Let’s be perfectly honest here. The world you and I live in today is complicated, and all-too-often full of fear, lack, scarcity, and overall negativity. All you have to do is scroll through social media. Doing so, you will see memes and links to articles about any number of terrible things going on.
It can be thoroughly disheartening, infuriating, annoying, maddening, and all kinds of mostly negative emotions. Yet you cannot (and should not) just ignore it all, because you need to be informed. That’s how you can know when and how to protest, speak up, vote, and otherwise take actions to make changes.
The problem is not in being informed, it’s avoiding becoming overwhelmed. The downside of our instant gratification quick-fix society and the tech at our fingertips is that you can almost receive too much information. What’s more, parsing out real data with fake information is challenging, in especial with so many people being willing to reject intellectualism, research, science, and the like.
So how do you remain informed, avoid becoming overwhelmed, and maintain positivity?
First step — Don’t read too deep
When it comes to being informed, it’s necessary to keep up with all that is going on. But that does not mean digging into each and every matter happening out there in-depth.
Being generally aware of what Trump is doing, what Congress is and is not doing, Brexit, Iran, and the rest of the world is a matter of reading headlines from solid and dependable sources. (Sources such as, in my opinion, NPR, BBC, The NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, and the like). If that doesn’t provide you enough info, maybe open up the article and skim through it.
But reading every single article in-depth, reading the comments, and digging into every nugget of information will not serve but to make you feel bad. Let’s face it, these are matters that you and I have very little control or even influence over. However, if we ignore them we may become complicit and complacent, and miss when the time DOES arrive to speak out, attend a protest, write/call our so-called Representatives, and so on.
So keep informed, but don’t make yourself utterly crazed by getting deep into every single thing happening. Be choosy, be picky. Even glance at the less-legit sources just to see what BS is being spread. Informed is good — overwhelmed is not.
Which brings us to the next step.
Second step — Be Mindful of the now
Much of the stuff we face, while it impacts the present, is focused on the past and future. The whole notion of “Make America Great Again” implies that the past is the key to the future — which is never the truth.
Yes, you can learn lessons from the past — but you cannot go back to it, nor should you. Times change, people and things evolve.
When it comes to remaining informed and avoiding overwhelm the best option is to be in the now. Right here, right now, you are. What does that even mean? It means that this is the only time that is completely real and that mindfulness has the most impact.
Mindfulness — being aware of your thoughts and feelings and the intentional actions you take from them — puts you in the now. The now is the only time that is totally real. The now is the only time from which you can best balance being informed and maintaining positivity in the world.
Which brings us to the last step.
Third step — Choose positivity
When you are careful not to be overwhelmed by information while keeping informed, and being mindful of the now, you open yourself up to influencing what you are thinking and feeling, and thus to be positive.
I know that when I am not being mindful, or when I get overwhelmed by what is going on out there, my subconscious will draw my thoughts and feelings to negative places. When I do not recognize this I will often find myself feeling anxious and depressed. If I realize the cause, I become mindful, and put myself in the position to influence and maybe even control what I am thinking and feeling, and from there intentional actions to take.
You have the power to choose how much news and information to take in, decide how far you can look within before it might overwhelm you, and to choose means to find, create, and maintain positivity.
You are not a selfish or bad person for choosing a positive outlook — you become part of the solution because you are not contributing to the doom and gloom and putting even more of that out there.
I know this can take work, but I also know that I prefer to be informed without being overwhelmed, and maintain as positive an attitude as I can.
Finding positivity and avoiding overwhelm isn’t hard, but it does require action
Knowing that you can control how much information you take in, you can choose and decide how much you absorb. When you actively work to be informed and avoid overwhelm, you are practicing mindfulness, which ultimately empowers you. When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that tends to spread to other people around you.
As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more things to feel positivity and gratitude for.
Gratitude leads to happiness. Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude. An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of positivity that begets even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and you can choose to be informed without being overwhelmed.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on July 22, 2019.