There is a sickening sense of repetition in our lives currently when it comes to atrocities around the world.
From the breaking news notifications on our phones that send your stomach lurching, to the noise, panic and eruption of raw, uncensored emotions online as we try to make sense of something so utterly devoid of any sense at all.
In just a space of a few months we’ve seen four terror-motivated attacks in the UK, not to mention the horrors of the Grenfell Tower fire, an ugly rise in racism, embittered elections and of course this week's events in Barcelona.
For some of us, we feel almost desensitised by terror attacks and other sickening events. For others, the constant stream of terrible news seems to serve only to aggravate anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD and depression.
But it’s okay if events like these give you anxiety and are affecting your morale and mood. Here’s a few things you can do or think about to make sure they don’t...
Switch off the news
Bet you never thought you’d see the day a journalist tells you to turn off the news, did you? It’s important for all of us to keep informed with what’s going on around the world and closer to home, but it shouldn’t take over our lives.
It does not make you ignorant, ill-informed or naïve to disconnect from the noise of the real world. Sometimes we need to do so in order to maintain a little sanity.
If your anxiety is bad, consider switching off your notifications for news apps in your smartphone settings for a few days, you’ll be amazed at the difference.
It’s not just for hippies and LA celebrities, you know. Meditation and mindfulness is incredibly easy to access and has been shown to improve our mental wellbeing and stress management. Most meditation techniques focus on switching off the noise going on inside our heads and concentrating on being still and here in the present moment.
You can easily dig out meditation exercises on YouTube or through smartphone apps such as Headspace. There are also plenty of classes around Huddersfield.
Talk to people
There’s no shortage in conversation online about the toils and tragedies happening across the world. While it’s great to engage in debate and express sadness and anger at recent events, there is also plenty of hatred online that doesn’t help anyone.
Take time to chat face to face with friends or family about whatever you may be feeling. Talking is the best medicine, and if that’s with a professional counsellor or your doctor, that’s also okay.
We can end up feeling very helpless watching terrible events unfold while unable to do much.
Sometimes, there is nothing we can do but watch and wait. But sometimes we feel compelled to get involved and help out. It may be donating clothes and food to those hit by a disaster like thousands did in the response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Or it could be something completely unrelated like a small act of kindness that makes the world a slightly nicer place when it can feel so dark.
There are more good people out there than bad, similarly there are a lot of good things happening in the world that we don’t get to hear about.
After getting over the shock of a terror attack, we start asking questions: how did this happen, who was involved and why was not enough done to prevent it? There is often no straight or simple answer, and the only thing we can do is focus the positive things to come out of terrible events, like communities coming together, rather than the evil demonstrated by a handful of individuals.