How to Manage Anxiety About World Events If You're an Empath
Is there a good way to manage anxiety about world events if you're an empath? If you feel like the world is falling apart, you’re not alone. Although empathy is more acutely developed in highly sensitive people, you don't have to be an empath to feel anxious. So it’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed these days, especially with this week’s tragic incident in Las Vegas. Everywhere we turn, it seems we see endless violence and natural disasters. Managing the anxiety caused by world events takes special skill.
As an empath, tragedy and violence affect me deeply (Intense Anxiety And The Highly Sensitive Person). While most feel some sense of empathy, empaths may respond to the news by subconsciously absorbing the emotions of the world into our bodies. That makes it more difficult to manage anxiety about world events. If we’re not careful, carrying the weight of the world can result in physical and mental illnesses, including anxiety symptoms.
How Media Creates Anxiety About World Events
Today we’re inundated with negative world events that create anxiety and it's tough to manage. And it’s no secret that social media can magnify anxiety. Our constant connectedness makes it easy to fall prey to the idea that the world is more dangerous than ever. It’s true there are some horrific events happening, but we’re also more aware of them. Twenty years ago, there were events that simply didn’t reach our radar.
Every time we see, hear, or experience an event that induces fear, we condition our minds and bodies to view the world as dangerous. And the more you pile onto an empath, the worse anxiety becomes.
How to Manage Anxiety About World Events
1. Limit your intake of media.
While it’s important to be informed and engaged in what’s going on in world events, you can manage anxiety if you don't let the media consume your day. Empaths especially need to manage their doses of media. Turn off your social media notifications. When you listen, read, or watch the news, pay attention to your body. If your body feels tense, turn it off (What to Do When the News Triggers Mental Illness Symptoms).
2. Be mindful of what you share on social media.
A few months ago, I made a decision to refrain from sharing divisive memes and angry rants that might evoke fear and anxiety. I share posts that are thought-provoking and open the conversation about the issues that are important to me, which feels more empowering.
3. Seek out good news.
Today I had a conversation with a former co-worker who informed me of an important change to the entire child welfare system in Wisconsin that happened in the last few years. Five years ago, the trajectory looked bleak. Share good news. Doing so lets your anxiety about world events manage itself as you look closer to home for what's most important to you.
4. Make time for self-care.
Take a mini-retreat from social media and use that time to meditate, exercise, or take a walk in nature. Self-care is not selfish. It is the very thing empaths need to stay mentally and physically healthy, which in turn helps you manage anxiety about world events.
5. Take action.
Tangible actions can be big or small, but doing something to move our globe toward greater health is important. And serving others also helps alleviate anxiety. Imagine if everyone were to make a small donation to a relief organization or write a letter to their elected officials.
Are you an empath who feels anxious by the news? What are your strategies?
Renzi, M. (2017, October 4). How to Manage Anxiety About World Events If You're an Empath, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2017/10/how-empaths-can-manage-anxiety-about-world-events
Author: Melissa Renzi
Hi Lynda Ann, I hear you one hundred percent. It's a challenging time in so many ways and a continual balancing act of figuring out how much I can read in order to stay engaged without overdoing it to the point of overwhelm. I find it does help to take action, as mentioned. I was about to start promoting a retreat I'm leading to Guatemala next year...when Volcan Fuego erupted, I felt such sadness that I shifted toward helping a fundraising campaign for the time being. My partner and I recently went to a volunteer fair as well. It was uplifting to hear all of the amazing work different organizations are doing and be able to give our time and energy when we can to these causes. But yes, it doesn't release of the immense emotion we feel; it just gives us a positive outlet.
I have been feeling emotionally and physically overwhelmed by the current world events...things are not right in the world and everything is so intense right now. I find myself unable to focus on just daily tasks...walking around crying and in a daze. Trying to make more alone time has been helpful by giving me time to get away from people and be alone with my own thoughts and feelings instead of feeling everyone else. Sometimes I just use this time to cry my eyes out ....it is a release of some of the tension...letting it all out. Afterwards I have more focus and can get things done. Its so hard for my family to understand what Im going through....of course they just say I'm too sensitive and dont understand what I'M REALLY going through. They just want me to smile and be happy. As much as I don't like being false sometimes I try to do that so they will feel better and then I find myself feeling better too so I guess that fake it til you make it can work at times. Honestly, with all the weather issues and volcanoes going off and the fires going on it's like our entire natural world is in rebellion and my feeling is that it's going to get a lot worse.
So buckle in!
Hi Lynda Ann, I'm posting this here so you hopefully get the reply. I think I accidentally replied in the wrong place. I hear you one hundred percent. It's a challenging time in so many ways and a continual balancing act of figuring out how much I can read in order to stay engaged without overdoing it to the point of overwhelm. I find it does help to take action, as mentioned. I was about to start promoting a retreat I'm leading to Guatemala next year...when Volcan Fuego erupted, I felt such sadness that I shifted toward helping a fundraising campaign for the time being. My partner and I recently went to a volunteer fair as well. It was uplifting to hear all of the amazing work different organizations are doing and be able to give our time and energy when we can to these causes. But yes, it doesn't release of the immense emotion we feel; it just gives us a positive outlet.