Many people suffer from anxiety in one way or another. Some have a low-grade chronic anxiousness while others experience intense episodes triggered by a situation or circumstance. In this age of information and technology, everything seems to be moving at warp speed. The smart phones and gadgets everyone is constantly attached to make it challenging to be in the present moment. And anxiety, after all, is an inability to be right where you are.
Becoming aware of how the information we take in affects us is a good start to feeling more centered and grounded. This week, I noticed myself feeling nervous while reading the news. There is almost nothing noteworthy in the news that is positive, aside from cat videos on Youtube. The bleak economic predictions, political turmoil, conflicts overseas, terrorism and so on are very troubling to say the least. I realized that as I scanned the headlines, as I do each morning out of a compulsion to “stay informed and connected”, I felt unhappy and anxious over things I cannot change.
While it is important to stay informed, I believe it is also healthy to take a break from news- and social media, for that matter- for a period of time to check in with your self, body and mind. This does not mean you should be willfully oblivious to what is going on in the world; it means we are bombarded by information, much of it negative, and it pervades the psyche to the point that it affects peace of mind. It’s invasive. I have been avoiding the news on television and on the internet for 3 days and I can already feel the benefits: I feel calmer, more focused and I actually got a lot more done in the past three days. My mind feels freed up to focus on reading a book for leisure or enjoying small things about everyday life. I suggest trying this out for a few days or more and see what happens!