Coping With Natural Disasters—Part 1

by Doc Orman, M.D.

How To Cope With Natural Disasters Part 1This past week, we witnessed (or possibly experienced) a terrible natural disaster in the form of Hurricane Sandy.  States such as New Jersey, New York, and several others sustained heavy damage, including widespread property destruction, loss of power, and loss of life.

Tens of thousands of people have been left temporarily homeless.  Homes have been demolished, businesses were leveled, cars and boats were destroyed, small children were ripped right out of their mother’s arms and perished in the storm.  It was a terrible natural disaster.  Andy many people are still suffering and struggling to recover from it.

How To Make A Bad Situation Even Worse

As bad and as stressful as natural disasters of any kind can be, we also have the ability to make them even worse by not coping very well, or by engaging in repetitive thoughts and behaviors that are not very helpful and that amplify our stress and make it even worse.

In my three blog posts this week, I want to focus on some of the ways we can make a bad natural disaster (or tragedy of any kind) far worse than it truly needs to be. In this first post, I want to focus on how the media can make it difficult to for us to cope with a disaster skillfully.

Media Outlets Focus Mainly On The Negatives

For better or for worse, media outlets tend to focus on the worst and most negative aspects of a natural disaster.  Why do they do this?   Because they know it works.  It works to capture the attention of a larger share of their audience, and it works because it’s been proven, time and time again, to be good for their business.

So if you watch or listen to media reports in the wake of a natural disaster, which most of us usually need to do, you will be pelted with an endless barrage of negative news stories and heart-wrenching negative images.  You will see countless scenes of destruction, as well as people wailing, crying, complaining, and resorting to violence, looting, and finger-pointing.

All of this makes for great news stories, but it doesn’t do very much to help with our injured psyches.  It also doesn’t teach us how to elevate our thinking, remain positive and optimistic, and work harmoniously with others to forge a satisfying recovery.

Sure there is the occasional positive, uplifting story from the media—of people coping courageously and successfully—but for every single one of these, you can bet there will be ten others that glorify and dramatize the suffering.

Don’t Let The Media Drag You Down

It’s important to recognize that the media is going to do its thing, of focusing on the negatives of any disaster, without any regard for your personal health or wellbeing.  They also won’t give one hoot whether they are impairing your ability to cope, or whether they are making it more difficult for you to maintain a positive outlook.

If coping well is going to happen for you, meaning if you are going to remain calm, positive, and resourceful when everything around you is in chaos and disrepair, you are going to have to do this despite the tidal wave of negative chatter and images provided 24/7 by the media.

You are going to have to dig deep inside and remember that as long as you are alive and have your mental capacities and your health intact, you can find creative solutions to your immediate life-sustaining problems.  You can also work with others around you to lift up their spirits and to not let them succumb to the inevitable pull of negativity that can also occur without the media’s ample help.

Look around for you own positive “can do” stories—for people stepping up to cope heroically—and I’m sure you will easily find some.  When you do, keep these positive images firmly in your mind, and use them to inspire yourself to stay positive and overcome all the negative images you and many others will likely be exposed to.

In my next post, I’ll look at how our own thoughts and behaviors, independent of the media, can make any natural disaster far more stressful than it really needs to be.

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To get your own complete download of this entire four-book Stress Relief Secrets REVEALED library, go to and download it right now. Also, when you get these four PDF e-books on your computer, don’t just let them sit there! Don’t promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to reading them later. That usually doesn’t work, and it’s very likely you will never, ever get around to reading them. And the information they contain is way too valuable and useful for you to miss out on any of it.

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Best wishes and happy reading (and learning)!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

doudoune moncler November 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Very good.Thanks


Jeanette November 20, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Stress has an affect on your body that can cause or hetihgen many disease in fact most diseases will be worsened by stress. Prevention is not so easy but better care of mental/emotional health would include stress management, relaxation, exercises a health life balance etc


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