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War in Ukraine – how to stop being afraid of thunderstorms, advice from psychologists

Ukraine lives in conditions full scale Russian invasion, during which many residents of our country witnessed hostilities, explosions and enemy attacks. People who have experienced such terrible events are often afraid of loud noises, even if they are in a safe place. It can be frightening, for example, the sound of closing a door, a closet in a house.

Read also: The war has changed the way Ukrainians choose their place of work

A thunderstorm can also be a source of unpleasant experiences. A natural phenomenon, which in peacetime can go completely unnoticed, causes concern during war. Lightning and thunder strikes are perceived as explosions. In such conditions, it is important to figure out how to stop being afraid of thunder and lightning and try to return to a full life even after experiencing something as terrible as a war.

How to help kids cope with their fear of thunderstorms

Family and child psychologist Svetlana Roiz toldwhich can help children cope with fear. These tips can help adults too.

So, before a thunderstorm, you should look at the sky, tell your child or even yourself that clouds are moving through it, which can be thunderstorms, it can be a downpour. And during a rainstorm, there is often thunder and lightning. These are not explosions, we (I) are safe. The sound may sound like an explosion, but it is only thunder.

Royz notes that it is necessary to take control of the process, to intercept the activity of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the activity of the limbic system. So, with children, you can count out loud how much time has passed between a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder.

During the sound of thunder, you can clap your hands loudly and shout “Hurrah!”. And you can play “lightning catchers” and, being at home, pretend that you are catching lightning in your palms folded like a boat.

Currently, it is also acceptable to imagine that the lightning strike is redirected to enemy vehicles.

How else to deal with the fear of thunderstorms

In order to stop being afraid of thunder and lightning, general recommendations for those who are afraid of thunderstorms are also suitable.

So, it is worth sharing your fears with friends and relatives, trusting them. If they say that this is just a thunderstorm, nothing terrible is happening, these are not explosions, you need to try to believe them and calm down.

You can also try to distract yourself from loud sounds and light from lightning. You can do some favorite thing: read a book, watch TV, listen to music. You can also make a list of songs you love and play them during a thunderstorm to help you calm down.

If your heart starts beating faster because of fear, you need to breathe deeply and evenly, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

Social media users who encountered such a problem during the war are advised to track lightning on special site. It shows all the flashes, highlighting them in different colors: white – the flash was recently, red – a long time ago.

How to stop being afraid of loud noises

Andrey Zhelvetro, an expert of the Psychological Help program, spoke about what to do if, after the war, a person began to be afraid of loud sounds.

He noted that if a person is in a dangerous region, you must follow the instructions: if a siren sounds, go to cover, if explosions are heard and you are at home / in another room, follow the two-wall rule.

If a person is safe, you can learn how to properly respond to loud sounds. For example, you can ask a friend to suddenly clap his hands during a conversation or turn on a loud sound on the phone.

Your task at this moment is to control three parameters: breathing (do not interrupt it), shoulders (should be relaxed) and say out loud what is happening.

So, if a friend clapped his hands, you need to breathe deeply, relax and say “it’s just a clap.” You can do the same on the street, having heard a loud sound and determining its source, you can say “it’s just a car, just a door.” In this case, you need to relax and breathe properly.

The same can be done with thunder: when you hear a sound, you need to relax, breathe calmly and say “it’s just thunder, it’s just a thunderstorm.”

Important! This publication is based on the latest and current scientific research in the field of medicine and is for general information purposes only. The publication cannot be the basis for establishing any diagnoses. If you are sick or need a diagnosis, see your doctor!

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