The Wall Street protest and other protests around the country are stirring up mixed emotions. Excitement of “Cool! How can I join in?” Confusion “They seem kinda disorganized.” With no clear demands of what the protesters want many question what the protest is for. “It sounds like the protesters have some basic idea that they’re protesting against corruption in politics but it seems they don’t really have any ideas beyond that.” Fear “Oh, no not the hippies again.” referring to the protests of the 1960s.
But whatever your reaction, and what side you choose to root for. One thing is clear. People have woken up. Life as we know it has changed forever. “….we occupy Wall Street as a symbolic gesture of our discontent with the current economic and political climate and as an example of a better world to come.” - Occupy Wall Street People are taking a stand and voicing their discontent. A movement of change has begun.
So what does that mean to you? Whether you choose to participate in one of the many protests or not, life has changed in the US and the world. Unemployment is growing at an alarming rate, even the highly educated and skilled cannot secure work. Those that have jobs face a daily uncertainty of maintaining them.
How can you survive this unrest and uncertainty in today’s world?
Be Positive and Stay Focused On What You Want. Fear and desperation is the most deadly result of unrest and uncertainty. People make stupid choices and rash actions when feeling afraid. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family it to keep a clear head.
Presidential elections will be taking place next year in the US. We need to have clear heads to be able to evaluate and examine a candidates qualifications, skills, and leadership history to determine who will be able to best lead us during these difficult times. If we get caught up in our fear and desperation we will be sold on who gives the best performance during elections, not who is the best leader for our country.
The following techniques will help you stay calm, clear, and focused:
- Deep Breathing – Take some deep breaths throughout the day, especially when you begin feeling stressed, anxious, or fearful. Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen to your brain and body allowing you to think clearer and respond quicker.
- Meditation and Prayer – Spending some time in peaceful silence or communing with a higher power will calm your mind, increase your clarity and focus, and diminish the noise and fear of what is going on around you.
- Journaling – Spend some time doing some stream of conscious writing – writing your thoughts and feelings without thinking about them or judging them. When you are done rip them up and release them to God and the Universe to take care of. This is a great way to free your mind of fear and cycling thoughts. You need your mind to be clear to move forward and make well-thought out decisions, not decisions made from fear and anxiety.
- Affirmations – Affirmations are a great way to help you stay focused on what you want, rather than getting dragged down with fear and anxiety, in a world that appears to be falling apart around you. Write down what you want to think or feel then add and “I am” or “I have” before them to say them like they are already present in your life. Say affirmations such as: “I am safe.” “I have plenty of money for all my needs and expenses.” “I am in the process of finding a job that is perfect for me.” This will keep your mind focused on what you want to experience in life, thus helping you to create it.
Be Flexible – Nothing is secure or solid in this world any more. To thrive you must be flexible in your thinking and behavior. Identify your skills and capabilities and various ways you can apply them to earn a living and put food on your table. Be willing to try new things, explore new ideas, and trade services.
Be Prepared – Maintain an emergency supply of water, food, and cash. Have the basics on hand to keep your family safe and maintained in the case of loss. Have a back up plan in the case of a job loss, house foreclosure, natural disaster, or food or water shortage. Be familiar with your environment and what potential risks might be high for your location. Develop a network of family, friends, neighbors, and church members that you can call on or go to in the case of any emergency or loss. Be prepared for change.
Life has changed and there is much uncertainty in what will happen next. But by staying calm and focused, being flexible, and prepared you will survive and thrive with whatever comes your way.
By Word Barrios Contributor Carolyn Flynn
About the author: Carolyn Flynn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and author of Heal Your Grief, SMART Talk: A Communication Workbook, and Holiday Peace And Joy.
Top photo: Flickr photo Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 22 by David Shankbone
Left photo: Flickr photo 20110924 OccupyWallSt-96 by Marnie Joyce
Right photo: Flickr photo Day 9 Occupy Wall Street September 25 2011 Shankbone 7 by David Shankbone