Hear no Evil

Boundaries around what you hear or see; Is this something you think about, or take seriously?

We’ve all read it and we’ve all seen the 3 little monkeys “see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil.” Typically this is an anthem we preach to our children, why? Because we want them to stay innocent for as long as possible, we don’t want any bad things permeating their happy little bubbles. Yet, do we have the same standards for ourselves? Usually, we don’t. So many people have the news on all day in the background, the radio on while puttering around in the kitchen, or watching those tv shows that if we are being totally honest with ourselves are nothing but negative drama.

I always used to think guarding myself was in reference to stuff that you know is wrong (anything you wouldn’t turn on at a family function….you know what I mean 😉 ). However, a few years ago, I started to feel SUPER anxious over certain social media interactions, or I would get into a tailspin over something I heard on the radio, or I’d actually dream about an extremely graphic scene I saw on a tv show multiple nights in a row. I came to the realization that all of these negative feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and sometimes hopelessness or fear could all be tied directly back to specific situations. I became intrigued and started to track it, and every single time I had specific interactions on social media the anxiety would show up, every time I allowed my curious nature to run wild with news the fear and overwhelm followed. It was like clockwork.

Can you trace back your moments of anxiety, fear, overwhelm, situational depression? Or are they never ending? Do you feel these emotions all the time, and can’t separate when they happen, vs when there is a pause. In our society we are bombarded with messages on a daily/hourly/minute by minute/second by second basis. Just because it is not explicit doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful and isn’t negatively affecting us subconsciously. Take this list for example and read it over. Do these things seem negative or harmful to such an extent that you’d need to be protective in guarding yourself against them?

  • News about a war
  • A banking commercial on retirement and savings
  • A song that comes on the radio that you don’t particularly enjoy
  • A reel that comes across your social media feed of a lady using a filter
  • A blip of a picture of an abused animal
  • A scene on a show that you weren’t expecting that went more graphic then anticipated so you watched the entire thing
  • A political announcement

Now, you might read this list and think, there’s nothing wrong with these or these are harmless, or maybe 1 or 2 MIGHT apply, but definitely not to the extent where you are making a big deal of “guarding yourself.” OR your list might be entirely different. In our society, though, we have never worked more, we have never been so bombarded with marketing 24/7, we have never been so depleted emotionally/physically/psychologically from running to get ahead and stay ahead that we have nothing left to give. We find ourselves running on fumes, that the smallest things can in fact send us over the edge metaphorically. Learning to guard ourselves from the overly negative messages that subtly permeate our protective wall is SO necessary to maintaining good mental health. We are what we see/hear. And when a large amount of the information coming into our minds is negative whether it be a war, a reminder that our finances are not at the place we’d like them to be, a song with a depressing negative message that continues our downward spiral that particular day, a reminder that your facial routine doesn’t do the same as these other women who are older than you and look fabulous, the darkness of the world, or a political announcement that just triggers us for a multitude of reasons, the results are the same – subconscious feelings of overwhelm, anger, fear, anxiety – fill in the blank. We cannot sit in the presence of negativity day in and day out in work, play and down time and not become a victim to its affects, ESPECIALLY if we are unaware.

I love this topic because this is one that is very controllable, it makes a HUGE difference AND you can make small strides that will improve your overall life, and as you notice your mental health improving you can continue to tweak and improve. Depending on how you spend your time, start paying attention to what things stay in your mind, what messages, themes, images stick and where did they come from? Do you experience little hot flashes of anxiety when you’re in a social media argument? Do you feel a need to keep checking your phone beyond what is healthy or normal? Do you find yourself researching more and more and more and not stopping? Start tracking the platforms that cause you anxiety. Start paying attention to correlations in behaviour. And if you’re curious, set a goal, try going 1-3 weeks without a specific platform or a specific source of news and see if you notice a difference in how you feel. It should be fairly noticeable and obvious. Whenever I feel negative feelings creeping up and there is a need to do a conscious restriction from something, I notice the clarity, freedom and peace almost immediately to let me know I’m on the right track.

If you try this, good luck! I’m always excited when people take the challenge to live outside of the box and be bold and intentional. It will surprise you in ways you never realized and I’m excited for you to experience this in your own life.

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