5 steps to sleep well while the world is burning

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aqz 5 steps to sleep well while the world is burning

This article was published in the fourth issue of Tribe, our digital magazine. It’s a better reading experience in the app. You can read Tribe now on Android or iPhone. Become a Tribe subscriber here.

The world is burning. You know it, I know it, just about everybody knows it. But you know what’s worse than the Earth actually going kaput? The fear-mongering! It’s slowly eating away at our mental health.

I mean sure, it’s okay if we hear about the climate once or twice a year. It’s good to be reminded of our many problems from time to time. But these past few years, we can’t take a break from all things climate! Every single day, we’re bombarded with people being all doom and gloom about wildfires or how half of all species on this planet are going to die out in a hundred years.

All of that just makes it really hard for anyone to get a good night’s rest. You’d go to sleep haunted by nightmares of a dark tomorrow and wake up with shadows under your eyes (which you’d feel guilty covering with make-up because it might have ingredients that are… yep, bad for the planet).

Then you see people living without a care in the world, literally. Ask them about climate change and they’ll just shrug and carry on with their lives. It makes you grit your teeth in envy. How do they even manage to be so… happy? You ask yourself how you can be more carefree just like them.

And you know what, we’ve got the answers for you.

Here are five things you can do to sleep easy and enjoy your life without worries even as the world crumbles to dust around you.

1) Convince yourself that humanity will adapt

We humans are adaptable. Always have been. Ever wondered how our species ever managed to achieve world domination and cause the extinction of thousands of species in the blink of an eye? That’s right— our ability to adapt and improvise! So why worry?!

We’ve built cities in deserts, jungles, dry grasslands, swamps, and even frozen tundra. We’ve learned to live with tornados, storms, volcanos, and even wildfires. So even if climate change turns more of the world into desert or jungle, we should be able to live just fine.

Rising sea levels? Pah! Look at the Dutch — they managed to beat back the sea and take the land that it’s been hoarding for them to build houses on.

“But what about nature?” you might ask. Well, animals have adapted to climate change before so surely they can adapt to climate change now. And why do we need too many animals, anyways. Some of them have to go extinct at some point.

Granted that it takes tens of thousands of years and not decades, but who cares about that small detail? I mean, it surely doesn’t matter, right?

Besides, it’s probably true that our planet will heal itself so you may as well focus on healing your mind.

There is no planet B? Well yeah, there’s no other you, either!!!

2) Unplug from the fear-mongering and negativity

“If you’re not thinking about a negative thought, your vibration is going to rise to its natural positive place.” Esther Hicks, Law of Attraction guru

And who doesn’t want to be in a positive place?

It’s simple logic. You want a positive life, get rid of the negative.

If you’re going to be riding a plane on a regular basis, you probably wouldn’t binge on documentaries about plane crashes, or else you’ll end up attracting the wrong energies, resulting in you ending up on one of those documentaries.

So if you want to stop worrying about how the world is going down in flames, then it’s wise to cut yourself off from every single place you can see this negativity in.
Remove all climate and social justice sources—from the social media pages you follow to your “woke” friends. Delete, unsubscribe, set boundaries… for your own sanity.

Just close your eyes and say “ommm” and things definitely turn out alright.

3) Focus on the here and now

“The here and now is all we have, and if we play it right, it’s all we need.”- Ann Richards

If you want to be less pained by the countless bleak tomorrows that await us, you should focus more on the present.

There have been studies showing that people who think about the here and now are happier than those whose minds wander to the future and past. So just stop worrying and fretting and instead just focus on getting happy.

For example, a study has been made lately about how the cacao tree—the thing that gives us chocolate—might go extinct within forty to a hundred years due to climate change. You can spend your days worrying about how there won’t be chocolate in the future, or you can go to the grocery right now, buy several kilos of Cadbury’s, and then enjoy the flavors that are still here for you to savor.

“Everything in this life is temporary. So if things are going well, enjoy it because it won’t last forever.” – A random quote on the internet.

So go ahead enjoy that chocolate while it still exists, eat your beef, turn on your AC 24/7, without any guilt. Because you know what? It’s perfectly okay to be happy.

And who knows. Chances are that in 40 years someone will have likely figured out how to keep chocolate going despite climate change, or find a suitable replacement.

7qtS3OG5pNHmVU8E 1 5 steps to sleep well while the world is burning

4) Remind yourself that it could be worse

Bad things happen all the time and that’s the reason we should always look at the bright side. What’s the use of looking at things directly in the eye to analyze a problem? It’s not like it’s the first step to actually solve them!

Look, obviously it sucks when these kinds of things are happening to our dear Mother Earth but hey — it could be worse!

The ice caps are melting, for example, and it’s really putting pressure on polar bears. But hey, at least polar bears aren’t going to disappear completely! They’re doing the do with grizzly bears, making little polar-grizzly cubs that will keep their genes alive.

And speaking of melting ice, look at the sea. Scientists estimate that sea levels are going to rise between 10 to 32 inches by the end of the century. Sounds bad, but at least it’s not a 10-foot rise in 20 years! Now THAT would be bad.

Just look for the good stuff. Don’t let bad things happening in this world ruin you.

How does it help you if you wallow in gloom and doom and torture yourself with “what-ifs”? It’s not like doing that will help you introspect and figure out where you went wrong and actually make wise solutions, right?

5) It’s not really your problem (or there’s nothing you can do about it)

People worry too much about things that straight up don’t concern them.

Why bother worrying about why these big corporations are destroying the planet? It’s not like you’re the CEO of that big company, right? You’re not even friends with the son of the CEO. As an ordinary citizen, what are you going to do? Call for a boycott on the offending company?

It’s not like you can force companies to adopt expensive carbon scrubbing equipment or adopt environmentally friendly protocols simply because you say so. Corporations need money, and you’re basically asking them to make LESS money. You can try trashing their offices to get their attention, but the only thing you’re probably going to get out of that is time behind bars, and maybe a lawsuit if you’re just that unlucky.

Look. You have your own worries — bills to pay, child to feed, boss to please.

Let’s be real. Trying to be a noble person is way, way too much trouble. Why worry yourself to death and shoot yourself in the foot when you can simply ignore these issues and live a happy, normal life?

The world may be burning but the worst isn’t going to happen in your lifetime anyway. Not even in your children’s lifetime. Well okay, if it happens in their lifetime, then that’s their problem, definitely not yours.

Stop worrying and enjoy life

This world is a hot, hot mess and it honestly gives us too much to worry about every day of every week. Sure, some of those things are worth worrying about, but are they really worth your own peace of mind?

I’d say nay, and from reading these five things I’ve listed here I do hope that you’ll manage to just stop worrying and enjoy life a little.

Sure, some people would say that you lack empathy, or that you’re selfish and lack introspection if you follow these five things to the letter and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But look, you’re not that heartless.

You’re perfectly aware that the Earth and our children matter a whole lot — and yes their future lies in our hands — but hey, isn’t happiness the point of existence? So go get happy!

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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