Hurricane Sandy and the Emotional Toll

By Seth D. Cohen

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy has tested our emotions.  It caused emotional responses we never felt before. (Full Disclosure: I experienced almost all these emotions during the storm)

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Desperateness
  • Helplessness
  • Shock
  • Rudeness
  • Hatred

I witnessed people who have nerves of steel get unsettled, people who are unflappable be riddled with anxiety. My aunt lost her apartment that she lived in for 30 years to flooding. I saw the spread of negative emotions go from one family member to the next and extend to our neighbors and colleagues.

Bottom Line: Emotions got the best of us. We became emotionally drained. We let flooding, downed trees, lack of power and long gas lines control who we are.

The world is clearly changing – – more frequent and damaging weather, world political unrest, civil wars, terrorism, fiscal cliffs and the list can go on.

So how can we understand our emotions better to make sure that our emotions don’t get the best of us? The solution: emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. We need to become more emotionally aware and literate. We need to adapt to the ever changing circumstances of life and understand what elements and components lead to these emotional responses. By becoming emotionally aware, we can avoid the “dumbing down” or the “lack of street smarts” that occur when we are distressed.  (I saw an ivy league educated, beyond brilliant guy almost blow up his house with his generator) We need to be more aware and attuned to what’s going on. We need to adapt and change with the situations being sent our way.

It won’t be easy to just forget what happened with Sandy. Many of us are actually experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms from this storm, similar to those returning from war. The idea isn’t to forget, it’s to learn and adapt from this experience.  We have to STOP denying that the world is changing and change with it.

So here’s my commitment to you – – Besides providing you with mind and body resources, including my Favorites of The Week, it’s time to give you resources to evaluate, perceive and control your emotions. Motivation, inspiration, productivity and wellness tips just aren’t enough anymore. It’s time for emotional intelligence to be part of our every day lives – – both our personal and business lives.  Join me in discovering this essential part of our psyche.

P.S. A much needed shout out to all those that opened their doors after the storm letting people use your power, water, heat, gas and food. Without you, our emotions would be even worse.

With Gratitude,


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Follow Seth D. Cohen on Twitter @sdcohen.

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