Health & Wellness · mental health · self care

Addicted to trauma

I haven’t been watching the news for almost ten months now. In an earlier post I talked about removing myself from the news and how much better I’ve felt because of it. A couple of weeks ago I was running with some friends and they were talking about keeping up with the news even more than they had in the past. The sentiment was that because of the temperament of our “person in office” he would make irrational, emotional decisions that could affect us at the drop of a hat. So they felt that it was important to know what is going on every minute of every second. During the entire run I remained quiet. I simply smiled and listened to their beliefs about staying informed but I couldn’t help but disagree. Yes you can stay informed but at what cost?

Last year I stayed glued to my television to know what was going on. I watched news programs, C-SPAN, read political blogs and tweeted on a somewhat regular basis about my thoughts on the things I read or saw. I also watched black and brown men, women and children be killed and I saw the frustrations of many different groups of people grow as the election grew closer. I began to feel a sense of despair. My world began to feel small and it felt as though life was closing in on me. I became afraid for my family and worried about every little thing.

I was constantly engaging in political and racial debates/conversations only to walk away feeling more angry and frustrated than when I did before I entered the conversations. I would constantly scroll through my Facebook feed and see old friends form high school or college talking about things that hurt my heart. My wife and I started talking about moving out of the country and it was at that point that I realized that no matter where I go, I create my reality. I couldn’t guarantee that life was going to be a utopia somewhere else. There were no assurances that the pain I was feeling was going to magically be erased and I could start life anew. So what was the solution? What could I do to make life better right where I am?

I started by removing myself from Facebook. I took the app off my phone and only checked in on the spiritual and educational groups that I was a part of. I stopped tweeting, I stopped engaging in political conversations and more importantly I stopped watching the news. I will admit that initially I was scared. I knew how my friends felt because I was in the same boat. I felt that by not keeping up with what was going on that I would be out of touch and miss some important information. And given the fact that I stopped watching the news right before the election I was even more concerned. But I stayed vigilant.

After a couple of days something amazing happened. I was able to sleep better, my anxiety and depression had lifted. I began meditating everyday and focusing on my spiritual health. I’m still connected to the internet by way of Instagram but that’s about it. Life was happy and sunny again. Every so often I hear about what’s going on in the news through my family or friends or things that pop up through my email or Instagram. I’ve discovered that news will always find it’s way into your life but you CAN determine how much of it you want to seep in.

From my perspective we are living in a time where fear has become the highest commodity. We ingest it and regurgitate it at rapid rates on a daily basis. We’ve become addicted to fear. Too much fear-based information can cause your energy and vibration to to be diminished and/or distorted which can then cause physical illness.

Some simple things that I did to pull myself out of the whirlpool were

  • Be present. Take a moment to look sense what was going on around
  • Meditate
  • Read books
  • Replace news watching with family time
  • Finish projects that I started but didn’t complete

These may seem like some very elementary concepts but these were pivotal in getting me back to MY reality. No matter who is the President there will always be things that we have to be cautious and aware of. Watching CNN, MSNBC or Fox News on a regular basis will keep you  in touch with a world that is not your own.

If you want to see a happier more peaceful world then you must begin by removing the things that counter that vision.

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