Often what drives community members and all other trauma based disorders is fear. Fear is the #1 emotion that guides survivors through daily life. Fear of being alone, fear of not being not being alone, fear of adventure, fear of men (women), and fear of living and fear of dying. There are two important groups of emotions: positive (faith-based emotions) and negative fear based emotions. Each of these groups has it own set of emotional molecules attached to it. It is vital to understand the difference between these two polar opposite groups.
Faith and fear are not just emotions, but spiritual forces with chemical and electrical representation in the body. Consequently they directly impact bodily function. Every emotion results in an attitude. An attitude is a state of mind that produces a reaction in the body and a resultant behavior.
All the negative emotions evolve out of fear. All positive emotions evolve out of faith and there are sets of molecules of emotion for each of these spiritual forces. Examples of faith-based emotions are: love, joy, peace, happiness, kindness, gentleness, self control, forgiveness and patience. These produce good attitudes.
Fear automatically puts the body into stress mode and reaction. Examples of fear based emotions are hate, worry, anxiety, anger, hostility, rage, ill-will, resentment, frustration, impatience and irritation. These produce toxic attitudes which produce toxic responses in the body.
Anxiety is one of the most toxic emotions that fear produces and it can linger long after the threat has come and gone. Anxiety disorders are common and becoming more so. Science is now able to demonstrate the links between fear and disease.
Whether the thoughts, emotions and attitudes are toxic or positive, they are represented in the body as electrochemical reactions. They are made up of two systems: one chemical (the endocrine system) and the other electrical (the nervous system). A thought and the emotion attached to it take shape in the body and mind as electrochemical responses occurring in the depths of the brain, in this case the limbic system and in the outer flesh part of the brain, the cortex.
So what do we do with our survivors to help them in these areas? Encourage them to take a walk, do a chore, play with a pet, listen to music that make them feel more positive, participate in life giving activities (ask them to list what life giving means to them), ask them to write out a thought: “I’m worried about whether a certain community member is angry with me” and write down all the options, Make a list of things they worry about daily, memorize favorite scripture verse. These are only a few things they might do to calm themselves and be able to look at life a little differently.
Every day brings different problems that we may or may not have the answer but together with God we always find an abundance of solutions.