How to deal with Media Driven Anxiety
*Those in Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean obviously are dealing with a certain level of anxiety that most of us aren't. Also, for those who have been in a hurricane or traumatic event will experience a level of PTSD. The tools below can certainly help with that as well, but this post is really intended for the rest of us....
Hurricane Harvey was a terrible storm that affected some of my friends and family and now we're watching as Irma approaches Florida's doorstep. Perhaps this is just the thing to push people over the anxiety driven edge regarding the news, in this case the weather channel. RIGHTFULLY SO but maybe this offers an opportunity for us to address a much bigger issue: Are we addicted to suffering? Are we addicted to our phones? If you know the news is causing more anxiety than it should, why aren't you shutting it off or taking breaks? Why is it that negative and fearful driven news sells more than hopeful and good news?
I'm not saying that we should put our heads in the sand in regards to being PROACTIVE in our safety and wellbeing, but how can we calm the buzzed anxiety lurking within us AND also be proactive...
- Set boundaries around checking the news. Perhaps it's 2x/day only for 30 minutes at a time. Maybe you can only handle 5 minutes 1x/day. Whatever your need- observe within yourself and actually do it. If you can't or are unwilling...is this an addiction to suffering?
- Make yourself stop and meditate or pray. Taking time out for God or the God within you can bring some peace, comfort, and shift you into a calm state of being. I love YouTube's 5 minute guided meditations.
- Burn some incense. I like dried sage and Nag Champa. These are great for calming the nerves and clearing the air.
- Don't drink Caffeine. This is a stimulant and will make your anxiety worse. (There's that word addiction again...)
- Try a Tibetan bowl, sound machines, or calming music. Listening to calming sounds and vibrations can distract the mind.
- Get busy- distract yourself with another activity OTHER THAN LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE. (addicted?) Perhaps your activity is in fact preparing for a hurricane, but don't forget to breathe and be calm in the process. (Ha! This can be difficult)
- Knowing that a hurricane is lurking- obvisouly get yourself prepared but can you do it in a mindful and peaceful way? Turning off the news will certainly help. We're actually checking our newly planted trees and making sure their stakes are snuggly in the ground. Being the tree hugger I am, I'm giving them a green-like pep talk that hey, there might be some wind so hang on tight. ;)
Most importantly: be safe but also be mindful as anxiety can make your health issues worse and I want you to be well.
Lastly- for the sake of the Meteorologist- hey, they're just geeking out right now because they get to use their really fancy gadgets. Also, and most importantly, they are doing the best they can in informing everyone on what's going on, but you as the listener can choose how much time you are exposed to this information and rationally and calmly take this information as productive and usefully as you can instead of getting caught up in frenzy.