Our newsfeed is full of traumatic events that we cannot fix or change. How do we deal with anxiety about current events?
Here are five ways to deal with anxiety about current events
These tools give us things we can do.
Of course! For we people of faith, this is the most necessary thing to do. We followers of Christ have instructions and I imagine that if we are able to follow the instructions, the prayer of the “righteous will avail much”…
Remember: 1 Timothy 2:1-2
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and for all that in authority, so that we may lead quiet and peacable life in all godliness and honesty.” KJV
It is something you CAN do and you do have instructions to do so. When people actually pray about international and national events, they tend to feel a little better because they did something that is effective spiritually.
Limit your exposure to social media and the news
Social media algorithms feed you more of anything you click on. So limit any clicks on dramatic photos, videos or posts. If you find your feed is mostly drama and trauma, willfully find happy memes and click on those only for a day or two.
Also, news organizations make their money by selling ads. They sell more ads when people have their noses clued to the screen because of anxiety-provoking events.
Therefore, to keep you stuck on their medium, many news outlets will try to increase your anxiety by using clickbait headlines. Not only that but they will use anxiety-provoking nouns and verbs along with dramatic-sounding voices.
Try to limit your news consumption to once or twice a day. Take a media fast whenever you can. The news will happen whether or not you are watching. Your brain and soul will thank you for it.
Donate something small
Small things add up!
Find an honest organization that is feet on the ground supporting the people affected by the current event. A tiny donation from you adds up when lots of people are doing the same.
Write your elected officials
Send an email to one or all of your elected officials. Simply write a sentence or two about your opinion on that one current event.
Elected officials have staff who note what is important to their constituents. Your email opinion matters to them because it helps the elected officials keep their priorities in line with folks who they hope be voting for them.
Notice where God is working in the world
Try not to let a day go by without stopping to notice the simple ways God is working in the world. A modified Ignatian Examen can help.
- Something beautiful in God’s creation (a sunset, a daffodil, a tree budding)
- A kind or helpful thing that someone else did. (Remember the story Mr. Rogers told:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”)
- Something God has done for you today (even your daily breath is something to be grateful for)
Hang in there. There is still good yet to come, even if there are many anxiety-provoking current events.