Turning Down The Noise

Apr 1, 2023

Is it just me, or is the world really noisy right now?

And everyone seems to be making their own noise or jumping on to someone else’s noise in the form of snarky comments on social media- or- one of my favorites- reading only the headline and being an expert on the subject matter.  I am sure I am not the only one who has made that mistake!

Back to the noisy world.  The economy, interest rates, inflation, social justice, shootings, fear, March Madness, trying to sort plans for Easter with family, the state of our country, the state of the world, and news in general.  It’s enough to make your head spin.

And it all adds together to create overwhelm.

And we have many ways of coping with that overwhelm- escaping to our phones, pouring a cocktail, watching a show, the list goes on.

When overwhelm hits, I don’t know about you, but I get hit with what I like to call The Four Horsemen Of My Apocalypse.  And they are…

Fear.  Worry.  Stress.  Anxiety

So what do we do about it when we get amped up and find ourselves in a combination of these states?

We (hopefully) find a way to turn down the volume! And a huge thank you to my brother-in-law, Joel storm, for some help with this technique!

Just as an old home stereo system has a nob to adjust the channel on the radio and adjust the volume, sometimes we need to adjust the volume of the noise in our lives.  How do we know when we need to turn down the volume?  When we feel any of the 4 Horsemen listed above.  When we feel overwhelm.  When our minds are spinning and we can’t think straight.

This may be unpopular, but the right answer is not to simply pick up our phones!  This is the subject of another blog (or several!), but all our phones do is pacify us.  They are like sticking a pacifier in the mouth of a baby to try to settle it down.  It may work in the short-term, but eventually you are going to have to face what is wrong!

When we pick up our phones, all we are doing is getting a little dopamine to pacify us.  Everything else is still there.  We have just put off dealing with it.

What if instead we tried something else?

What if we put down our phones and took a walk around the block? What if we got out our journal and made a list of the things we are grateful for instead of the things we are worried about? Or what if we wrote down all the things in our mind to get them out of our mind?  Our list always seems worse when it is in our head! What if we sent an encouraging text or a hand-written note to someone else?

What if we sat in quiet for a few minutes and just focused on our breathing?  Or what if we reached out to a friend for some coffee or a chat?

The world is going to keep being noisy.  Of that, I am quite sure.

We don’t have to accept that as the final word.  We can choose to allow our brain to not focus on the noise for a few minutes and feel ourself start to take a step in the right direction!

The next time the noise ratchets up, and it will, maybe you will choose to #WINtheNOW and turn down the volume!

And if you need another turndown technique, check out this Blog I wrote last year!


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