How many of you out there feel like a robot these days? I certainly do sometimes. Swear I have wires running through my veins instead of blood. You really can’t escape the constant onslaught of useless information out there. All of it is made to sound important because they put “BREAKING NEWS” in the headline, and it’s all designed to make you click or be doomed to miss out. We know there’s a problem, but are we doing anything about it? Should you just ignore it and pretend it is not there? I see a lot of people pointing out the issues, and why you should be terrified. I happened to glance at one on a news site with a horrific picture, and big bold bloody red letters of this new development plus the reason it will be disastrous for everyone. Finally at the end of the snippet of this important post it read, “Don’t freak out yet.” Phew! Luckily I read the whole thing. Now, if I had been emotionally attached to the headline, I might have called everyone I knew and told them about the horrible news. Not to mention all the podcasts out there, and they are mostly talking about what is wrong without ever discussing any solutions. Oh, they may dedicate five minutes at the end, but they know as well as we do it is all about the clicks, and making sure you come back for more. The majority of the views of these people are opinions about something instead of actual facts. Opinions and speculations are much more interesting fodder than facts for the mind. This is a huge problem when you confuse fact with opinions particularly if it is unconscious.
Being in a state of fight or flight constantly is very destructive for the mind and body. You’ve gone from one extreme to another, and too much adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, creates more problems and thus more reasons to remain in that state. When you see a headline, and a negative emotional reaction is triggered, the ego remembers this for a later time to draw you in when it needs to be fed again. It will give you the best excuses on earth to justify the reactions. It even relies on reactions to reactions and so the negativity of others to join in. Your hell is its heaven. The ego is a parasitic virus of the highest order, and the human is its willing servant. It relies on you not being present to remain in control.
The good news? You now know this, and the even better news is you can do something about it. Once you know a reaction is conditioned, and not a reflection of who you are is one of the most freeing experiences a person can have. So I am asking you to disconnect to connect. The following suggestions are ways to liberate yourself from the constant “bad” news thrown at us every day.
1. Feel the movement of your breath while looking at a piece of negative news. This creates space to envelop any type of negative reaction thus preventing it from completely taking you over.
2. Take a moment to yourself before or after reading/watching. When you do it beforehand you are more likely to make a conscious decision on how to proceed. Taking it afterwards can prevent adding more layers of negativity.
3. Introduce mental breaks from engaging with your phone or computer throughout your day. Instead of looking at social media, do some stretches as a type of movement meditation.
4. Periodically refrain from conversations with too much complaining and the judgement of others. This type of behavior only fuels the need to seek out negativity elsewhere.
5. Make a gratitude list to hang up on your wall, desk or computer. It will serve as a constant reminder of the things that are really important in your life to help counteract some of the distressing news that dominates the airwaves.
6. Choose to wake up in the morning without looking at any type of screen. Try giving that attention to feeling your body before rising from your bed, and feel how joyful it is to just be still before going forward with your day.
7. Decide to stay away from any type of news or information on a given day. Also keep clear of the kind of programs/podcasts which only offer opinions on events or other people. Then see what happens next.
This is far from a definitive list, and is only the beginning of disconnecting to connect. They all have a common denominator, and that is presence. There is always more to consider so I left a couple of spaces for you to add your own to the list. Please let me know how these are going for you by sharing your ideas in the comment section. I’m always pleased to hear about your experiences.