External events outside of our control have left many people feeling very frazzled. It's important to try to emotionally regroup after chaos ensues. How might we do this?
The first step in emotionally regrouping is to attempt to feel peace and happiness no matter what. If we commit to this decision, we have a chance at defeating the internal chaos. The next step is to process through the chaos, both in the outside world and in our own minds. If that means watching the news, researching things, or talking about stress, then fine. But we must not focus on negativities. For example, it's best to limit negative news. Some people prefer immediate distraction. Other people need to process through things. The key is to move on as quickly as possible and not dwell on things outside of our control. As we reflect on our internal feelings, we begin to see how deeply we are affected by external events.
Once we have adequately processed the chaos the next step is to clarify what we can control, change, or make a difference about, and what we cannot. If we can do something to solve problems, by all means, we should do it. But often we feel chaos around us because we cannot control outcomes. If there’s nothing we can do to make a difference, the next step is to change the “channel” of our minds. Find something else to focus our attention on. When times are chaotic it is good to stay busy so there is not too much time to fret.
Many difficult things have a way of working out in time. This is very good to remember.
We can also try to focus our attention, as much as possible, on things that are uplifting. This will help counterbalance the chaos that has ensued. Even horrendous things we are exposed to can fade into a distant memory in time. But not if we feed them with more stressful thoughts, images, and experiences. Our moment-by-moment emotions are based on our moment-by-moment experiences. And remember whatever we focus on expands. So we must be very careful where we put our attention!
Also, we need to be very aware of having good self-care. When facing chaotic times we all need sufficient rest, hydration, nutrition, emotional support, and a balance of work and leisure time.
Ultimately we need to develop a witness attitude where we are watching events around us with some detachment. This is far easier said than done. However, when we can be successful with this mindset, life is so much better on every level. The idea of a "witness mind" will be discussed in detail in a future blog.