5 Ways to Lift Yourself Up When Bad News Gets You Down
by Tera Warner
There’s been a lot of bad news in the media lately. You’d have to be living under a rock not to be bombarded by it at the moment. With our cellphones hooked to us through an invisible chord of compulsive curiosity, it’s getting harder and hard to avoid.
The good news is, no matter where you are, no matter what’s happening, the future is still very much in your hands. While the past is behind us, how we choose to spend every moment today will determine the quality of our tomorrow. These five tips to keep your chin up when life’s dragging you down should help!
#1) A Little More Presence Brings A Lot More Pleasure
I can take quite a few punches before I get knocked down. That may have something to do with the fact that I’ve already hit the bottom of my bucket once, so having met my maximum capacity, I’m not afraid to endure hardships or difficulties.
That feeling–the feeling of not being afraid of struggle, not being afraid of what will face me tomorrow--enables me to stay very, very much present to the moment.
There is a direct relationship between how present you are and how much pleasure you feel.
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Try This Exercise That Proves It:
Right now there are all kinds of sensations and perceptions happening that you’re likely not even aware of or paying attention to. As you get into that hypnotic groove of life, some of the sweet details and subtle pleasures get drowned out by the noise.
Stop for a moment to just be present as you try the following:
- Close your eyes for a while and just BE THERE to notice what you notice. (The longer you sit, the more you’ll start to perceive.)
- Try to experience the weight of your body in the chair…
- The position of your internal organs…
- The warmth of breath as it passes through your nose.
- Can you feel any gentle wind moving the hairs on your body?
After a few moments of just sitting and being present, look around your room and find things you can be interested in. Just look around and find something that you could be interesting in. The most amazing thing will happen! The more you look around and try to find what is interesting, the more interested you will become!
If you keep going with the exercise you will soon arrive at a moment where you look out at your environment and can see how EVERYTHING is interesting.
Media spends a lot of time and money trying to convince us that happiness is being attractive, acceptable, likeable to others –BEING INTERESTING. The idea behind most ads is that you’ll be happiest when you focus on how you look and make yourself acceptable and agreeable in the eyes of others.
That’s a big, fat, hairy lie!
The real pleasure in life comes from being INTERESTED, not interesting.
When your attention is on how you live instead of how you look, everyday actions and experiences start to feel ridiculously pleasurable and life gets to be a lot more fun. (Of course, that’s when you start to shop less and smile more, so you won’t hear about these tips or tricks in most advertising campaigns.)
#2) Get a Set of Boundaries and Learn How to Hold Them
I recall a few years ago having a most disturbing conversation with someone who was rather hot and bothered under the collar about conspiracy theories. He was complaining about all that is wrong with the world–how dangerous it is, how the “good guys” are in bed with the “bad guys”, and about how much danger we are in as a society under the thumb of greedy oppressors.
He was angry, upset and STRESSED RIGHT OUT and I was highly uncomfortable and entirely disinterested in communicating with him.
I could feel the tension building in my throat the more he would talk. I felt restless and uneasy and kept watching the clock…
…tick. …tick. …tick.
I wanted the conversation to end and for him to leave. I breathed and would say to myself, “just observe and be present, Tera.” But the animosity was building and started to be directed toward me! The conversation now became about what I didn’t understand, what I couldn’t see, what was wrong with my point of view, etc.
After 25 minutes of polite remarks like, “I don’t really want to talk about this” or “I have to get to work, now” he just became more animated and more intense…
…and then it happened.
I couldn’t take it anymore. The conversation had to end. This was crossing my boundaries!
I raised my voice, looked him square in the eyes and said, “You have to go, now. I do not want to have this conversation with you, anymore.”
Then he turned on a dime and left in frustration.
But, I was free!! Free to think, free to breathe and free to be!!
Drawing boundaries isn’t easy, but it is vital to your overall health and well-being:
Any time you give or receive communication that you do NOT honestly want, you compromise your personal integrity and set yourself up for trouble!
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After 10 years working directly with women to improve their health, I can tell you with complete certainty that the sin of silence–the moment a woman steps down, shuts up or gives up and agrees to experience something she did not really want or believe in, is the #1 factor behind most of her struggles in health and relationships.
When something or someone is pushing down on you, you can always exercise your right to say NO! It takes a bit of guts, mostly because of how our society places such huge importance on making yourself likeable rather than on doing what it takes to stay true to your values and make sure you like yourself.
#3) Prioritize the Truly Important Matters of Life
In spite of what the media, corporations, banks and pharmaceutical companies would like you to believe, the real urgent matters of life are:
- the ability to communicate with patience to achieve understanding.
- the willingness to persist in the face of obstacles and continue reaching toward your dreams.
- a desire to help, and when one feels unable to help, to never give up looking for solutions that work and that make sense.
- all matters of clarity, truth, purpose, passion, and personal integrity (how you stay true to your values).
- friendship–the kind that feels like a marriage, without sex.
- honesty–not just following the “golden rule” but having the courage to say what you really think or believe, and know who to trust in life.
- the ability to uphold your personal boundaries and stand by your convictions and commitments.
I can’t say for sure if all those conspiracy theories and bad news are true. But even if there are a bunch of bad guys trying to make the world a scary place, as long as you believe in yourself, stay true to your values and make the most of each moment of your day, then what do you possibly have to lose?
As long as you believe in yourself, in what you stand for and in the possibility of your dreams, then you are as free as free can be.
#4) Don’t Listen to Others, Look and See For Yourself
I don’t know if the world will crumble tomorrow in an apocalyptic disaster, or if “the bad guys” will take our food away and force pharmaceuticals down our throats. I do know that I’m not going to spend the life and time and attention I have being fearful about it as long as there’s so much I can do to today to make the world a better place tomorrow.
When I look up and see life around me, it’s actually pretty good. 🙂
My once chubby-cheeked babies are growing and healthy and happy and sharp as tacks. I have food on my table and AMAZING friends who support me. I have more love for life in me than one body can possibly hold and a thousand reasons to wake up every morning and make life even better.
So I don’t have time for a whole lot of bad news, conspiracy theories and fear-based conversations, even if all that bad news is true!
Here’s a Little Trick You Can Do to Help Lift Others Up, Too
- When your neighbours complain about how hard life is…
- If your friends get upset about how little money they make…
- When your kids “don’t have enough”…
- And your parents find life tough…
Just help the people around you lift their chin and look around at life in the world IMMEDIATELY around them–the trees, the bees, the butterflies. There’s so much going right. Put your attention in it, and life will just keep getting better.
#5) Live Long & Prosper!
$#!t happens. Doesn’t mean you need to step in it!
There is a lot of bad news out there, but in actual fact, most of the bad news in the world is the result of acts of ignorance and confusion caused by a very, very, very small percentage (2%) of the population.
When a little dust kicks up in life, a small gang of about ten old, white-haired, caucasian men controlling the bulk of the world’s media, make a whole lot of drama and noise in an effort to create a massive dust storm about it.
The biggest problem is not that something bad happened, but that massive amounts of happy, beautiful, people, who were formerly getting along making life work, now are sucked into fear, anger, anxiety while watching and worrying about dust storms. Within weeks of the recent shootings in Orlando, gun sales went up 40% throughout the country! Fear spreads fast!
There are people who celebrate life and living–people who know how to make the world a better place. The biggest mistake we make is allowing our time, energy and attention to get sucked into paying attention to dust storms, rather than putting it toward creating a life we love.
In a world that profits off your suffering and fear by creating an epidemic of bad news, the greatest act of defiance you can make is to simply get busy creating a life you love with people you trust.
Stay strong. Paint the picture of a life you love, then keep walk into it.
Don’t let the dust of a few dysfunctional punks steal the light you have to shine on a future worth creating.
Whatever stress and pressure may come your way, you always have the power to choose your thoughts and responses, and when you own that, you own the future.
One day your body and worldly possessions will turn to dust, too. When that happens you may be stuck with the whispers of an unsettled soul. If we do have to sit in the karmic backwash of our choices, doesn’t it make sense to ensure our time and attention have been wisely invested?
A fine specimen like you has a whole lot of wonderful to offer the world, don’t let a bit of dust stand in the way!
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