How to find balance when the news is awful

balance in challenging times huunuu blog

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How are you feeling right now? The world in 2024 can seem a frightening place. There are wars, genocide, financial crises, political mayhem, and environmental disasters all on the back of a pandemic, which doesn’t really seem like it has gone anywhere. It’s impossible to get a dentist appointment or see a doctor, the trains are on strike again. It can feel like we are all on the brink of disaster.

How can we find balance in amongst all of this, how can we still lead our life, let alone one with purpose and meaning? All the matcha tea or lion’s mane mushrooms in the world aren’t going to fix this mess.

Living a happy life amidst frightening news can be challenging, but it’s certainly possible if we can adopt a healthy mindset and work on our own wellbeing. There are some tools we can implement to help us find equilibrium, or even just to minimise the stress.

  1. Limit your news consumption and set boundaries: While it’s important to stay informed, constantly consuming frightening news can be overwhelming and detrimental to your mental health. Set boundaries for yourself, such as limiting your news intake to a certain amount of time each day or only checking the news at specific times. Remember the companies that make the news want you to keep watching, so they want it to be edge of your seat information, which isn’t necessarily good for us. Think of it as eating a whole packet of biscuits as opposed to a few. We can choose what we consume.
  2. Pick reputable sources: Focus on reliable news sources that provide accurate and balanced reporting. Avoid sensationalist or clickbait headlines that are designed to provoke fear or anxiety.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to help calm your mind and reduce anxiety. Being present in the moment can help you focus on what you can control rather than worrying about things beyond your influence. Which brings us nicely onto…
  4. Focus on what you can control: While you may not be able to control the events happening in the world, you can control how you respond to them. Focus on taking positive actions in your own life, such as volunteering, supporting causes you believe in, or practising acts of kindness towards others. By taking positive action you can live your life with purpose and build your legacy despite the situation. It will make you feel that your life has real meaning.
  5. Maintain perspective: Remember that the news often focuses on negative events because they are more likely to grab attention. Remind yourself that there are still many positive things happening in the world, even if they don’t always make headlines. It may even be a good idea to actively seek out the good news and stories of kindness. Just because it isn’t breaking news, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. People are often more good than not.
  6. Stay connected: Lean on your support network of friends, family, and loved ones for comfort and reassurance. Connecting with others can help you feel less alone in facing frightening news and provide a sense of community and belonging. Seek out pets, get out in nature, feel a physical part of the world by feeling the sun on your face, the wind in your hair. Find energy from others and nature. Remember you can’t find these things sitting in your room watching the news, you have to get out. Watch the birds, they listen to their own rhythms, rather than external sources. We can all learn a thing or two here.
  7. Engage in self-care: Take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing by getting enough sleep, eating healthily, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. By doing the things that bring you joy, you continue to live your life your way and others will be grateful for your authenticity.

By choosing life and doing the things you love with the people you love, life can be enriching and joyful, if we make a choice towards kindness and gratitude in our everyday lives then much of the external negativity can be balanced out. We’re not saying we can make any of the challenges disappear, but we can make our journey through the world easier…and that’s worth putting the work in for.

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