The images are haunting.

Many New Jerseyans admit they’re feeling anxious and upset after the latest disturbing violent outburst that took place this week in Las Vegas.

According to Dr. Moustafa Shafey, the chief of psychiatry at CentraState Medical Center, to be able to deal with this kind of horrible situation in a healthy way and not become adversely affected by it, we need to share our reaction with those around us and not keep our feelings all bottled up.

“Communicate about it, discuss it, and support each other. We can be vigilant but not hyper vigilant.”

He said it’s obviously important to be aware of our surroundings, but “encourage one another to go with the usual daily activities without any restrictions, because the more avoidance and restrictions, the more anxiety and fear.”

He added it’s important to remember “unfortunately there are a few bad people that can do big, bad things, but this is not the norm.”

He said it’s very important to avoid isolation and spend time with people you care about.

“Also, to create a positive atmosphere with the loved ones, with the people we know, with the friends, and encourage each other in social activities,” he said. “The best way to let go of anxiety is to communicate, is to talk about it, is to provide support to each other. Sharing and engaging will definitely clear up a lot of anxiety and hidden fear.”

Ocean County resident Sandra McKay says she’s concerned about the violence that’s becoming more and more commonplace around the world, but she won’t give in to it.

She ran in last month’s Semper Five 5K race in Seaside Heights, knowing full well an accused terrorist had set off an explosive device during last year’s aborted race.

McKay, who describes herself as a positive person, said she’s always aware of her surroundings, and vigilant, but not fearful.

“You can’t be afraid to move on, you know, you have to move forward.”

Shafey says a positive attitude and social interaction are vital.

“If you keep it in, it will continue to boil, and it’s like a balloon. If you keep it in and you inflate it, it will continue to inflate until there is a point when the balloon will burst.”

He also said it’s important to give children a chance to discuss their anxiety and fear. He suggests asking them open-ended questions.

“In a calming way, ask them how was school, how was your day, how are your friends, and let them talk,” he said.

“Once they see this support, they will talk and bring up their concerns and worries.”

He stressed parents must reassure their kids and remind them these events are rare and isolated incidents, and this type of violence is not normal and not accepted and respecting and supporting each other is important.

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