As I write this, our thoughts are with those in Boston who were affected by the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
In my 20 years living in the Boston area, I cheered on the runners on many occasions and now, even from far way, these events feel close to home.
Experiencing trauma can have a dramatic effect on our bodies and our minds. And although it’s a different experience to witness a trauma on television, it still can affect us.
When you perceive a threat, the body activates the stress response. The stress response occurs in both your body and brain.
The body’s response to acute stress is a preparation for emergency. Adrenaline and other hormones are released. The body shuts down processes associated with long-term care. When under immediate threat, digestion, reproduction, cell repair and other body tasks related to long-term functioning are unimportant.