I’ve been reflecting more on how the news is affecting our lives. And what I’ve started to notice, is that it seems like a lot of people’s perspectives and energy has become dependent on what kind of news that they are experiencing. For example, if there is positive news, then life will most likely feel good that day. But if there is negative news (which unfortunately has mostly been the case for the past almost five months now), well, life doesn’t feel so easy breezy.
I remember reading these wise words from Joel Osteen a few years ago, and they have always stuck with me. “Nothing can take away your joy; you have to give it away. You’re in complete control of your happiness.” Yes, I am in complete control of my happiness. I mean, the concept is so simple, but it really struck a chord with me. Maybe try repeating this to yourself a few times, because it really is a wonderfully empowering thought. But it also serves as a very straightforward reminder that if the news is making you feel unhappy, that is only because you are allowing it to drain you of your joy and happiness.
So let’s stop allowing the news (or really anything) to be a drain in our lives. Let’s reclaim our happiness, and remind ourselves just how truly in control we are of our own lives and our own future. Yes, the news will always be here. And coronavirus is unfortunately here. Those things are out of our control. But our happiness and our perspective? That’s all on us.
I’ve really been surprised with how much I’ve fallen in love with meditation. If I skip a day, it’s not that my day feels off. It’s just that on the days that I do meditate, I feel a much deeper sense of calm and connection with the things that truly matter most to me. And don’t be intimidated, meditation is not a practice about perfection. It’s just about showing up.
Here is one of my favorite meditations that instantly makes me feel better no matter what:
Take Some Deep Breaths.
Breathing is something that I definitely take for granted. But when something starts to arise for me – maybe a little anxiety, stress, or upset feelings – I find that consciously connecting with my breath, and stopping to take a few deep breaths really helps me to recenter. And I’m talking in through the nose, as much air as you can take in, hold it for a few seconds, and then fully release out of the mouth, completely emptying everything out kind of breaths.
It’s funny how when we’re feeling mentally or emotionally stuck, we often don’t want to physically do anything either. We want to just stay home in our lounge wear or jammies, and do nothing. But it’s in these moments that just getting up and physically moving our body in some way, is exactly the physical shake up that we mentally need. It could be as simple as dancing to a great song, doing some jumping jacks, folding some laundry, going for a walk around the block, or even going out for a cup of coffee. You’d be amazed at how just a teensy bit of movement, or a change of scenery can really help to create a positive mental shift.
Write a Gratitude List.
Make a mental or a written list of all of the good in your life at that very moment. It seems all too easy to get caught up in the not so good stuff. So give yourself a mental stop sign, and then try to think about all of the good in your life. And start simple. Maybe you’re grateful for the sunshine, or a hot cup of coffee, or a good night’s sleep. Or maybe the fresh water that you get to drink everyday, or even a place to call home. It can sometimes feel hard to want to acknowledge the good, but I truly believe that there is always something to be grateful for.
Take a News Break.
Yep, just turn it off. Don’t watch the news, or don’t read any news for a few hours or even a few days. And then reflect on how that impacted your life. I feel strongly that if there is ever something life changing going on in the news, a family member or friend will always make sure that you are informed and safe. So don’t try to convince yourself that you can’t take a short break. In fact, if you are so convinced that you can’t take a break, that is most likely a red flag that you desperately need one and could really benefit from one.