Dealing With the Emotions of Collapse
If you're anything like me, you've been watching the news and getting upset at all the craziness that seems to be happening in the world. Day after day, we are introduced to new cataclysmic events sure to change our future. The onslaught is relentless and consistent. Europe is facing an energy crisis, among other tragedies. Asian countries, including China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Japan, are all facing economic and social ruin. The United States seems to be holding on by the thinnest of threads as our "managers" flounder through their responsibilities with the balance and ease of an elephant on a tightrope.
We've been lied to, coerced, threatened, fired, bullied, and murdered, but there's an expectation on us to live our lives as if nothing untoward was happening in the world. In my younger years, I might have been someone to bury my head in the sand to separate myself, if only nominally, from my perceived shortcomings and fears, but as I've gotten older, I've grown fond of authenticity and communicating my thoughts and feelings.
Over the past two years, we've witnessed the attempted annihilation of our brothers and sisters around the globe by maniacal governments hellbent on experimenting on the masses for their psychotic eugenic experiments, all the while trying to go about our business as normally as we can. How are we expected to continue on when it seems like everything is falling to pieces at our feet?
In moments like this, moments of seemingly insurmountable odds, we have to choose not to be a follower of the new order and forge our own path to create parallel systems. Dealing with the emotions of a collapsing society is an area of psychology I've been studying for the last couple of years in an attempt to show a different way of living to as many people as possible. In my article, "This Is Not About Mental Health," I discussed cognitive dissonance and why so many people are shying away from the topics of mental health and emotional intelligence. Listen, I get it, it's not a fun experience looking at yourself in the mirror and figuring out who you are as a person, but it's a critical activity if you expect to make it through the next couple of years with your sanity intact.
The first step to figuring out who you are is to do an emotional inventory. A great way to do this is with the aid of an emotions wheel. Sit down and write down all the emotions you think your experience on a daily basis, then move on to emotions you have on a weekly or monthly basis, and finish with emotions that you rarely have or only have during significant life events. This will allow you to understand what emotions to focus on based on frequency.
Give your emotions names and be as specific as possible. For example, you might first write down that you're feeling anger, but maybe anger is just the surface word you can come up with—maybe what you're actually feeling is envious or suspicious. Understanding your core emotions will allow you to explore what causes the feelings. What I like to do once I've made my list of daily, monthly, and yearly emotions is to sit in them for a little while. Let yourself feel uncomfortable when exploring your emotions because experiencing them in a controlled environment is the best way to learn how to control them.
You get to pick and choose what chaos to be a part of, and one way of doing that is to practice daily mindfulness. By taking yourself out of the flow of the day for a few minutes, you can center your focus and work on your emotional intelligence. You could start your mindfulness with an emotional inventory or use a centering technique such as meditating. Even doing something as simple as stopping for a minute and pointing out different things about your surrounding like scents, sounds, colors, or feelings. You'd be surprised how quickly you're able to calm yourself down just by hitting pause and sitting in your emotions.
As mentioned before, meditating is a great way to promote mindfulness because it's an intentional act to slow your heart rate and have you focus on yourself in the moment. I devised a quick meditative mindfulness exercise called "Thought Tinder." If you're unfamiliar with the app, Tinder is a dating app that lets users swipe right if they like someone and left if they don't. Using the same principle—Thought Tinder has you go through some thoughts that might be plaguing you during the day, and then swipe right on the thought if it's something you perceive to be pleasant and swipe left if unpleasant. Not only does this allow you to acknowledge the thought, but it also quiets that thought for a little while. This is not a cure-all, but give it a shot next time you find yourself frustrated or agitated.
I've said this before in other articles, but it bears repeating—turn off social media and the news. Someone somewhere just clutched their pearls. Of course, I'm not saying you need to stop engaging in public conversation for all eternity. Still, a relaxing sabbatical might be worth a try if you are experiencing anxiety about the news of the world or seeing everyone else's perfect life.
Take some time off to enjoy life's finer things and avoid all types of media. A detox will show you that there is so much more going on around you than the troubles the mainstream media want you to be afraid of. One thing you'll start to notice is no matter what dramatic story is playing out somewhere in the world, chickens continue to scratch, roosters sing their daily songs, and ducks bathe in ponds. The flowers bloom, and the sky still turns the most magnificent colors because the world continues with little regard for made-up drama.
My point in saying all of this is to show that you aren't alone in the emotions you are feeling, as everything we've ever known comes into question. You have the choice to hide and try to weather the coming storm through white knuckling and scraping by, or you can have respect for yourself by walking away and forging your own path forward. At NRS, we preach simplifying because it's the only way to bridge the gap between our current predicament and the future full of unknowns. So do yourself a favor and invest in your mental health because without it, I just don't see people making it far.
Thanks so much for reading the article. Mental health and emotional intelligence are two passions of mine. In my forthcoming book, The Psychology of Collapsing, I go into the topic of this article in-depth to try to give everyone a fighting chance in the coming years. Stay tuned for the official book announcement, which should be in early November. In the meantime, please enjoy a sneak peek at the cover.