I recently found myself in a state of anxiety, checking news updates and social media obsessively, as I followed several alarming things going on in the world. I laid in bed that night tense, unable to sleep, desperately seeking a way to calm down, but my thoughts would not abide.
Finally hours later, after shedding some tears, and begging the universe for relief, I fell asleep, and a word popped up in a dream, the word “talkism.”
When I woke up, I thought of the word, and immediately felt relaxed with a clear understanding of what had happened to me. I realized none of the things I was worried about were actually happening personally to me, and although I cared deeply for what was happening to others, I had been caught up in the escalating talk about everything, and that was harming me, as an extension of the toxic things that were happening.
Webster’s dictionary defines an “ism” as an “abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a thing,” like alcoholism. I realized that this can apply to reading and listening to too much talking going on in the world as well. We become mentally and emotionally sick with too much information, opinions, descriptions, and experiences of others. More people are sharing their voices in more ways than ever before, vying for our attention, views, likes, and reactions.
Once I saw this clearly, I was able to make some changes to lessen the impact of the voices around me. I avoided watching or listening to the news for a while, checked social media much less often, and invested time in participating in recreational activities that I enjoy. I substituted reading or listening to people talk about things, to creating and doing things, and it really worked. I slept better and worried less.
I believe it is important to be informed on what is going on around us to a certain extent, but it is also important to enjoy our personal lives free from worry about things we have no control over. We are, in fact, giving others a reason to fight through their challenges, as we offer proof that life can be easier, and enjoyable.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed by events going on in the world around you, stop and take a breath, and plan something to do so that talkism doesn’t get the better of you. It is one way you can actually make the world a better, more joyful place.