What to Do When the World Feels Like Too Much

By Cynthia Greb

How many of us here are very sensitive?

Does your psyche get rattled by too much noise or chaos?  Is violence painful for you to witness or even think about?  Are you sensitive to harsh environments, mean-spirited words, or chemicals?

We are being bombarded every day by examples of insensitivity, disrespect, and cruelty; by lies, by toxins in the sky and air and home.  It may feel, at times, as if there is no escape.  Your spirit may be crying out for sanity in a world that feels increasingly insane.  Your heart is, no doubt, yearning to be nourished with love, with beauty and grace and the laughter of innocents.

Recently, like many of us, I felt overwhelmed and anxious–especially about the children separated from their parents and siblings and not being physically comforted or emotionally supported during their trauma. After taking some action, I found, a couple days later, that I was depressed and lethargic, and I knew I couldn’t serve the world anymore until I took care of myself. That’s when I took a break from the news for a few days and immersed myself in nature. After that, I felt  I was more balanced. The Earth truly was medicine for me!

If this is true for you too, if you feel you just cannot tolerate one more article or video or headline or newscast that shows the coarseness and hardheartedness of this world, this is what I found that helped me:

  • Recognize that your spirit is ailing and it needs care, just as your body would if you were physically sick.
  • For a day or two or three or however long you determine, take a break from social media and the news.  Just turn it all off.  The world can survive without you being hyper-informed every minute of every day.  If possible, silence your phone for a while, too.  Your spirit needs peace and quiet.
  • Treat yourself with calmness.  If you are commuting to work, play some exquisite music on the way–something that makes your spirit soar.  If you can, try leaving a little earlier so that you can drive slower.  Maybe look for an alternative route–one that takes you past some areas of natural beauty.
  • Make time for nature therapy. Nature is medicine for the soul. Take your coffee or tea and watch the sun rise.  Or find a park, walk barefoot in the grass, and lie out in the sun.  Take a walk through a woodland.  Sit by a brook.  Do some peaceful gardening.  Watch the bees and butterflies.  Listen to the birds.
  • What else calms your spirit?  A bath?  Candlelight?  Fresh flowers on your table?
  • Play.  Play with your dogs.  Play a game with your kids.  Dance to some fun music.  Read a frivolous novel.
  • Practice gratitude.  There is always something to be grateful for:  your kids, the birds singing out your window, the flowers in your garden, the beauty of the moon, the food you are blessed to have and the water coming from your faucet, the dog that greets you at the door with wagging tail.  Be thankful.  It can change your mood dramatically.

I hope this helps.

Try to remember (or imagine) a time before the advent of television and computers and smart phones.  At one time our ancestors lived more closely with the natural world.  They weren’t aware of every horrible thing happening in every corner of the globe.  Allow yourself to occasionally return to a more simple world.  This is not about putting your head in the sand; it is about creating for yourself a haven.  Your spirit needs a sanctuary where it can rest and restore.  When you’re feeling better, emerge and do what needs to be done.  But please don’t let yourself be bombarded constantly.  It is unkind to you.  You deserve some kindness and tranquility now and then.  And the peace that you allow yourself to feel will ripple out into a world that badly needs it.

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