Sit Up Straight While Weeping

February 1, 2017

Cloudy and chilly this Wednesday morning on California’s north coast, supposedly the last ‘dry’ day for more than a week — big storm due tonight.

And for a shitload of Americans T-Rump is the storm of storms, creating a national form of ‘collective trauma‘ over the situation.
Charles Figley, chair of the disaster mental health program at Tulane University (Quartz): ‘“There are a number of people who had assumed that Hillary Clinton would be elected; when she was not elected it really dumbfounded people and they really could not get their arms around it because they were so surprised. Everyone was so shocked that it took a couple of weeks to process that. Now, there has been sufficient time for people of various factions to recognize the situation.”

And it’s a cluster-fuck of humongous proportions — and occurring at a hour-by-hour pace, steady now for less than two weeks. A complete list of the incompetent, horrendous acts performed by T-Rump, or his repugnant minions, in such a short space of time places heavy-duty trauma on anybody anywhere-near sane.

Last night, Jon Stewart nailed the scene when he joined buddy, Stephen Colbert, on The Late Show: ‘“It has been 11 days, Stephen,” he said. “Eleven fucking days. Eleven! The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.”

Add in your own, personal drama on a daily basis outside the DC beltway, and you’ve got major head-trips…
Scott Remer at AlterNet on Saturday:

Every day, some new outrage is disclosed.
There are so many that it’s hard to keep track of them.
I can’t bring myself to watch the news.
Even reading it is painful.
Social media is toxic.
Vicious reactionaries take their cues from the White House, as Trump and his people intensify their assault not just on democracy but on the most fundamental distinctions between fact and fiction.
All of this is taking an immense psychological toll.
The effects won’t be easy to reverse, especially since they’re likely to worsen in the coming months and years.
To resist effectively, we’ll have to come up with some way of living through it while sustaining our mental health and energy.

Remer then lists five ways to resist the moral downer, like cutting back on media intake, or making time for ‘uplifting, non-political activities,’ which might be hard to find, or maybe non-existent.
However, the real upper might be to straighten up.
Sad, depressed people often go about their business in a slouch, the posture a mirror to the mood. However, a new study from the University of Auckland, suggests if we all just ‘simply‘ sat-up straighter, we’d ‘feel more upbeat and less fatigued.’
Via PsychologyToday from last Monday:

Previous research had focused on the link between posture and mood in healthy populations, says Elizabeth Broadbent, Ph.D., one of the authors of the new study.

“These studies suggest that, compared to sitting in a slumped position, sitting upright can make you feel more proud after a success, increase your persistence at an unsolvable task, and make you feel more confident in your thoughts,” Broadbent says.
“Research also suggests that sitting upright can make you feel more alert and enthusiastic, feel less fearful, and have higher self-esteem after a stressful task.”

Not just for people with the blues, but also those suffering from depression:

The results: “In our study, asking individuals with mild to moderate depression to sit upright reduced their fatigue and increased their enthusiasm over a short time period, compared to individuals who sat in their usual posture,” says Broadbent.
“In addition,” Broadbent says, “participants sitting upright spoke more words in total during the stressful speech task, but reduced how much they used first-person singular pronouns (such as “me” and “I”).
“This suggests that they had more energy, had less negative mood, and were less self-focused” — changes consistent with easing of depressive symptoms.

T-Rump’s got four more ‘years,’ how straight do I have to fuckin’ get…?

(Illustration above: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Self Portrait Facing Death‘ (June 30, 1972), was originally found here).

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