It is easy to get overwhelmed in a world that seems on the brink of destruction. The cycle of endless 24-hour news media, online media feeds, and social media posts means that we never truly escape the entire world’s panic at any moment of the day if we are plugged in, which most of us reading this are.
J. Krishnamurti once said, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” In a world obsessed with cutting-edge sensationalist entertainment, perhaps, the healthiest thing is to learn to step away. There are some beneficial practices that may help you find calm in the storm of the world as it is.
- Make a beverage of choice. Hold it and begin to feel the heat or coolness of it. Focus on the feel. Breathe in the smell. Focus on the feel of your body holding the container. Hear what sounds are around you. Feel the clothes on your body. Just be present with this experience for a moment. Try to do this at least once a day.
- Take a day offline or an even longer social media fast: Turn everything on airplane mode and, even better, stick it in a closet or somewhere you can’t access it easily. This practice may take warning your normal check-ins that you’ll be away, but fasting from electronics for a day can be a beautiful reset. Notice when you miss it. Notice when you crave to check in. Don’t judge those impulses, just notice them.
- Spend a day noticing every time you find your mind wandering while you’re working. Don’t judge it. Just notice it. Are there times that this is more common? This can also be used for noticing anxious, worried, or other kinds of mental-health related symptoms: Don’t judge, just observe like a calm bystander in your own mind and see what might be setting you off in ways you didn’t realize.
There are many more options for becoming mindful, for experiencing your current existence rather than the existential and cerebral baselines that we all too often let spin out of control in the modern world.
Resting in reality includes the good and the bad of life, but it approaches that without judgment. So many of us struggle with judgment of self and judgment of others. Yet, we can become more mindful when those programs of judgment play in our mind and, from that, identify the ways in which we can break those cycles by knowing where our own woundedness and fear live.
The world right now is uncertain, but the truth is that the world has always been uncertain. Our ability to cope with whatever life brings is centered in our own ability to engage in measured and healthy ways. Mindfulness can be a path towards that: It isn’t always easy, but it is always available with a bit of work and practice.