No doubt about it, we are living in the information age, bombarded constantly by news and events the world over and much of what the media delivers to us in our homes and on our mobile devices, wherever we are, is doomsday laden. (What do they say, “If it bleeds, it leads?”) If you’re feeling anxious, fearful, or angry even — it’s for good reason — your nervous system is taking a hit every time you read or see one of these stories and with it goes your sense of peace. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You are in control of your world, your sense of peace, and the level of fear with which you walk in the world. It only takes a bit of mindfulness.
The politics of fear
Whether your concerns are for the economy, our environment, paying off your debt, or the preservation of all of humanity — an election year can turn up your levels of fear. Why? Because it’s designed that way. Just the same way marketers use glossy ads and big promises of what you want to get you to buy their goods, politicians use rhetoric to tap into something even more powerful than what we want. They know how to focus the spotlight on what we DON’T want — ratcheting up the fear and creating an impassioned base that either mobilizes for or against what they represent — mostly based on tapping into to our deepest fears.
Fear: A bully’s tool
Fear is the most debilitating emotion there is, every bully knows it, every master manipulator, every dictator knows this and they will use it to control you. This is why we must learn how to stay calm in the face of fear. Now, this is not always easily accomplished and if you’re faced with a very large and hungry bear in the woods, your fear may serve you well, but even then, you will need to remain somewhat mentally calm in order to escape a dismal fate.
What is fear/anxiety?
Fear is a feeling induced by a sense of perceived danger or threat. Though closely related, fear should be distinguished from anxiety, as anxiety occurs as the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. Most of what we feel in our relatively calm (as in, bears aren’t actually chasing you) daily lives is anxiety rather than true fear. But regardless, your body feels them similarly, causing a change in metabolic and organ functions in preparation for what is called “Fight or Flight,” gearing up our endorphins to either flee from that hungry bear or fight an oncoming threat. (*BTW – when we do neither of these things, it leaves us with excess chemicals in our body that make us feel icky and do a number on our immune systems).
As we have evolved to mostly civilized times, the need to flee or fight, for most of us (thankfully!) is not a daily occurrence. Which means that whether you’re late for work, fearful of a Drumpf presidency, watching a horror movie curled up on the couch, or being chased by that bear — your body is gearing up chemically just the same, though maybe to greater or lesser degrees.
Fear or calm — it’s your choice
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Speaking of an election year, you know when we vote, we’re affirming something we want in our lives or society. The same is true with everything you vote for in your daily life. But how are you voting in your daily life? With your attention.
By giving something your attention, you reward or affirm that behavior — you are saying that it deserves to be heard or seen. But ask yourself just what you’re putting your attention towards? Are you voting for the things you want to see happening in your world or spending your time raging AGAINST what you don’t want. Remember, energetically, what you focus on you bring into being and that means resistance is persistence as well. Mindfulness means tuning into what you want to vote for in this life and tuning out what you don’t want, making those choices consciously, present in the moment. (*Tips to help you find your inner peace.)
But I need to stay informed
Of course, we need to stay informed but just remember to consider your sources. Where are you getting your news from? Who owns or sponsors the media you are consuming? Do you think they may have an agenda? If they do, and most groups do, does that agenda match your own?
Choose where you get your information from, picking platforms you trust to inform you properly and without all the fear mongering — there are plenty out there. The beauty of the web is that you can find many different points of view and then YOU make up your mind as to what to believe and what to give your attention to.
Unplug from the dog and pony (or should we say the donkey and elephant) show and don’t help spread the fear by reposting those sensationalistic headlines.
You are more powerful than you know. You have the power to manifest what you want by where you put your focus. Be sure that you are focusing on what you want, not on what you don’t. Give your attention to all that is good and right in this life and spread that good news. By sharing the things we all want or have in common, we can help guide others in not buying into the frenzy out there as well and in the end, effectively be that change we wish to see.
Check out our other posts on keeping calm and clearing your own energetic space.