Self

The Psychological Skill That Can Save You When World Events Get You Down

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Woman superimposed with an image of herself, tinted blue

You are born with survival skills wired within. A bit of danger might seem adventurous. Yet the danger-meter increases beyond a certain threshold, and you isolate yourself to protect yourself from the same danger a while ago.

Yet it appears with every passing year that society is plagued with the ill effects of both natural and man-made calamities. Fires, droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods are forever in the news depending on where you live and what season you are in.

The shared emotional response to world events affects each of us, including you, no matter how far you try to run from it or work hard at hiding from it.

So, get started with a practice of self-love, self-care, and self-compassion — and you can begin the process of arming yourself to defend against despair.

Because loving yourself is the answer (though I know that is easier to say than it is to do!). 

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Why does the pain of the planet seem more prevalent now?

Wars and pandemics have been part of human history for as long as we have traversed the earth. It is part of history, her story, your story, my story.

Before the advent of television and radio, when news traveled with the caravan, people learned of disasters in other places when people from those places crossed their camps or towns.

Today, we do not even have to wait for the morning or evening news to learn of some tragedy striking someone somewhere. With modern-day smartphones, anyone can take a picture or a video and upload it on a platform, and in less than an hour, it goes viral. The worse the tragedy the faster the news travels almost like a wildfire being fed by a dry wind storm.

Even if you don’t watch the news or stay away from social media, someone who’s standing next to you in a check-out line or lives next door doesn’t. Therefore their mood affects your mood even if you don’t know them, just by inhaling the air they exhale.

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Be aware of contagious emotion

Emotions are contagious, like a yawn. You don’t know why you are feeling sad or fearful or any other emotion, but you know what you feel is real and for nearly no reason.

You don’t question it and right away memories matching those emotions begin surfacing and you are smack dab in the middle of a low-grade fever of unpleasant feelings.

It’s like cancer that creeps upon someone and is only detected after a few years of it eating away healthy cells from within and gaining noticeable control of the human body.

Why and how do emotions get stirred up?

You don’t have to be a depressive person to feel sad when you hear of someone losing a pet. When news of wars being waged in distant land reaches you, you might say it has nothing to do with you and continue.

That is a coping mechanism because you have work to do, bills to pay, and things that concern you more than this news. But since the news has reached you, it has taken hold of your unconscious and without you being aware of it, it’s gnawing away from within. It’s insidious!

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What’s going on today and how does it affect you?

The current pandemic that we are walking away from is a clear reminder that you are not alone, never! Something that happens to someone somewhere, matters, even if you do not know the person and will never come in contact.

All of life is connected through energetic chords and is part of the fabric called creation.

The butterfly effect is a mental model and can be explained by a few examples.

If you ever tossed a pebble in a pond, have you noticed the ripples which seem to be eternal? First, they spread to the edge of the pond and seem to return to the center of the ripples to be colliding with the ripples still emitting from where the pebble had struck the surface of the water. Doesn’t it seem like the ripples are never-ending?

Girls hanging out with each other for a few weeks, also seem to have their menstrual cycle at the same time. When there’s a war at the other end of the world, the soldiers who travel there are your backyard boys and girls.

What happens in a distant land, happens to the kids who went to school with your children. When they hurt, that hurt energy is in the air that you inhale. How do you escape from the global pain of sorrow, hurt, grief, fear, and soul-sucking doubts?

You are a part of the whole and the whole happens only because you exist in it.

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How to defend against event-related despair

If you want to help yourself, then help others, start by loving and healing yourself. When you try to hide from pain, you will keep running from it but are never able to hide. Guess why? It’s because you are the source of all that you experience.

With thought and effort, you can become the source of healing for yourself and others. If you work at it and focus on self-care, your very presence can heal you and those around them.

Whatever in the world affects you already exists in you. For example, if I said, you have green hair, if you didn’t have green hair, it wouldn’t bother you at all, and if you have green hair, you would say “she’s right!”

But if I called you a horrible person, you may or may not strike back with a “you are horrible." But you would definitely wonder “what made her say that?” Because, within you, you have layers of low self-esteem you struggle with which makes you partly believe unflattering statements about yourself.

There is no escape except through the mindful practice of self-compassion. And when you actively practice self-compassion, you become part of the solution and a source of joy and healing in your world.

You become the pebble in the pond that starts a ripple effect of compassion, understanding, and acceptance. The more compassion you actively practice towards yourself, the kinder and more helpful you are towards those around you.

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Keya Murthy, M.S. uses Hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), Reiki, and Astrology in her Parenting and Relation Coaching practice at Ventura Healing Center. She’s a #1 Best-selling author on Amazon and has published eleven books. Her latest book is The Book On Happiness.

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