How Do I Cope with World Events?
My heart is beating in my gut, the breakfast I just finished feels heavy and I feel like I am going to be sick. I was just informed that it’s likely the US is entering into war again. Nothing is for sure yet, but even the violence that has already taken place is too much for me. I really have to take time to process to cope with world events like this.
Cope with world events in the moment
As an empath, while things like this may seem far away to other people, I can be deeply emotionally affected by what is going on in the world. I feel a lot, but even if you are not highly sensitive, there comes a point where what is happening can all seem like too much. What can we do with these emotions?
The first thing I have to do to respond to my feelings is to be aware of them. I realize that I am having an emotional reaction to the news and my stomachache and racing heart are my body’s natural reaction to a sense of danger. I am not in immediate danger, but my body doesn’t know the difference between the signals.
When I think of war, I feel imminent fear. It’s palpable, dries out my mouth, and brings tears to my eyes. It is not something to be ignored. So I acknowledge them and even accept that this is who I am. My compassion and strong feelings of sadness about death and hate are part of me that I wouldn’t change. So I have to know how to cope.
Get control of the physical response
Once I recognize the physical symptoms are a result of the emotions, they rarely escalate. My pulse begins to drop as I slow my breathing and I can relax into the present moment. Stomach pain doesn’t immediately go away, but once I’m aware of what’s causing it, I don’t stress about it. If I need them, I know lots of relaxation techniques.
Deciding what to do with my emotions about world events
Once I get a handle on the physical response to my emotions, I have to decide what to do with them. If I want, I could read news article after news article, and lose myself in the sadness of the state of the world. There are…