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Bad Times are Ahead...?

We keep hearing that (even) worse times are ahead of us: we should save money and energy, limit ourselves to the bare essentials of life and learn to be content with less... Such news cause our heart rate to rise. We break out in a cold sweat and our inner restlessness grows steadily. Within the past few years, we experienced this frequently. Highly sensitive people did suffer particularly from this prevailing atmosphere.

It's not about whether dangers are actually lurking out there or how big they are. We can not change the fact that life is dangerous - but we can change our reaction to it.

Fear and panic put us in a emotional state of emergency. This provokes an evolutionarily based fight or flight mechanism, which is a spontaneous physical stress reaction. This provides a lot of energy in the body. If we don't use this energy to flee or fight – that literally means if we don’t move - the carousel of thoughts is activated instead: we ponder, worry and make (escape) plans, because the energy has to go somewhere.

A mental merry-go-round fueled by fearful energy, prevents logic level-headed, forward-thinking. The decisions we make in such a state run the risk... well, of being driven by fear rather than being made in full possession of our mental powers. The first things to lose in such stressful situation are: basic trust, contact with our body, sensory awareness and a comprehensive perception of the environment. It is as if we were looking at the world with blinders, solely staring at the danger, like the proverbial rabbit facing the snake.

So what can we do? We can gain consciousness about the fact that we are in a stressful situation and that first of all we need to calm down. To achieve this, many different methods are helpful: meditation, soft music, trust-inspiring literature, loving touch, yoga, singing or making music,.... It is crucial to make whatever practice you choose a routine, to just go ahead with it, so that the nervous system gets a chance to really calm down. Consequently the blinders can fall off and we can look at the world without fear again.

Crises force us to think about the essence of life: What am I living for? How do I make my life meaningful? What valuable lesson is to be learned right now? How can I fully tap my resources? How to strengthen my basic trust?

The answers to these questions direct the focus back to ourselves and to those closest to us. We should at first take care of ourselves by nourishing and strengthening our mental and spiritual health. Only then can we succsesfully deal with the challenges from outside. A crisis can lead us back to ourselves and show us where we are not yet at peace with ourselves. It gives us the chance to catch up to the now. There is great power slumbering within us. Let’s use it!


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