Remedies for anxiety caused by incendiary rhetoric
Lately political talk in the United States and elsewhere has taken an often inflammatory approach when discussing issues. One clear indication is the inability of either side to listen to the other. A lot of discussion includes phrases like "if you don't agree with me you are either stupid or ignorant." Emotion ratchets up from response to response till we are in effect constantly yelling at each other with no result other than raising the decibels. These effects are especially felt in the open environment of the Internet.
Whether we believe strongly in these things or not, we are nonetheless affected by the environment of fear and anxiety that accompanies these discussions. The inflammatory nature of this discourse generates fear. Fear has a destabilizing effect. The more fearful, no matter the cause, the worse our balance and the more likely that we have a fall. The more fearful, the more likely that we will make poor decisions.
Inflammatory: arousing or intending to arouse angry or violent feelings.
Deflame (a new word): reducing the incendiary effect of inflammatory rhetoric by breathing deeply and grounding yourself.
- Think of incendiary rhetoric as inflammation of the thought processes. We know much about physical inflammation and what increases or reduces it. Reduce the effects of inflammatory talk by taking steps to reduce mental inflammation.
- Incendiary rhetoric is usually enveloped in an environment of rushing. Rushing to judge. Rushing to resolve. Rushing to beat the opponent. Rushing is a bad idea unless you are rushing out of a burning house. Slow down and take your time.
- Deepen your contact to the earth. We become ungrounded, less connected to logic and reason. This is one reason why breathing deeply can be so effective. As we loose contact with the real world, energy gets concentrated in the upper body, in our mental processes. We forget about our body. We become tense and anxious. Physically, our balance worsens.
- During this process, passion affects logical analysis. Fear especially is an extremely poor base upon which to make decisions. Take for example the rush to sell securities when the stock market plunges. The panic affects our judgment and causes us to make exactly the wrong decision. Inflammatory rhetoric also causes us to make the wrong choices.
- The combination of misplaced passion, rushing and being less grounded makes thoughtful contemplation difficult at a time when we especially need it. Breathing slowly and deeply helps immensely with brain function tasked with resolving issues.
How can we ground ourselves?
- Exercise. Get up and out of your chair.
- Walk barefoot on the ground.
- Connect with nature.
- Pay attention to your feet. Take a foot bath.
- Sing, practice vocal exercises, grunt.
- Eat grounding foods: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger, avocado, mango, papaya, grapes, olives, berries, coconuts, figs, melons, green beans, egg plant, and yams.
- Distance yourself from your computer and smart phone.
- Above all, breathe consciously and deeply. Take a few breaths before responding to incendiary talk.
How can we reduce inflammation whether generated physically or mentally?
- Reduce stress: there are many stress reduction techniques including the practice of yoga, Tai Chi and structured meditation.
- Drink lots of water.
- Exercise: one of the very best ways to reduce inflammation.
- Practice deep breathing, especially helpful with "mental inflammation".
- Use topical anti-inflammatories like ice, arnica montana, Topricin, arthritis creams to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Eat a diet high in anti-inflammatories.
- Limit the use of processed and refined foods.
- Get enough sleep.
- Develop a positive mental attitude.
What increases inflammation?
- Stress, anxiety, fear.
- Injury, deterioration.
- A diet high in sugars and processed foods.
- Lack of sleep.
- Having a negative mental attitude.
- Several risk factors promote chronic inflammation: increasing age, obesity, saturated fat intake, high sugar intake.
How can you reduce the anxiety that inflammatory rhetoric causes?