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‘Every day brings some new trauma’: keeping calm in an anxious world

Dec 2nd, 2017 by

From Trump’s tweets to EU uncertainty and the threat of nuclear war, the stress-inducing headlines keep coming. Therapists share tips on how to cope

In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum and the US presidential election, it became common, on the losing side, to compare the experience to a death in the family. First came the punch to the gut, the thunderbolt of disbelief. Then came the days when you would find yourself going about your business as if nothing untoward had happened, only to recall, each time with a fresh wave of nausea, that it had.

In one major respect, however, this analogy has turned out to be wrong. By this point, following a “normal” bereavement, you might expect the process of recovery to be underway. The wound may never heal, but things reorder themselves around the injury and life moves on. To put it mildly, this is not how things seem to be unfolding on the leafy Greenwich Village block in New York where Paul Saks keeps his consulting room.

Before, we thought: ‘We’ll hang in and governments will sort things out.’ Now, it’s clear governments aren’t doing that

All this is greatly exacerbated by social media, which makes every new development, however minor, feel like a crisis

Once we can face the facts and channel our energies more wisely, we may be better placed to take the next critical step

Related: It’s good to talk about mental health. But is it enough? | Eva Wiseman

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