I have always been a very empathetic person. When other people suffered, I felt it deeply in my heart. But now when the whole world is suffering, I feel it is too much for me to bare.
So, I decided to explore more what my co-suffering and empathy are and how to help myself throughout this hard time without disconnecting from the World.This findings helped me a lot and I made immediate changes in my actions. I hope this article will help you too.
We humans have capacity to mirror neurons of other people. This happens through watching. Normally human brain is being shaped by its own experience but in some cases, it learns from experience of other people, especially when it faces reward or threat. This is the ability which plays important role in our growth. We learn from parents and society by watching and observing.
This ability however doesn't stop with our puberty. As adults surrounded by other people we feel others. Mirroring neurons makes us to feel other people's pain. We suffer by being surrounded by people who suffer and this happens for most people automatically and without awareness.
This means that you don’t have to experience sickess to feel how sick person, and you don’t have to lose a close person to feel grief....
If you are not aware of this process and you are not able to stop it (most people aren't) your neo cortex will be looking for evidence of that bad feeling.
If you feel bad about current situation in the world you may have already developed addiction to check the latest news compulsively several times per day...it is because your neo cortex seeks for proof of that feeling and also because it doesn't want to feel bad alone, seeks for social alliances.
From the brain point of view – everything what you see, read, hear and watch, especially repeatedly, will be mirrored in your own mindset, it will become yours, you will become it.
Here are some health and safety tips for those you would like to stay in touch with the world by having feet on the ground but also don't want to be overloaded with the amount of fear and panic that is out there :
1. Check news only on a dedicated moment of the day, for example in the morning or afternoon. I do it twice per day and I use only one website, the reliable source and read only one article with all the updates about the virus and governmental notifications. For Polish readers it is onet.pl always first article on the top is an update on virus in the country and the world.
2. On social media stop following people who make you feel bad, who feed your bad feeling.
3. Set up for yourself long term goal and try to be proactive. Watching Netflix is fun, and I do it with pleasure but having long term goal makes feel good, hopeful, valuable. I chose self education but you can write a book, sew a dress, design new website etc.
And, here my list is finished. The key is for your personal mental health stop seeking evidence to feed bad feeling. With this epidemic threat you won’t remove bad feeling totally. You will have flashes of fear, anxiety but when you have this feelings, please pay attention and don’t feed it with more data, more discussion about it, more comments about it and this bad falling will eventually go away...