Every single generation believes they live in the most dangerous of times. Maybe they’re all correct. Thus, by that logic, yes, our world of discord has never been more devoid of hope. Certainly, technology has brought the discord to our fingertips. This unquestionably adds to the stress and makes the hope harder to come by. In addition, it can directly lead to mental and physical health issues.
The Anxiety of Discord
We are living in a manner that blends information overload with a perpetual state of high alert. This is basically a recipe for instant anxiety. All this discord triggers our fight-or-flight response. There are times when this can save our lives. But, to be in this state all the time can do damage to our bodies and minds.
An anxiety disorder can leave you with life-changing symptoms such as:
- Digestive issues like constipation, loss of appetite, and stomach pain
- Disruption of sleep patterns
- Avoidance of social situations
- Sweating, racing heart, shakiness, and irritability
- General body pains
- A focus on the dark side of things
- Frequent thoughts of death and/or suicide
Urgent global events create a fear for the future — our shared future. This can hurt us individually and divide us socially.
A Few Steps You Can Take to Foster More Hope For Yourself & Others
1. Take Lots of Tech Breaks
Step away from your devices. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is real and has few redeeming qualities. The more often you take tech breaks, the more you’ll accept that you need them.
2. Look For Commonalities Outside Your News Feed
Worldwide strife can lead us into black-and-white thinking. Our news feeds reinforce this mentality. Try seeking connections on a deeper level — away from our phones — we can learn how to heal the discord in our own lives.
3. Basic Self-Care
No matter what we do (see below), bad stuff will happen. To fortify ourselves for this reality, we need to be the best version of us. Commit to a regimen of regular sleep patterns, healthy eating habits, daily exercise and activity, some form of stress management and most importantly self-connection and awareness practices .
Two BIG Things You Can do to Foster More Hope For Yourself & Others
1. Release the “Activism” Delusions
Everywhere we look these days, we see references to activists and protesters. It’s reached the point where we consider clicks and shares to be a form of “activism.” But have you ever stopped to ponder these concepts? In reality, what we’re doing is “virtue signaling.” From holding signs to changing our profile pictures, we’re not changing anything. But we are signaling to others that we are good people. Letting go of such delusions clears space for us to aim that virtue into something far more valuable and far more soothing to ourselves.
2. Take Direct, Local Action — OFTEN
Popular activism is all about tackling issues beyond our reach. But what about the matters upon which we can make a difference?
Let’s say you feel deeply moved by the plight of domestic violence victims and their families. In this age of crowd-sourcing, you can create a fundraising campaign with a few clicks. With this money, you can (for example) purchase toys for children living in domestic violence shelters. You can inquire about what the women specifically need and then directly supply it. You alone can’t end gender-based violence. But you can provide direct relief to those in need — right now!
When Hope Can’t Be Found
Regardless of what steps you take, there may be times when the discord dramatically outweighs the hope. Seeking a counselor is a great way to find a safe space to discuss these feelings and seek solutions.
Posted Counseling Wise on December 10, 2018