Natural disasters shake us in body (shock, heart rate and breathing), heart (anxiety, sadness and anger) and mind (confusion, pessimism and worry). We cannot control nature, but we can modify our mindset and behaviours. By learning to Bounce we can remain calm, focused and effective after the challenge.
For instructions on dealing with the immediate impact of a natural disaster, please visit the NZ Government’s GetThru website.
Common Reactions after a Disaster
After a natural disaster people often find themselves feeling confused, disengaged, withdrawn, vulnerable, distressed and even depressed. Even if you are not part of the action at ground zero, friends, family and loved ones all over the world will have these feelings.
Look at the emotions listed on the left hand side and discover actions you can take immediately to reduce your distress, and bounce back fast.
|Disengaged||Take a break|
|Distress||Calm yourself |
It is absolutely normal to be feeling many of these emotions after a natural disaster. The key is recognising how you are feeling and then taking action to Bounce.
Breath properly to induce calm
When you’re feeling stressed don’t take a deep breath – breathe out instead. Use the exhalation to calm and focus your mind.
Reframe negative emotions
Counter negative emotions with their positive opposite. This means that when you are experiencing any of the following negatives try to focus on feeling the emotional opposite. This exercise alone can shift your mindset instantly.
Anger > Compassion
Fear > Equanimity (calmness and composure)
Craving > Gratitude
Sadness > Rejoicing
Fatigue > Passion
- Listen to the news updates. If they are getting you down, turn them off (watch for updates via emergency internet sites).
- Stay in touch with loved ones. They will be worried and the facts are not always clear.
- If you have to and can, go for a holiday elsewhere (go visit friends in another city away from the drama to re energise yourself).
- Be prepared: practice safety drills, have clothes and cash ready, car filled with petrol and water/food in the car.
Learn more about Bounce
If you would like to learn evidence-based techniques to bounce back fast, we are providing you free-of-charge with the Bounce program from our RAPT Resilience Training.
Simply visit rapt.resiliencei.com and register using the access code: BounceBack16