By: Janette Dalgliesh – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Calling on anyone who is feeling a sense of outrage at the moment.
Outside in the world, and right here on social media, there’s a ton of outrage from so many sources.
Outrage seems justifiable.
It makes sense.
It feels like an appropriate response to appalling acts of violence or corruption, to the silencing of women or people of colour, to the presence of a virus for whom nobody is to blame (or for which the latest weirdAF conspiracy theory is to blame).
Should we just bury our heads and ignore the world?
I know some people can pull that off and be genuinely happy. I’m not one of them.
I’m a huge fan of researching reliable sources and knowing the truth behind the headlines, finding out what’s happening and what can be done to make things better. I like to observe the world and my fellow humans. I’m insatiably curious.
The very act of observation is highly likely to trigger our empathy circuits (aka mirror neurons) when we see suffering and pain.
It’s part of the human experience.
Very often, outrage arises as our first response, designed to motivate to step in and help in some way – whether that’s setting the record straight, shaming someone into behaving better, or lashing out to blame someone for what our brains fear is a catastrophic situation.
But outrage on its own is a waste of our time and energy.
Social media algorithms know that outrage is the emotion most likely to elicit engagement, and engagement means profit.
Outrage makes Facebook and other social media platforms a lot of profit.
So your feed is more likely to contain content which will trigger your outrage – and your monkey mind doesn’t automatically know how to stand back and take a pause before engaging.
Left to its own devices, your brain will see the outrageous thing, share it and KA-CHING – Facebook just made more money.
More worryingly, your feeling of outrage gets assuaged because your little monkey mind says to itself ‘I did an action, phew!’ – and now the pressure is lessened.
Until someone comments, and re-engages your own outrage.
All that’s happened is the outrage has been amplified, and nothing has actually changed for the people who are in pain, fear or shock.
And you end up circling in a toxic little pool of outrage.
It’s not pretty. But worse, it’s not useful!
Because if you do get stuck in outrage, it actively blocks your access to the power of your own brain to make a real, tangible difference.
It leaves you feeling the adrenaline rush of stress, while also feeling helpless to do anything.
Outrage is the opposite of being useful, and we all get sucked into it because it’s sooooooo seductive!!
How dare they! That’s awful! Look what’s happening! Who’s to blame here? Shout it to the world!!
Time to flip the switch and regain access to the things that actually make you powerful.
Your creativity. Your innovation. Your compassion. Your sense of proportion. Your determination.
How can we flip the switch?
Find something wonderful and focus on that.
If this is a new habit for you, it might take a little time to get used to the idea. And you might be tempted to underestimate the power of it.
It’s a skill that comes with practice. And it’s easier than you might think.
Not long ago, I was waiting to cross a fairly busy little access road within the big grocery store car park in my town.
A lady driving a big SUV full of kids saw me, and slowed down to let me cross over in front of her.
We made eye contact. I waved and mouthed “thank you“ and she grinned at me and mouthed “you’re welcome“ back to me.
I was still grinning about it by the time I got home.
It was such a tiny moment, in a day full of moments both big and small.
But I chose to put my attention on that moment of grace and kindness, that moment of connection between two complete strangers linked by a single event.
And I choose to bask in it again now, by reliving it as I describe it.
So when I think about some of the crazy things we face in the world, I have access to all my superpowers again.
I can engage enthusiasm for my vision of how I’d like the world to be.
I can visualise improvements in how things are, which is always the first step in creating actual tangible outcomes.
I can easily find the people who are already doing fabulous things in the world – finding solutions, implementing smart ideas, inventing technological wonders and medical breakthroughs, leading the way to more inclusivity and empowerment for all.
Basking in a moment of delight is a powerful antidote to outrage.
Try it right now, even if only for the relief of feeling a few minutes of enjoyment.
What one tiny moment from your day is a conduit for feelings of delight, grace, beauty, fun, peace, contentment?
Bask, re-visit, enjoy all over again.
Rinse and repeat.
Janette Dalgliesh has a simple mission in life – to wreak more joy in the world. A keen student of brain science, conscious creation and astrology, she serves her people through life coaching, teaching, writing and astrology consults. To find out more about Janette, visit her website or track her down on Facebook.