We humans need connection.
We thrive when we are relating to others and feel part of a group. Even the most introvert personality type needs some human contact. Without it, we suffer and run the risk of damaging our health and mental well-being.
One downside however, is the effect of seeing the suffering of others. Our natural tendency towards empathy makes the pain of others become our pain and sometimes that can get too much. When bad news threatens to overwhelm, it might seem the best thing to do is to tune out, to put up a thick skin and simply not allow yourself to get affected.
That strategy may prevent you from crying on the tube as you read the news or from filling up as you catch a latest update over the radio. But what if you never allow yourself to acknowledge someone else’s disaster or suffering?
In de-sentising ourselves to others’ pain, we’re distancing our self from a core part of our humanity. Regularly tuning out reduces our capacity to feel, to think of others. It feeds our shadow side of selfishness and self-interest. A healthy balance of allowing yourself to care, whilst not letting it overwhelm you, seems a logical and helpful solution.
Each one of us will have our own strategies for doing that but one way I think is very useful is to use the bad news to get focused.
After you’ve acknowledged the calamity, the suffering, first do a mental gratitude check.
What are you grateful for that you’ve been taking for granted?
Then consider where you’ve been putting your attention.
Have you been putting off something important you know you need to do?
Have you allowed some form of fear to stop you? If you removed the procrastination that has got in the way, what would you now progress?
Identify the one thing you know you need to do and get focused on accomplishing that.
Getting focused allows us to get clear on what is truly important to us and that accomplishment helps builds a happy and satisfied life. Converting suffering into a positive force that can revive and re-energize your life might perhaps be one small way of ensuring something good comes from a bad thing.
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We humans need connection. We thrive when we are relating to others and feel part of a group. Even the most introvert personality type needs some human contact. Without it, we suffer and run the risk of damaging our health and mental well-being. One downside however, is the effect of seeing the suffering of others. [...]
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