We live in a time of plenty. A world of abundant choice, opportunities, and decisions. A world where we are constantly getting pulled in several directions all the time. Our smartphones and social media presence are often the culprits.
When we get pulled everywhere, we go nowhere.
Just like a frozen computer screen, our brains are not able to compute the information coming in into something that we can action in the next step. Therefore, we get stuck. We lose motivation. We lose our life force.
Life often happens to us and we aren't getting the chance to make life happen.
Then as a society, this problem of plenty can manifest as depression, anxiety, stress, or various other mental health problems. The rise in mental health disorders in our youth is certainly cause for concern. Almost 1 in 4 young people are faced with mental health difficulty. Online bullying is a big problem.
The rise of technology is so fast that the methods and strategies needed to deal with the rise from a mental wellbeing standpoint simply cannot keep up.
So...how do we change the narrative?
What is the antidote to the problem of plenty?
How do you take charge of your mental health and your life?
I think the answer comes in many forms for different people. There really is no one size fits all approach. Mindfulness is a big one, which is obviously my biased opinion. The ability to bring yourself back to the present moment when faced with challenging situations can be a superpower.
You may be someone who already practices mindfulness and meditation. This doesn't just mean sitting and breathing. Activities like listening to music and cooking can be your form of meditation. Just doing something that simply allows you to be totally present and in the "flow".
There is also no substitute for keeping your mind, body, and spirit healthy. Examples include: eat the right foods, drink enough water, get some sun, get enough sleep and rest, do some exercise each day, do things you love, surround yourself with the right people, show gratitude, do meaningful work and don't forget to play.
The need for meaning and purpose in one's life is also a critical factor to deal with the wealth of information and chaos around us. When we live a life that is true to our values and purpose, we become really engaged. We focus our minds more, we are better able to filter out the outside noise to get to the core of what we want.
When life is pulling you in all directions all the time, you often need to take a step back. It may be helpful to ask yourself what you want. But you won't be able to answer that question unless you are present, you mind is clear, and you have a level of self awareness and meaning in your life.
Next time when life feels overwhelming and your ability to think straight is compromised it may be helpful to just take a step back. Take a few deep breaths. Do something you really enjoy or something you know helps you unwind. If your smartphone or social media is causing you stress, set yourself time when you are free of your device.
When you are neither here or there, you are everywhere. So decide what you want to focus your attention on, at this moment, and stick to it....until it changes.
We are all doing the best we can with the experiences we have had. We are all healing together.
With love and gratitude,