As we enter what could arguably be our most frenzied and stressful time of year, it’s entirely possible that someone you know – maybe your neighbour … possibly even yourself – will quietly begin a desperate attempt to not collapse under the added pressure this season brings to the average person – assuming, of course, there still is such a person.
Like no other time in our history, the modern world has been propelled through a dizzying array of technological advances, scientific breakthroughs, human tragedies, tumultuous economics, and increasingly alarming climate instabilities. And if that isn’t quite enough, rarely does a day go by wherein our senses aren’t further assaulted by status updates on current wars, threats of terrorism, political corruption, ethnic cleansing, social insurgency, or just plain ol’ murder and mayhem somewhere – often complete with video footage, eye-witness accounts, and the promise of a‘full report at eleven’ … as if to suggest we should eagerly await further gruesome details. And perhaps some people do.
How Does It Affect You?
In the face of all this chaos, can there really be an ‘average person’ anymore? Aren’t we each struggling on a personal level to find a way to process this daily barrage of ‘information overload’ we’re forced to endure? This sensory deluge affects each of us differently, depending on the lens through which we focus. Some people are disturbingly captivated by tragedy, some are horrified, others are simply numbed … and there are a host of other reactions that fit in-between these extremes – including being somewhat indifferent.
It’s even entirely possible that the majority of us have become so accustomed to these types of news stories we’re actually oblivious to how they are subconsciously affecting our own emotional well-being.
We Can Depend on Each Other …
More and more often, we hear about someone who’s had a complete mental and emotional melt-down … becoming violent and irrational, and tragically taking people over the edge with them. It’s as if their entire coping mechanism simply shuts down and they just can’t manage for one moment longer.
It’s obvious how critical it is that we learn to balance emotional overwhelm with an equal portion of positively-grounded, healthy and life-affirming energy. While it’s easy enough to say “the government should establish some sort of assistance,” that’s really a cop-out. For a variety of reasons, not everyone going through emotional struggles will reach out to a government agency for help – so as a society, we need to make sure this supportive energy is made manifest in our own lives.
Can You Lead by Example?
We can actually become the conduit for someone’s return to balance, and it wouldn’t even take much effort on our part – we could first become more kind and loving to ourselves, so that we can show more compassion to people around us … whether we know them or not. We can actively forgive those who may have slighted or hurt us, allowing that people learn and grow from their mistakes. We can lead by example, becoming a role model through investing some time as a volunteer in support of our communities or service clubs. These are just a few ways we can help people (and ourselves) start to feel connected to the more affirming aspects of living in today’s crazy world – ways to help create some balance against the constant reports of tragedy and despair.
What’s Your Plan?
What strategies do you use to ensure your emotional equilibrium is balanced and protected from erosion? What growth can you introduce to your own life that will help you become part of the change you want to see in the world? What seeds of support can you sow to help someone find their centre? Remember that whenever you’ve had just about all you can take … you can always try giving.
… and as you consider this, remember to stay focused on the Good Things in Life!