Paralyzed with anxiety, numbed with fear, overwhelmed by minutia…. Symptoms of our society’s ills, manifest in each of us at some time or another. Three things about them:
1. They’re natural. The world is a complicated, confusing, chaotic place. Our way of understanding it breaks down sometimes; occasionally even cute puppy dogs bite. Accept the confusion, it is trying to teach you something.
2. Take a break. When chaos reigns; or preferably, before it gets that far, take a day off from the world. You can start with things like a hot bath and soothing music; exercise is good too, yoga, a jog, or a walk in nature. Relax, but don’t divert attention from what ‘comes up’ in your mind; DON’T watch television, DON’T surf the web, DON’T go shopping.
3. Gather thoughts, write them down, read past thoughts, meditate. Reduce distractions: physical, auditory, visual, etc. Developing calm and equanimity allows responsiveness to what comes up. The key is to acknowledge and not simply react to what comes up. It takes discipline, so don’t expect it to be easy.