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“ISIS, Ebola, the News. Oh My!” | 10 Thoughts to Soothe Your Frightened Mind

Major Depressive Disorder

ISIS, Ebola, and the news of the world. Yeah, that’s a big “Oh my!” Major depressive disorder, panic attack symptoms, stress, and more. Is it any wonder they’re flying sky-high? These are treacherous times, and those who lean toward the depressive and anxious likely find them dark and frightening. So I think we need a soothing perspective. And I’m bringin’ it…

Don’t you know by now you catastrophize, overgeneralize, and dabble in all sorts of cognitive distortion? So you have to understand your traditional patterns of thought, and take them into account when stressors crank-up.

Barbarous beheadings, threats of same in the homeland, an Ebola outbreak overseas and an invasion on our shores, and news stories that make us wonder how “human beings” can stoop so low.

Yikes!

These are days for vigilance, to be sure – for anyone. But for those enduring mood and anxiety disorders, perception often calls for more than just being watchful. The reaction may well be it’s time to go into full survival mode, and that can cause all sorts of problems.

10 Thoughts to Soothe Your Frightened Mind

For those of you who are super-struggling with the current state of world affairs, I want to cut right to the chase and help you soothe that frightened mind of yours. Won’t you consider the following?

  1. 24-hour news and radio stations, as well as online news sources, have to fill time and space – as well as increase audience. “Disaster” sells. So that implies occurrences and prognostications aren’t as nasty as portrayed. Still, though, if what you’re watching, listening to, or reading is upsetting, shut ‘er down.
  2. Many of us give primary consideration to what’s going-on around us when we make life-decisions. It’s about a personality dynamic known as locus of control. So we conceptualize our locus ( “place” or “location”) as internal (believing we can control our lives) or external (our lives are controlled by environmental factors, over which we have no influence – or by chance or fate). When it comes to freaking over current events, can you see how important it is to examine and adjust your locus of control?
  3. Don’t you know by now you catastrophize, overgeneralize, and dabble in all sorts of cognitive distortion? So you have to understand your traditional patterns of thought, and take them into account when stressors crank-up. And how ‘bout working on those life-crippling distortions? Seriously, my money says things aren’t as bad as they seem.
  4. There’s freedom and power in spirituality. Could be traditional practices such as Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, or Islam. For all I know, it could be a tree. The only thing that matters is believing the very highest of spiritual forces has your back. And, yes, to perish (our most foundational fear) is to find a better – intended – place. What kind of impact could spirituality have upon your life?
  5. Consider six-years-worth of atrocities committed by Adolph Hitler and his Nazi chums. How terror-provoking it must have been to learn of the unspeakable cruelty and violence as it was going down. Fact is, we all stuck together and confronted evil. The cost in lives was mighty; however, sanity and freedom prevailed.
  6. If “Oh my!” thoughts and potentialities are dominating your existence, consider the substance of your life. I mean, what do you have going, aside from fret and worry? If the answer is “nada,” reach-out to people and activities to counter-balance the negative. It works for millions. Why wouldn’t it for you?
  7. In the midst of spooky times, it’s so easy to hit the extremes of helplessness and hopelessness. If that’s where you find yourself, perhaps it’s a reflection of how you deeply feel about yourself and your circumstances. So maybe what you’re feeling isn’t about current disturbing events, rather a manifestation of your traditional mindset. Work toward change, k?
  8. The ups-and-downs of the world cycle – always have, always will. History tells us there have been lengthy times of great turmoil, as well as long-sustained times of calm and peace. War, disease, climate, you name it. Accepting this truth keeps us from interpreting disturbing events as finalities. Like a long, bumpy, and winding country road, the world continues to move on.
  9. Are you expecting perfection from this world? Is it your self-expectation? Come on, were it that easy. Right? I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if our existence could be all neat and tidy, everything placed exactly where it’s supposed to be (according to us)?  But, you know, that isn’t at all realistic – or necessary. Do yourself a favor. Expect an external and internal mess now and again. It’s gonna’ happen.
  10. Why do we hold-on to life so tightly? Now, I want to stick around as much as the next guy or gal; however, I’ve learned to loosen my grip. Think about it – if we live each second of each and every day not to die, will we have anything to live for? I don’t see how. Look, if the worst is to happen, it’ll happen. Don’t sacrifice living your life for the sake of not dying.

Let’s Tie a Bow

Yes, we’re in the midst of “Oh my!” times. And that reality holds the potential to exacerbate panic attack symptoms, major depressive disorder, stress levels, and a whole lot more.

But I’m here to help you soothe that frightened mind of yours by bringing reason to the table. You in?

Hey, we’ll get through this, k?

Oops, almost forgot. Please feel free to share some of your soothing thoughts with us in a comment. It’ll be helpful to all…

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  • I LOVED this one (as all your others, for that matter) – you’re writing still, thought provoking content – terrific, Bill. This line especially jumped out at me, “If “Oh my!” thoughts and potentialities are dominating your existence, consider the substance of your life. I mean, what do you have going, aside from fret and worry?” AND this one “if the worst is to happen, it’ll happen. Don’t sacrifice living your life for the sake of not dying.” Thank you for putting things in perspective and sharing concrete things to do to change!

    • Hey! Good to see you, Lisa. Always appreciate your visits and participation. This is serious-as-heck biz, and terribly upsetting to so many. Just had to address it. Glad it hit home for you. Thanks, Lisa..

      Bill

  • So appreciate this post, Bill as I too feel that often the news can be so negative and disturbing. We cannot do anything about most of it, so it’s becomes information that can often just creates anxiety. Thank you for this reminder, “Still, though, if what you’re watching, listening to, or reading is upsetting, shut ‘er down.” Great information here!

    • Thanks for your visit and contribution, Cathy. Yeah, this is mighty disturbing stuff – and those in the mood and anxiety neck of the woods can use all the help they can muster to come up with coping strategies and techniques. And that’s my job – to provide just that. No doubt about it, if what we’re receiving is just too much, it’s time to shut ‘er down. Please continue to visit and participate, k?

      Bill

  • Nancy Frye Peden

    Wishing I could add something cheerful or give some kind of perspective on it all but I am very depressed. It is not the world, it is just my chemistry and my deeply feeling nature that is askew at the moment. Thank goodness there is some good PBS drama on tonight….thanks, Bill, for speaking of a few of the elephants in all our rooms right now. As the zen master would say. “bring me the rhino!”

    • Awww, sorry you’re down in the dumps, Nancy. Glad you mustered the energy to reach-out and comment, though. Talk about your depressing posts, huh?! But it’s reality, and I was hoping to bring some sort of coping-upside to the “cluster.” You take care of yourself, and keep getting into that PBS thing…

      Bill

      • Nancy Frye Peden

        Thanks, Bill, yes, PBS was lovely. It is a new day and I am off to meditate for a half day….

      • You’re a warrior, and I admire that…

  • Nancy Frye Peden

    Hey, here is a good article on dealing with this all by allowing our grief. For a long time, I have loved a quote by an old Buddhist teacher of mine, Joanna Macy. She says, and I know it to be true: “The heart that breaks open can contain the world.” I have cried hard at times and when I am through it all, I feel a deep sense of connection with all the world. Here is an article on holding the grief: http://beyondmeds.com/2014/10/12/is-it-possible-to-hold-all-the-grief-in-the-world-and-not-get-crushed-by-it/

    • Thank you, Nancy. You’re always so quick to help folks out here – and it’s noticed and appreciated. Chipur readers, check-out the article Nancy provides the link for. It’s very much worth the read…

      Bill

  • Guest

    Let’s see if this posts. Seems like a good coping strategy to me.

    • Um, doesn’t appear to have.

  • Guest

    This looks like a great coping strategy.

  • BCat

    OK, OK, we gotta soothe. But God made paranoia for a reason. Forewarned is forearmed. Courage, not ostrich. One of my favorite quotes: ‘God speaks through the wounds’ – George Herbert. I’ll tell ya what made my knuckles’ hair stand on end. Ecdysone and morgellons. Don’t go there if you’re prone to hysteria. Trust me. But it and its’ like are something we all need to be aware of.

    • And so it stands, as I won’t quash knowledge and expression. For those who elect to do the search – yes, it’s disturbing reading. But read it you will and formulate your opinion – and move-on with your life…