America is resilient. WE are resilient. We are going to be alright. We really are! We will recover. However, how we recover and how soon we recover from the shockwaves of our recent political avalanche may depend on these 4 things.
TURN THE TV OFF: Seriously, we actually don't have to tune into every single piece of news the media moguls choose to share with us. The 24-hour news cycle we are sucked into can be really harsh on our mental health. We come home and a bout of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) hits us and before we know it, the remote control is in our hand and that well-intentioned 30-minute treadmill session we planned on the drive home is completely forgotten! So try this: Tomorrow morning, before you leave, hide your TV remote control far away from the TV. Yes you may know where you hid it, but when you get home that evening, in the space between reacting to an impulse and actually going in search of the remote control, you may be able to switch your mind back onto your original plans. In my case, it means changing into my workout gear and hitting that treadmill! I’m hoping that writing this article will improve my likelihood of doing so…
RECOGNIZE YOUR TRIGGER: What is it that pushes your mind down that woeful path of anxiety/fear/shock etc.? It could be a name, an image, a phrase - or maybe an orange. Whatever it is, recognize it as something that may have the power to negatively affect your day. For example, pulling up behind a car with a slogan on a bumper sticker could suddenly shift the way you feel.What do you do? Acknowledge the shift. Pause. Take a deep breath, release it slowly. Repeat. Then purposely pull your attention onto something else. Recognizing a trigger is important because oftentimes, we are not aware of them - only of our reaction to them. Then we wonder why we suddenly feel irritated or on edge. Once you recognize your trigger you are in a better position to avoid the negative impact of the trigger- or at least minimize it.
CONNECT WITH HUMANITY: By “humanity” - I literally mean, human beings. Our lifestyles can be disconnected from each other. Not intentionally - but our interactions can be rather one-dimensional. Digital. I believe we have the desire to be more connected with each other but we increasing have difficulty making it happen - authentically. Human beings are social creatures and there is a certain strength we receive from connecting with those who share our values. At a time of widespread unrest, being able to simple be with others as a community of like-minded human beings can provide much needed respite.
FIND YOUR SPACE: In all the noise around us and within us, we need to search for a space to exist in the present moment - in peace. What does this mean? It means training your mind to find that mental space where you can exist unaffected by any negative interferences around you. Yes, I agree, it sounds, complicated - but read that last sentence again and you’ll find that the concept is a simple one.
I know I’m not sharing anything you don’t already know. I’m just reminding you that you are equipped to effect a positive outlook on your tomorrow. That there are more people who believe in humanity than those that do not.That there are many MORE people who do care about each other and want to uplift, support and protect each other than those who wish to destroy, tear-down and stamp out human beings. That we alone can choose our response to our environmental triggers and how much we allow our environment to affect us. And finally, that within our own minds, we have the ultimate power to transform the ethos of our future.