Calming Fear and Finding Hope
There’s no question that times are tough right now for the whole planet.
All the Fears
The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world forever. We’ve lost so, so many people to the virus and many who survived the infection are fighting long-term debilitating symptoms, all while people argue about the very existence of this virus and its significance. To have the deaths of loved ones discounted as a myth or insignificant is an unjustifiable and cruel blow.
The US is a few days away from a national election that has its citizens, and people worldwide, watching and worrying. It doesn’t matter which “side” someone is on, they are convinced the “other side” is lying to them and will cause great harm if elected or re-elected to office. The thought that politicians occupying significant offices, authorities who should be trustworthy, are lying to us daily, is deeply disturbing to our emotional and physical health.
We are all on edge, stressed, anxious, and even slipping into depression. Perhaps that’s the only thing we all have in common these days. We’re all stressed about the future.
There are wildfires raging and extreme storms repeatedly destroying lives and property. Sea levels are rising faster than predicted. Science tells us these natural disasters are due to climate change, and like the virus, this is argued ad nauseam while things get worse, yet still, no action is taken.
It feels like the world is upside down. In every direction, we see death, destruction, and threats to our well-being and the future. We are hard-wired to see threats first. Our reptile brain is trying to keep us safe by watching all the bad things, which is how media keeps us glued to our screens. Fear sells, over and over.
Real vs Perceived Threat
But we can choose to differentiate between real, right now, in this moment threats, and perceived or media-hyped threats that only want our attention. We can calm our fear by trying to release the stress about things that are not actually threatening our safety. Letting go of those can help us create space for a ray of hope, and we need a whole freaking rainbow of hope right now.
How Can I Calm My Fear and Find Hope?
Honoring your concerns, you can still insert some rays of hope and happiness every chance you get. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Take a minute or two during the day to gently lengthen and deepen your breath. This will calm your racing mind and heart. You can do this at stoplights, waiting in lines, walking between rooms, waiting for email to load…
- Start a meditation practice with one or two minutes of the breathing mentioned above and expand your practice each day. Be still and breathe with awareness. With awareness comes insight and clarity.
- Limit your media exposure. When you start to feel ramped up and worried, it’s time to stop reading and looking at the screen.
- Instead, get outside for a walk. If you have the option, time in nature will do wonders for your sense of hope.
- Write down or make a mental bookmark of what’s good in your life. Do this at least once a day. Bonus points for finding five good things each day.
- Recall a happy time in your life and breathe that memory into your heart. You’ll feel an immediate expansion in your chest as happiness grows. Really. Try it!
- You can read more about inviting happiness in this blog post.
We Can Control Our Reactions
We can control our reactions to the world around us. It may not feel like it, and it may feel somehow wrong or scary, but by choosing to remain calm, we’ll think better, we’ll be better prepared for whatever comes, and we’ll set a good example for our friends, family, and others around us. Spread calm, not fear. Rather than doing the Chicken Little thing, we can breathe and be better able to consider the next step. May you find hope and happiness today and always.
- Use the Search feature on the blog to find topics of interest.
- For meditation guidance, see In This Moment: The Art of Managing Stress Through Meditation.
- To learn 5 simple breathing techniques for stress management, see Take One Breath: The Art of Managing Stress Through Meditation.
- To learn how to use EFT Tapping for all the things, see Emotional Freedom Techniques: The Art of Managing Stress Through EFT Tapping.
You’re not alone.
Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.