September 10, 2018

Recovering From Trauma - Do What You Can

A Film by Bill Benenson & Gene Rosow. More at DIRT! The MovieVideo from KarmaTube

Feeling overwhelmed? If so, that would not be surprising. Ecocide is hard to watch. It is natural that one would feel a little PTSD'd, especially if one is predisposed to being sensitive to such things.

Mental health workers tell us that watching disasters can cause serious stress and other problems. What is happening to our Earth is like watching multiple slow motion disasters all occurring at the same time.

Repeated exposure can render one feeling helpless and hopeless. These are not emotional states conducive to getting things done. They can be paralyzing, making one feel even more powerless to do anything constructive, or even cope with the deluge of bad news.

Thankfully, our human heritage has made us incredible resilient. Recovering from traumatic stress is completely possible. 

Here are a few ways to make recovery happen, and return to a balanced, active and joyful state.

Recovering From Trauma

Minimize media exposure. It is harder to heal if you are constantly exposed to new nasty stuff.

Accept your feelings. They are real.

Take positive action. Even small actions can make a big psychological difference. Helping others and/or the environment is a soothing mental salve.

Get moving. Get your heart rate up. Several short bursts of exercise are as good as one longer session.

Reach out to others for support. Visiting NBA is recommended for mutual support - we've got your back.

Make relaxing a priority. If you don't make time for it, it won't happen. Being out in nature is a great natural stress reliever. If you can't be out in it, open a window, or hang a bird feeder where you can see it. Viewing videos and pictures of nature's beauty is also good.

Eat a healthy diet. We recommend fresh, plant based foods that are high in prana, or chi.

Seek help. If feelings of anxiety, numbness, confusion, guilt, and despair don't diminish by six weeks, you may need more focused help.

Another thing you can do to relieve negative feelings is to watch the wonderful video above. You may not be able to do everything to fix things, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything. 

We may not be able to control what happens to the world, but we can control our response to it. We can only do what we can, which is always better than doing nothing. 

Thank you to Terri for emailing us the link to this uplifting video. 

About the video: 

"When confronted with adversity, when the odds are stacked up against you, you can either stand aside - helpless, frozen with fear - or do the best you can.  
Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai stood up to seemingly insurmountable challenges all her life, and won. Like the hummingbird in this story; to give up was never an option for her.  
Her spirit lives on in the millions of trees she helped plant."


  1. What a wonderful post. I think my mothers death added more trauma to my life than I realized. Thank you.

    1. Sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose a parent.

  2. Being overwhelmed seems like my new normal. I will remember the hummingbird and know that I am doing the best I can.

    1. Marla,

      Everything we do matters. There is satisfaction in knowing one has done one's best.

    2. Anonymous9/19/2018

      "There is satisfaction in knowing one has done one's best." That statement speaks volumes. I find I am better able to deal with all the negative stuff going on around all of us just by being pro-active. Since you can't change the world you have to go through everyday doing all the things you know will help the planet and the living beings on it. It's hard to be overwhelmed with helplessness when you're cooking all your food from scratch (and for those people gardening as well - yay!), sewing your own clothes (or for those who don't sew - buying at thrift stores), doing as much home upkeep as you can manage, saving money by not buying things you really don't need and making do with what you have. Recycling, daily exercise, reading fiction and non fiction books, putting on more clothes when it's cold and being less active with the blinds closed all day when it's hot - the list is endless and if we focus on all those things we do all the time we should be able to block out the feelings of fear. Getting on with the business of living is empowering. Deva

  3. I think we can all of us only do our best...a small but committed group of hummingbirds :) what's the alternative? Stand by and do nothing? Uh uh. That's not for me. The future isn't bright but I'll be damned if I'm going to sit back like a sloth.
    Also, if you look at it from a certain angle, knowing what's coming can make you relax a little and really focus on things that really matter. Which aren't things at all, but people :)

    1. Karen,

      Passive inaction is what has brought us to this point. If each of us does a little, a lot can be accomplished.

  4. Gosh, I thought I had commented here, but I guess not. I love Wangari and this video, so much encouragement here. Wangari won a Noble Peace Prize. I sometimes feel like my life is so difficult, then I see others like Wangari with so much more to carry and somehow are able to do so much good in the world. Little repeated actions can make a difference. I wanna be like the hummingbird.


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