YUUGE! Make America Great Again. Black Lives Matter. War. Syria. Brexit. Putin.
If you are a person, who is not living under a rock and you look back at 2016, 10 years from now, I bet you my last Canadian dollar that these might be the first few phrases that will pop into your mind.
2016 feels like a sucker punch to our soft, complacent underbelly. A year that has changed many of our preciously held beliefs about our governments, mainstream media, society, good and evil and orange coloured men.
The Gloom and Doom of our Times
This year has also exponentially increased the general anxiety level of people, not just in North America, but around the world. I have come across psychological articles talking about this phenomenon called “Trump Anxiety”. We are constantly being bombarded by hysterical and dramatic bits of information and our level of trust in the government and the “system” is quickly heading towards rock bottom.
Many of us are feeling a sense of impending doom as the whiff of WW3 hangs in the air, while you swallow the latest Wikileaks scandal with your BLT sandwich in the morning. We human beings don’t deal very well with uncertainty. Despite the inherent uncertainty of life, we have developed ways to suppress it with a plan and a vision for our future. At a macro level, we have created structures in society, like governments and laws to basically suppress uncertainty and chaos. But those structures are now falling apart.
Anxiety, depression, stress, hysteria, lack of hope for the future, meaninglessness, hatred and bigotry seems to be bursting out of our social seams and no amount of media spin or political correctness can contain it
Currently, we are facing an invisible epidemic. Anxiety, depression, stress, hysteria, lack of hope for the future, meaninglessness, hatred and bigotry seems to be bursting out of our social seams and no amount of media spin or political correctness can contain it.
5 Ways to Thrive Through Times of Chaos and Uncertainty
Choosing not to drag you any further through more gloom and doom, here are 5 ways by which I have prepared myself, to thrive through these times of chaos and uncertainty.
1. Choosing a more positive lens for my Perspective Glasses
At this time especially, perspective is key and the meaning you glean from the experiences around you can be the difference between mental illness and health. My perspective is that we are living through the Grand Revealing of our times. All the demons and gremlins that had been crammed within our collective, unconscious closet are tumbling out to be revealed, processed and healed. Currently, we are in the revealing stage and soon we will be entering the processing stage as a collective. This is the darkness before a new dawn and things WILL IMPROVE once we enter the final stages of the processing stage. This is my belief and you may argue with its validity, but it keeps me in a positive frame of mind, without denying or minimizing the negativity. But to reach this stage, I have had to spend a lot of time and effort to clean my lenses, which segues into my next point.
2. As Above, So Below – Dealing with the chaos within myself
The energy that is behind this Grand Revealing is also working within us to reveal our hidden demons. We are not separate from the world stage and everything is connected. So the saying goes, As Above, So Below.
Hence it is IMPERATIVE that we do our inner work at this time. That we come to terms with our own coping patterns, traumas, hurts and wounds, by actively reprocessing and healing them
Hence it is IMPERATIVE that we do our inner work at this time. That we come to terms with our own coping patterns, traumas, hurts and wounds, by actively reprocessing and healing them. As a psychotherapist, I am witnessing a surge of high-functioning people having nervous breakdowns/high anxiety/panic attacks/depression, who have suppressed their inner demons very well in the past. Then they start a treatment of holistic psychotherapy, respond well, start transforming their behaviours and lifestyles and that internal chaos subsides.
3. Physical preparedness to enhance my feeling of stability
I will admit that I am a bit of a prepper. I am training myself on survival skills. I have diversified my savings and investments to hedge myself against a market collapse. I believe in storing emergency food and water at home, which can last a few days at the least. Even if these measures are completely useless when the shit hits the proverbial fan, it improves my feeling of stability and keeps the jackals of uncertainty outside of city limits.
4. Anchoring stability for those around me
Stability is a state of mind and as you give more of it, so shall you receive. I am able to anchor this sense of stability for my psychotherapy clients, as well as some friends who reach out to me when they need support. I imagine it to be like rowing a boat with them on the calm waters, within the eye of a storm. As I anchor this feeling for them, I feel supported in return and find nourishment in the form of meaning and purpose. I feel like it is one of my missions in this life and I urge you to find your own mission during this momentous period in our collective evolution.
5. Kindness, Empathy and Self-Care
And finally, there is a lot of shit flying around, let’s not add to it. Even if it feels difficult, give kindness and empathy a try. It feels good to be a part of the solution, rather than adding to the chaos. This does not mean that you don’t stand up for yourself, or do your bit in revealing our collective darkness, if that is one of your life’s missions. But everything can be done with compassion. Also, focus on taking care of yourself. I cannot be an anchor of stability if I am feeling like an empty tube of toothpaste. Take care of yourself, before lending yourself to the world.
I hope you found these recommendations helpful. I believe in your capability to keep your chin up through these dark times. If you are facing some of the challenges that I have mentioned above and want to talk to a holistic psychotherapist who gets it, then feel free to contact me.
Photo Credit – Steven Guzzardi (Flickr Creative Commons)