Coping With The World We Are Living In
Do you feel anxious and depressed when you watch the news?
Have you noticed how much of the conversation you are having with family and friends now focuses on all of the negative things happening in our world?
Do you feel afraid and hopeless about the future when present circumstances in the world with daily shootings, Covid, Ukraine are so overwhelming?
We are living through very dark times in this country and for humanity overall. Daily shootings have us all deeply saddened, scared and angry about the inaction of our government to do anything. The threat of climate change looms large and when we let ourselves go There, the future can feel hopeless. A senseless war is being waged by one dictator who’s ego is solely responsible for the slaughter and suffering of an entire country leaving us feelings feeling sad and powerless.
How are we supposed to cope with all of this?
The answer is found in Being Present. What does that mean? It means noticing when our thoughts are spiraling, and we are somewhere else. Become aware of our thinking is the first step to coming back to Presence. In fact, the moment we notice that we are not Present is the moment we become Present.
The majority of human suffering is the result of what is going on in our own brains. Thoughts are constantly moving through and we always have a choice about how to interact with those thoughts. We can get all involved with them and suffer the consequences (we call these Sticky Thoughts) or we can learn to practice Observing them.
The way to get better at Observing our thoughts is to practice Presence during non stressful times. Being present when there isn’t anything stressful going on can look like bringing your awareness to washing dishes, taking a shower, walking down the street. It’s fully being there. Tuning in to all of your senses during the experience. This practice actually strengthens the brain to be present and to come back to Presence when we need it to.
Practicing Presence is just that…a practice. The more we do it the better able our brains are to be steady during the times when we find ourselves in a thought storm of negativity, fear and hopelessness. This is the best mechanism we have available to us to cope with the overwhelming feelings that we are all trying to manage during this difficult time we find ourselves in.
All we have and know for sure is the moment that we are in however, when we get into a thought storm, we miss the moment. We can spend our lives thinking about the past or the future or we can drop into the moment that we are in.
Join me in Being Present and discover the spaciousness that can be found there.
Madeline Rice, LCSW