I suffer from anxiety attacks. Typically, they hit me in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping. One minute I’m blissfully unaware of the world around me and then the next thing I know, I’m in the bathroom believing the world is crashing around me. Suddenly everything is an emergency. Everything is important; everything gets equal attention. I’m drowning in the noise, and I’m drained from dealing with it.
Oddly enough, the one thing that helps me pull out of it is repeating my ABCs. I don’t have to think about it; I just start saying them. If I get stuck on a letter, I start over. This act is just enough to be the reset button for my brain.
Honestly, my brain is a jerk. For all the awesome things it can do, it can also bring me to my knees, crippling me with thoughts and emotions I have a hard time battling.
This metaphor surrounding my jerk of a brain and anxiety attacks is what occurred to me this last week as I was looking over the news. Each day we are inundated with information that we take as facts, but more often than not, are just noise. We get overwhelmed, we think everything is an emergency, we are drained. We think all is lost, we’re going to hell in a hand-basket, and we better stock up on supplies because the world is ending and there aren’t any good people left in the world.
This is all bullshit.
We’ve known for years that the news cycle, REGARDLESS OF WHICH NETWORK, glorifies the horrible things that happen because that is what we have shown we watch. We let them stir the pot and get us riled up. We let them lead us to believe everyone is out for themselves; us against them. We let them be our jerk of a brain.
This world is full of amazing people. Even those you think are completely opposite of you, are amazing. Do not give in to the hysteria. Do not take everything you’ve ever been told as fact. Ask questions. TALK TO PEOPLE BEYOND YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CIRCLE. Challenge your perspective, and expand your horizons.
When you think all is lost, when you think we’ll never be at peace again, instead of giving up, do something. Volunteer. Talk to your neighbors. Invite people to lunch/dinner/coffee/tea and listen. Talk about what you can do to make your small corner of the world a little brighter.
Turn off the TV. Take a social media break. Talk to people. Make human connections. Do something value added to society at large.