Dealing with anxiety and stress has been a lifelong issue. I was always the scared kid who never wanted to go on roller coasters or play in the woods. I was always nervous about horrible things happening. I was a happy child but I had vivid imaginations that keep me on edge. These days my imagination no longer has to work so hard. When you turn on the news you see violence, xenophobia, destruction and senseless killings.
I can’t say I feel things more deeply than others but they stay with me for a long time. I dream about killings and how it would feel like if I lost a husband or a child to gun violence. It hurts me think about those officers who went off to work and never came home. I have family and friends on the force and they don’t deserve to be targets. I feel like my country is in turmoil and it is directly effecting my life.
Over the years I have developed coping mechanisms to deal with stress and anxiety. I have to consciously enforce my peace of mind. As the world struggles to find balance, I struggle to find my inner peace. In order to do this I am very aware about social media and not following accounts that post inflammatory posts. As I scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds I filter accounts that preach violence and hatred. I understand that these messages even in passing affect your subconscious. I have participated in peaceful protests but I didn’t feel at peace afterwards only more agitated.
When I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed I talk about the issue with my husband. I always feel like he gives me a larger perspective to consider and shares with me his concerns as well. Knowing that I’m not alone with these feelings makes me feel better. I write in a journal to be reflective and acknowledge my feelings. By writing my thoughts on paper they are released from my head and they don’t feel so overwhelming. If I can't find sleep at night I say a prayer and turn on white noise sounds to soothe me back to sleep.
The world that we live in is chaotic and social media and the news brings it into your living room every day. Finding ways to filter it out or find coping mechanisms can help you find your peace. I am mindful of what I like or repost on social media because these small acts can encourage larger responses. Taking moments throughout the day to breathe deeply keeps me centered and in a peaceful state of mind.
Please feel to share how you find your peace in this world.
- a the word changes contributor