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You Don't Need All The Noise

 

Content warning: Contains mild descriptions of anxiety experiences

 

It’s too loud. Not the music. Almost never the music. But life. Life is too loud. My thoughts are too loud. Other people’s drama and politics and religion (or non-religion) is too loud. It’s a lot of noise.

My anxiety doesn’t do well with the noise, with the shouting, with the conflict.

I used to be a news junky. I still am, in a lot of ways, but the days of even-keeled, cautious and neutral reporting are mostly gone. In its place is our current dumpster-fire of a news and social media hell-scape. And it’s exhausting. I have trouble sleeping. I can’t fall asleep.

I feel the anxiety living in my chest.

If you’re tired and overwhelmed by the noise, you’re not alone.

I find myself craving the quiet, needing the quiet, a break from the noise and shouting.

I just want to stop…


…And breathe…





(this is where you also breathe)





But we don’t stop, do we?

Instead, I put on the 24 hours news channel, I throw my headphones in, I stream TV on my phone at night until I fall asleep from exhaustion. This can’t be the way. There must be something better.

There is...

But I must make small, hard steps towards it if I want it. Noisier is the natural movement of our world. Quieter is an intentional, counter-cultural, counter-hustle, counter-empire series of choices.

And so I:

  • Close the apps
  • Limit my news consumption
  • Unfollow a few people
  • Make heavy use of that “Snooze for 30 days” button
  • Recognize and reconcile myself to the reality that there’s many things I can’t change
  • Choose not to be a keyboard warrior
  • Remember that most things aren’t my hill to die on
  • Practice thankfulness daily
  • Leave home earlier, so I can drive slower
  • Take some deep breaths
  • And limit my coffee and alcohol consumption

I don’t do all these things everyday. I fail, often. But I know the dumpster fire doesn’t make me a better, kinder human. And I know that anger rarely solves problems. So today, like yesterday, I choose to pursue quietness and avoid the noise, however that looks like for me today.

May you find quietness, rest, and peace today. Step away from the conflicts that don’t matter or can’t be won. Be content with smallness. You don’t need all the noise.


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