• Dr. Matt Zakreski

When the Media Overwhelms Us

Originally posted on

::original post alert::

If you watched the debate last night (or didnt watch, but scrolled through your social media feeds), you might mind yourself feeling triggered and emotionally drained today.

That is understandable.

When we watch things that are highly emotional but are happening beyond our control, we experience the emotional response but without the feeling of control that comes from being immediately present to a triggering event. For example, if you see a scary dog on your neighborhood walk, you can run away or go the other direction. But when something scary is on our media, it can feel more overwhelming because it feels everywhere without an obvious plan of escape.

So what do we do?

The first step is to name your feeling from a place of kindness. No one wants to likes to feel triggered or overwhelmed, but if that's what is true right now, then that is our reality. It's ok that you feel off today.

Second, take care if yourself. Get a fancy coffee. Have a fun brunch. Go for a walk. Listen to that podcast at lunch. (Or now) you have to refill your cup.

Third, when you're ready, take a step of committed action. Whatever is in your values is a good step. If you want to volunteer, do it. If you want to garden, do that. Call a friend to check on them. Write an email to Congress. Finish that book. Ask yourself, "what makes me feel like I am adding something positive (no matter how small) to the universe?"

Times are emotional and intense. We have to make space for that context. No one is immune from what is happening. But we are always more capable than we feel.

You are more capable than you know.

You will survive this.

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