How Do I Cope with World Events?

Without feeling helpless all the time

Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash

Cope with world events in the moment

As an empath, while things like this may seem far away to other people, I can be deeply emotionally affected by what is going on in the world. I feel a lot, but even if you are not highly sensitive, there comes a point where what is happening can all seem like too much. What can we do with these emotions?

Be aware

The first thing I have to do to respond to my feelings is to be aware of them. I realize that I am having an emotional reaction to the news and my stomachache and racing heart are my body’s natural reaction to a sense of danger. I am not in immediate danger, but my body doesn’t know the difference between the signals.

Get control of the physical response

Once I recognize the physical symptoms are a result of the emotions, they rarely escalate. My pulse begins to drop as I slow my breathing and I can relax into the present moment. Stomach pain doesn’t immediately go away, but once I’m aware of what’s causing it, I don’t stress about it. If I need them, I know lots of relaxation techniques.

Deciding what to do with my emotions about world events

Once I get a handle on the physical response to my emotions, I have to decide what to do with them. If I want, I could read news article after news article, and lose myself in the sadness of the state of the world. There are plenty of tragedies to read about, from the wildfires in Australia to the flooding in Indonesia, I wouldn’t run out of things to feel bad about.

Limit the feeling time

The first one is limiting the time I have to read up on the issue and feel low about it. Today I am giving myself half an hour. During that time I have to watch all the videos, read articles, and whatever I need to do to feel informed about the situations at hand and feel the emotions. I also need to identify what I can do about it.

Take action

Sometimes I can donate to a good cause, share information about the problem, or act on an issue. Today I am going to write this article and be supportive of those I know that will be affected as much as I am.

Dismiss additional thoughts

Just like I have trained myself to filter out negative self-talk, I filter out news in order to cope with world events. When I go about my day and the thoughts pop into my head, I dismiss them. If I see an article, or someone asks me a question about it, I can dismiss it. This is much easier when I know that I have done what I can do.

Set boundaries

We all make small talk on a regular basis and whatever is happening in the news is an easy topic to start a conversation. However, if you are not in an emotional space to have those conversations, you have every right to say so, or even to leave the conversation if the group you are with insists on discussing it.

Have fun

Make time for the things you love to do and the people you love. Go out and listen to music, dance, sit in the park, whatever your thing is. It is even more important than usual to do fun things when there are world events making it hard for you to cope.

What else can you do

If you feel called to do something bigger, by all means, listen to your intuition. If you can turn a negative event into a positive experience for you, go for it. Do whatever makes you feel most empowered. And do it for yourself because you are so worth it.

Life Coach, author, lifelong learner, travel enthusiast, narcolepsy advocate, living in Myanmar, she/her

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