Choose to see all media on your terms.
We all know everything in the news is fear-based. With stories on violence, poverty, crimes, war, and now the elections. It can get overwhelming if you’re constantly watching and reading the news.
Pick a specific time to browse different websites, apps, or TV channels in order to stay informed, but don’t get stuck there to the point where you become overwhelmed.
This also goes for social media. Try not to constantly go to social media whenever you have some downtime. Be in the present moment instead of mentally escaping by distracting yourself with social media.
Another suggestion is to turn off notifications on your phone. If your phone is always going off with alerts, that can be mentally over stimulating. Instead, manually go into your apps whenever you want, instead of being sucked into the apps by these notifications.
Expose your mind to productive information.
Everything your mind sees, hears, and feels are seeds. If your mind is mostly exposed to negative things, you’re going to feel negative. Instead, purposely listen to music that makes you feel good. Watch shows and movies that teach you something. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts on your commute.
Sometimes we can’t help but be around things that don’t make us feel good. Even more reason to add healthy things to your mind. I like to look at it as “watering down” the negativity.
We are surrounded by many unhealthy things by default. It is your responsibility to take control of what your mind is exposed to.
Set limits with people that make you feel stressed.
Learning to set boundaries is very important. Boundaries are just limits you have for yourself and others in order to protect your emotional well being. Check out a previous post on dealing with negative people.
If there are people that you have to deal with on a regular basis and they tend to put you in a bad mood or test your patience, you have to set a time limit of how much time you will spend around them.
If you deal with these negative people on a daily basis, set a limit on the topics of conversation, or keeping it strictly about whatever thing you have to talk about.
Surround your mind with higher minds.
Now that you’re cleaning up your social space and setting limits with negative people, you have to fill that space with people who think differently. If you personally know someone who is healthy, happy, and successful, learn from them. Try spending more time with them.
But most likely you don’t know anyone personally to spend time with them. Instead, surround your mind with these people through books, videos, podcasts, etc. You don’t have to be physically around positive influences. You can surround yourself with them through the products they put out. I have many mentors that have taught me about business and healing, that I have never personally met.
Even if you can’t get rid of the negative people in your life, you can water it down by filling up a lot of your downtime listening to these better influences.
We live in the information age. Anything you want to learn is online. Including ways to improve your mental and emotional wellbeing. What better way than to learn from people who have already done the work.
Focus on what you can control.
When feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself, “can I control this?” “What can I control?”
Focusing on things you have no control over is a waste of energy and time. It only frustrates you even more. You have to find a way to let it go. You can’t change it.
If you do have control, focus on finding a solution and problem-solving. When you focus on what you can control, it gives you a sense of empowerment. Stress and anxiety decrease since you’re taking action.
Remember, your health and wellbeing is your job. Be the guard of your own mind. With practice, you’ll make it a habit to protect yourself from the negativities of the world.
About the Author.
Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, adults and Spanish-speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA.