, your other body systems will show health issues very quickly, so above all, do whatever you need to achieve regular refreshing sleep.  IF you have to resort to sleeping medication, give yourself a guilt break for a few weeks and commit to slowly weaning off with herbal/nutritional support when you are past the main impact period.  The herb Valerian can be helpful but consult a herbalist prior to self prescribing.

6.  If nausea and anxiety are occurring at the same time when you 'engage' mentally or emotionally in the event, there are a couple of excellent homeopathic solutions that can bring on the spot relief.  These can be used anytime you recall the event then start to feel queasy or panicky.

7.  Reduce your non essential commitments and just attend to the immediate priorities - this will leave you some room to allow extra relaxation and recovery. Let a few people you trust know what is happening so that they may be able to take up the commitment on your behalf.

8.  Absolutley seek some form of counselling support so that you can get skilled up on handling this and other up coming issues.  I personally find that this is crucial in breaking your own patterns of destructive thinking around an event which left unchecked, seem to hold you in a pattern of pain and fear.  This is an excellent way to free yourself from the issue emotionally and identify what you need to focus your attention on and off going forward.  Essentially it also helps you understand that the other person's motives (in the circumstances where personal attack is being perceived) aren't always a personal attack on you, but more an inability to manage their own boundaries and emotional responses.

9.  Be gentle on yourself and surrounding family members/friends - the situation is often hard enough on everyone - if you can be focused on softening the blow rather than resisting and rebelling against it (seeking retribution), you may not get everything you want out of the outcome, but you will be much healthier and happier in the end (and better equipped for next time shocking news comes your way).

10.  Avoid eating high sugar or processed foods (fast foods).  Your body is trying to produce pain and mood relieving endorphins - help it along with some 70%+ dark chocolate, protein rich foods, B vitamins and Magnesium as well as plenty of fresh filtered water.  Contact me for a list of foods in these groups or my Shock Management diet if interested.

Remember that even after the event, everytime you think back, remember, recall or repeat the event - your body starts the flight and fight response again, so keep these tips up until you no longer feel an emotional charge and are strong and resilient again.


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