Anxiety in a World Gone Mad

If you ever wanted to have high blood pressure, sleepless nights, anxiety, and depression, simply turn on the news for about 10 seconds, and you'll be ready to check in with the nearest shrink! It seems the world has gone mad and everywhere we look, the news is filled with nothing but violence, war, political unrest, racial tension, crime, and myriad other turbulent headlines. It's no wonder recent research shows 1 in 5 adults are taking anti-psychotic drugs that include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.

In fact, drugs to treat ADHD tripled among those between 20-44 years of age over the past decade, according to Medco Health Solutions. Not to mention, more and more children are being treated for ADD and anxiety than ever before.

Who's to blame? Frankly, there isn't a clear answer.

However, there are a number of contributing factors that can be blamed for the rise in anxiety. For one, the fast and increased access we have to modern media and news is a major contributor.

In years past, the world relied heavily upon the newspaper, talk radio, and three major news networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) to get their news and information - and that was usually only once a day or in the evening for the most part.

Today, not only is round-the-clock cable news airing 24/7, our cell phones and tablets have news alerts and continuous access to all that is going on in the world. They have persuaded us in believing such easy and constant access "keeps us informed and educated." Granted, we are more informed than ever before, but not necessarily better educated.

News has been replaced by biased, overpaid celebrity wannabes who are less interested in accurate reporting and more interested in dramatic positioning so they can make a name for themselves in the upper echelons of their industry. And, more often than not, it is at the expense of the subjects of the news story.

The answer to curing our anxiety problem is not medication. Frankly, medication is overrated and, yet, another ploy by the pharmaceutical industry to keep people bound by a multi-billion dollar profiteering prison!

Turn off the news. Shut down the social media. Put the cell phone in a drawer or turn it off for an extended period of time. Take time to enjoy the quiet of no news.

I once heard a radio DJ tell a story about how she would shut off her phone at night when she went to bed. Her mother used to get so angry with her, saying, "What would happen is somebody died and we couldn't get a hold of you in the middle of the night?" Her reply was, "They'll still be dead in the morning when I wake up and there isn't a thing I could do about it anyway, so I might as well be rested up in order to deal with the aftermath."

To some, it may seem a rather cold and insensitive answer. Yet, when you think of it, she was totally truthful in her reply. The world isn't going to end if you don't have immediate access to everything going on.

Frankly, you're slowly chipping away at your own peace of mind by having so much access and consuming yourself with the news of the day. It's easy to be drawn into the headlines - that's why they're called that. They are designed to keep you hooked and waiting for the next story. This is all strategically done to keep you from turning the channel or turning the TV off!

Don't let them sucker you into thinking you need to know everything right now! You don't. Relax, and enjoy life. If the world blows up, you'll go with it and won't know the difference! And remember, not everyone's emergency is necessarily your emergency.

Here are a seven tips to help you cure your anxiety problem:

  1. Slow down. Take time to sit for a minute and breathe. Relax and enjoy silence.

  2. Unplug those things creating anxiety. If it is electronic, unplug, shut down, or simply ignore it.

  3. Enjoy the outdoors. Go to a park, go fishing, or go somewhere you like to be where you can tune out the constant bombardment of stress.

  4. Exercise. I love going to the gym. But, of course, they have televisions that are usually playing the news or some stupid daytime talk show. I take my iPhone and listen to music or podcasts that feed my soul and not my anxiety. Even if you can't go to a gym, get up and move!

  5. Take control of your peace and don't let the world move your peace. Don't give the rest of the world control. Take it back, if you have, and refuse to let their crisis become your own.

  6. Pray and Meditate on God's Word. God is a peace-giver. Connect with Him to find true peace, and the more time you spend with Him, the less time you'll have for nonsensical worrying and anxiety created by ungodly things.

  7. Take a warm, relaxing bath or treat yourself to a spa. Shut out the world for awhile.

There are a number of other ways to decrease your level of anxiety, but these tips are great starting points. Take control of your life by declaring a revolution on those things and those people who keep you from having peace in a world gone mad.

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Leo Pacheco | Personal Development | Life Coach | Innovative Strategist