How to Manage Anxiety About World Events If You're an Empath
Wednesday, October 4 2017 Melissa Renzi
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?