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How to Cope With What’s Happening in the World

world-eventsThere’s never been a time in the history of the world that news has traveled faster, wider and was more in your face than it is today. One minute you’re scrolling through pictures of your adorable baby niece and the next minute you’re bombarded with images of hate and violence from around the world and perhaps even in your own backyard.

It can be really tough to reconcile it all, and it might even cause you to feel like the world is full of anger and aggression.

But it does make me wonder if hateful, violent acts are truly more prevalent now than in the past or is it possible that we just can’t escape the rapid and constant feed of information from so many different platforms. Food for thought.

Still, bad things happen. So if recent events have you scratching your head and wondering what the heck is going on in the world, here’s a few things you can do to cope.

How to Cope With What’s Happening in the World

1. Make time to meditate. It’s easy to get sucked into feeling like everything is out of control when it looks like there’s chaos in the world. Emotions tend to cause our heads to spin. Meditation is a fabulous way to quiet the chatter in our minds and allow us to process emotions in a healthy way. When you’re feeling all the feels and your brain goes into overdrive, try taking a short meditation timeout or give one of these meditation apps a test drive.

2. Learn to control your breath. This sounds really elementary but, for most people, it’s the fastest way to pull it together when things feel out of control. Have you ever been around someone who was extremely upset and seen them appear to be hyperventilating? If you watch closely, you’ll probably notice that they’re breathing high up in their chest, taking extremely shallow breaths. Spend enough time breathing this way and your body will just continue to freak out, jacking up your heart rate and stopping your digestion (ever had an upset stomach when you’re stressed?). Try slowing your inhale to a count of four. Then match the exhales to the same four-count. Continue to breathe in equal breaths for a few minutes and watch what happens inside your body and mind.

3. Do a digital detox. When we constantly see scary images and reports about what’s going on “out there,” there’s a tendency to bring the outside world in and internalize it. Sometimes, the only way to interrupt this process is to unplug from “out there” by stepping away from the electronic devices for a while. Look, I know it feels like we’ve got to be on top of every single little detail but the truth is that this might not be what’s best for us. To preserve your own inner peace, sometimes you’ve got to let the outside remain outside your headspace. I’m not talking about denial either. I’m simply suggesting creating some space between you and the fast-moving stream of overwhelming information. At the end of the day, surrounding ourselves with information about what’s wrong with the world can change the way we see the world and rob us of the chance to see all that’s good in the world. If you don’t believe me, watch how quickly your view of the world changes when you unplug and go outside to play with your kids for a while.

4. Let love guide you. Seeing so much hate and violence on the regular does funny things to us. Not only does it initiate a stress response in our bodies which — if left unchecked — becomes incredibly toxic, but it also fills us with fear. When we’re afraid or feel threatened (whether real or perceived), we start making decisions based on what we’re afraid of and what we want to avoid rather than on basing them on what we actually want to happen and the things we love. It’s a subtle distinction, but one that’s worth making. One mindset is avoidance and the other is hopeful. It’s important to recognize whether you’re moving from a place of love or fear. It may not change the action you take every time but awareness allows you to make an honest assessment of what you’re truly afraid of and — more importantly — what that fear is costing you in terms of quality of life, peace of mind and reaching your highest potential.


What’s going on “out there” only disturbs your peace of mind if you invite it in and let it linger. Be selective about what you dedicate your time and energy to and don’t let yourself forget that the world is also full of a tremendous amount of love, hope and beautiful possibility.

How do you cope with disturbing events in the world? Alison

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