Las Vegas shooting: Fear and anxiety won't control us. Love will

It is such a senseless killing: at least 59 people dead and hundreds more injured.

I understand how this mass shooting in Vegas deeply affects our psyche for I feel it, too.

Without even looking at the images, just the words that describe the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, is enough to create anxiety, fear, confusion, uncertainty, and hopelessness.

And yes we all feel sad, deeply sad, and in pain for the extraordinary loss of so many innocent lives. We all feel the pain as we imagine what ravaging fear and horror the people who were there at Vegas must have experienced.

There is nothing we can do to change what has happened.

Don’t let that thought make you feel helpless, for you are not.

You can do things to soothe the fear and anxiety, which is caused by the belief that the world is out of control. It definitely seems that way and yet that is not the truth.

There is nothing we can do to change what has happened. Don’t let that thought make you feel helpless, for you are not.

We are all being challenged right now with so many recent disasters – hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and threats of war with North Korea. It is okay to feel the fear and uncertainty. It is okay to feel other people’s pain – this is empathy and this is what makes us human and connected.

You cannot allow the fear to control you; you cannot allow yourself to shrink. What we can all do now is to move from empathy to compassion – to feel other people’s pain and make an effort to ease that pain.

How can you soothe and comfort the people around you?

Reach out to the people that you love and reaffirm your love for them. Recognize and acknowledge just how precious and extremely fragile life is.

Call your loved ones now. Express your love for them now. Don’t hold back.

We are all in this together, and the closer we stay together and the more love, empathy and compassion that we choose to show each other, the more comforted, secure and united we will feel and be as we move through this together! 

Patrick Wanis, PhD, human behavior and relationship expert. For more visit: www.patrickwanis.com. Follow him on Twitter @behavior_expert.