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How to find a peaceful headspace after tragedy

The mass shooting in Bryan on April 8 can leave an emotional scar even long after tragedy

BRYAN, Texas — Mass shootings are no longer a rare occurrence in the United States. However, many may not know how to cope with the trauma if a tragedy were to take place in their community. Unfortunately, the memory may stay with someone for years.

“There’s been so many mass shootings but nobody expects it to happen in their community.” Dr. Marcia Ory, professor at Texas A&M’s School of Public Health said.

On top of national hotlines, the school recommends talking with loved ones about experiencing such trauma, especially if it hits close to home.

“The first thing is [to] talk about it, acknowledge the sadness, the grief.” Ory said. “A lot of cases [that would help is] talking to family and friends.”

She said having conversations as a community can help locals heal and move forward together. 

“This is what we need. We need the community together. This is a tragedy, we have a very close community that supports one another and this is the time to mobilize.” Ory said, adding that simply asking how someone is doing may just be the support they need.

Physical activity can also reduce the mental stress that comes with experiencing trauma. 

“Go take a walk in the community. Don’t just eat junk food and drink more.” Ory said.

Dr. Ory adds that balancing out sadness with happy thoughts, things you are grateful for can also better mental thoughts. Although tragedy comes and goes, the memory still lingers and we can all do our part to lessen the hurt.