Managing Emotions from Stressful World Events
Updated: Oct 6
Emotionally managing stressful world events can be a real struggle, especially when we're constantly exposed to negative news and information. When natural disasters, political unrest or global pandemics strike, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious in the wake of these tragedies. Fortunately, there are strategies available that help us regulate our feelings and maintain mental health during trying times.
Acknowledge Your Emotions
Acknowledging and validating your feelings after stressful world events is the first step to managing them effectively. It's normal to feel anxious, sad, or angry during such times; but it is essential that you allow yourself to experience this without judgment. Suppressing or ignoring these feelings only makes them stronger and harder to manage in the long run.
Instead, take some time to acknowledge and label your emotions. For example, you might say to yourself "I'm feeling really anxious and overwhelmed right now" or "I'm angry about the injustice in the world." By acknowledging these feelings, you can begin to process them and develop strategies for managing them effectively.
Limit Exposure to News and Social Media
Staying informed about world events is important, but it may also be beneficial to limit your exposure when it becomes overwhelming. Constantly scrolling through news feeds or watching 24-hour news coverage may increase anxiety levels and stress levels, making managing emotions more challenging.
Instead, try setting limits on your news and social media consumption. This could include checking the news only once a day or restricting use to certain times of day. Furthermore, consider unfollowing or muting accounts that consistently post negative or triggering content.
Self-care is an essential component in managing emotions from difficult world events. Make time for activities that leave you feeling calm, centered, and grounded such as exercising, meditation, or spending time outside in nature.
Self-care also involves meeting our basic needs, like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, and staying hydrated. When we're feeling overwhelmed it may be tempting to neglect these necessities, but they are essential for maintaining our physical and psychological wellbeing.
Connect With Others
Expressing emotions after stressful world events can be helpful in managing them. Reaching out to friends or loved ones who understand and validate your emotions will make you feel less alone and more supported.
If you don't have a reliable support group, consider joining one or seeking the advice of a mental health professional. Talking with a therapist or counselor can provide an accepting space for processing emotions and developing strategies to manage them better.
Finally, taking action is a powerful way to manage emotions caused by stressful world events. Feeling helpless or powerless in the face of crisis can increase anxiety and stress levels; however, any action we take helps us feel more empowered and in control of our situations.
By taking action on a cause that matters to you, volunteering or contributing to a charity that assists those affected by an emergency, or simply learning more about an issue of importance to you, you can channel your emotions into something productive and beneficial.
If you're having trouble managing intense emotions related to stressful world events, let's talk. Schedule a consultation to see how Safe Space Counseling can help.