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Focus: Tips For Keeping Yourself Centered When You Receive Shocking News
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, May 2009

Inevitably, we will receive shocking news at some point in our lives.

It is important that we learn to deal with this sort of news so that we can keep ourselves well during the process and recover from the shock. This requires us to develop the ability to confront trauma in a healthy way. Here are some tips to help you focus during such difficult times:

Take Things Slowly - Your ability to process information may be impaired so consciously slow down.

Get Help So You Can Focus - Rely on others to help since you may not be thinking clearly.

Get Rest And Eat Well - You will need all of your reserves.

Keep A List Of What To Do and What Has Been Done - Don't rely on your memory because the stress of the shock makes it difficult to remember and keep yourself organized.

Focus On Facts, But Allow Room For Emotions - Do what you have to do; take action, but give yourself time and space to feel the emotional response.

Tell Yourself You'll Be OK - You don't have to know how you will, but tell yourself you will get through this.

Being caught off guard with the arrival of startling, bad news is difficult to manage at first because there is no warning and there is a tendency to deny what you are confronting. Take some time to focus and center yourself, conserve energy, and assess viable next steps.

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