Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Anxiety

Holding On to Control When the World Feels Like It's Falling Apart

Nurturing empathy, kindness, and self-care amidst uncertainty.

Key points

  • Several strategies can help people regain control and find solace amidst chaos.
  • Prioritizing self-care, nurturing well-being, and staying true to one's values can help.
  • People can aim to monitor and curate media consumption consciously.

In times of turmoil and uncertainty, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless as the world seems to crumble around us. People are being pulled into different narratives, seeing and hearing about violence, feeling anxious and heartbroken simultaneously. However, during these challenging moments, we must remember our own agency and seek ways to hold onto some semblance of control. By focusing on what we can influence, nurturing empathy and kindness, giving back to others, taking care of ourselves, and being mindful of our media consumption, we can navigate the chaos gracefully and make a positive impact. This post explores practical strategies to regain control and find solace amidst chaos.

1. Embracing What We Can Control

When everything feels uncertain, we must redirect our attention to what we can control: our thoughts, actions, and attitudes. By acknowledging our limitations and accepting that we cannot change every aspect of the world, we can channel our energy into areas where we can make a difference. This shift in focus empowers us to take meaningful action in our personal lives and communities. Embrace what you can control by focusing on what is important to you in the present.

2. Cultivating Kindness and Empathy

In times of distress, kindness and empathy become powerful tools for healing. By extending compassion to others, we create a ripple effect of positivity that can counteract the negativity and divisiveness prevalent in the world. Engaging in acts of kindness, big or small, promotes unity, understanding, and support, fostering a sense of connection and stability amidst chaos.

3. Giving Back to Others

In the face of adversity, giving back to those in need offers a sense of purpose and control. By volunteering our time, skills, or resources, we contribute to the betterment of society and alleviate suffering. Whether supporting local community organizations, donating to charitable causes, or simply lending a helping hand to those around us, cultivating a spirit of giving can empower us and solace during challenging times.

4. Prioritizing Self-Care

Amidst the chaos, it's essential to prioritize self-care and nurture our well-being. Taking care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically allows us to maintain resilience and be present for others. Engaging in activities that bring us joy, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, and establishing healthy boundaries help us preserve our energy and navigate the storms with greater strength and stability.

5. Mindful Media Consumption

Constant exposure to distressing news and divisive narratives can heighten anxiety and diminish our sense of control. It is crucial to monitor and curate our media consumption consciously. By being selective about the information we consume and verifying sources, we can protect our mental well-being and maintain a balanced outlook. Limiting screen time and engaging in activities that uplift and inspire us can contribute to a healthier mindset.

6. Staying True to Our Values and Principles

In times of turmoil, it is tempting to be swayed by extreme opinions and take sides. However, staying grounded in our values and principles is essential. We can navigate complex issues while maintaining our integrity by critically evaluating information, seeking multiple perspectives, and engaging in respectful dialogue. Embracing the power of dialogue and understanding can bridge divides and help us move toward healing and reconciliation.

When the world feels like it's falling apart, it's easy to lose ourselves in anxiety and fear. When we get swept away by fear and anxiety, we get pulled further away from the present, which we control. By focusing on what we can control, nurturing empathy and kindness, giving back to others, prioritizing self-care, monitoring our media consumption, and staying true to our values, we can regain a sense of control and contribute to positive change. Let these challenging moments serve as reminders to live life to the fullest, appreciate what we have, and embrace our unique values and perspectives to lead ourselves and others toward peace and healing.

advertisement
More from Ilene Strauss Cohen Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today