Boston Tragedy: What Happens Next Matters Most

Author and resilience expert provides solutions for dealing with the mental and emotional impact of the Boston marathon bombing.

Boston Tragedy: What Happens Next Matters Most
Los Angeles, CA, April 19, 2013 --(

This is not Mayberry. Unfortunately, the state of the world today is such that an innocent eight-year-old enjoying Patriot’s Day with his family is slain while watching a marathon. Simultaneously, ricin-laced letters are being sent to the President, Waco is being evacuated, and North Korea still has its finger on the trigger. Regarding the Boston marathon bombing and other tragedies, how do those closely impacted make it through? How do Americans make it through, collectively? Resilience expert Cheryl Hunter, who has mastered the art of triumphing after tragedy, provides seven steps for thriving in trying times.

“Despite the fact that a great deal of attention is given to emergency preparedness, there is no equivalent education or information available on how to cope with the earth-shattering mental and emotional ramifications of a tragedy like the Boston marathon bombing,” warns bestselling author and resilience expert Cheryl Hunter. “Physical survival isn’t our sole concern when faced with tragedy; how we bounce back on a mental and emotional level will determine our quality of life moving forward.”

In the grips of a catastrophe such as what happened in Boston, many are shocked, stunned and unable to function, with no comprehension about how to cope. Soon the shock spirals into rage, fury and blame. As individuals and as communities, we want the killers to be brought to justice; we demand blood for blood. Left unchecked, that secondary effect of rage, fury and blame often produces a new round of unfortunate circumstances that can be as devastating as the original cataclysm that struck. When the impact of a calamity devastates an entire community, it becomes even more essential to stop the downward spiral, intervene in ensuing secondary effects, and allow for healing to begin.

Hunter’s educational model is not based on hypothetical situations or conjecture; as a teenager she was abducted, raped and brutally beaten. Using her journey of rising from the ashes as fuel, she delivers a step-by-step method that can be applied by anyone who has ever dealt with less-than-favorable circumstances. “We live in a world where—let’s face it—life often hijacks our personal agendas,” Hunter explains. “That’s why I’ve devised a system to empower people to immediately take back the reins and go on with life.”

Hunter’s bestselling book USE IT: Turn Setbacks Into Success details the following steps for people coping with difficulty:

Seven Surefire Steps
1. Understand that your thoughts are not your friends. When difficulty strikes there is a “one-two punch” type effect that happens; first is the incident itself, and second is the negative swirl of thoughts that ensue. It is imperative to allow yourself to “outflow” by simply speaking with another unreservedly so as to interrupt the devastating effects of the negative thought swirl.
2. Provide for yourself whatever brings you comfort in times of need. Some people draw comfort from being in nature; others don’t want to be left alone. Ask yourself what will provide you comfort, security and certainty in your time of need, then ask for and receive that.
3. Help others. Shifting your focus off of yourself and onto another is one of the few things that can provide a reprieve from the anguish of your own circumstances.
4. Get a toehold to stop the world from spinning out of control by finding at least one thing for which you can be responsible. This process of seizing responsibility shifts the locus of control from being “out there” to where you are, and it can make our life feel under your control again.
5. Move out of victimhood and straight through the role of survivor without stopping. Understand that being a survivor and being a victim are opposite sides of the same coin; both are predicated upon dragging around the past. Do not condemn yourself to being a survivor.
6. Learn to “use it.” Use whatever circumstances or trauma that life has dealt you to propel yourself to the next level in life. Use exactly what you’re dealing with as fuel for your journey.
7. Embrace the principle, “You only get to keep what you give away.” As you begin to gain ground in your healing process, share your journey with a trusted few. As your healing progresses, give away to others what you’ve learned so that they, too, can heal from the difficult circumstances in their lives. Then the cycle begins again; you are back to helping others as a way to not only help yourself but contribute to your community.

Looking at senseless occurrences like the bombings in Boston, many people think finding the monsters that committed this crime and making them pay will bring us all peace and return life to normal again. That is a dangerous way of thinking because peace never comes from exacting revenge; peace is an inside job. The problem is most people facing adversity are not equipped with the tools they need to navigate their way out of the chaos and get their lives back on track. Hunter’s proven steps provide a much-needed solution.

For more information on Cheryl Hunter please visit For interviews and media inquires you may contact Cheryl directly or call (310) 402-0095.

Cheryl Hunter
A bestselling author, speaker and Resilience Expert, Cheryl Hunter has coached and led personal development seminars to over 90,000 people since 1995. Cheryl is expert at swiftly moving people beyond devastating circumstances that would otherwise commandeer their life. She was drawn to her work as a result of her own life path; she overcame a traumatic, life-altering experience that ignited a strong desire to contribute to others. Frequently called upon by the media, Cheryl is currently featured as the on-camera expert in a Huffington Post series, is a regular contributing writer for several national publications, is the author of the bestselling book USE IT: Turn Setbacks Into Success, and has given three TEDx talks. Cheryl is honored to be a member of Maria Shriver's Brain Trust, a select group dedicated to bettering the lives of women.
Cheryl Hunter International
Cheryl Hunter
(310) 402-0095