We are living in the new age of activism, where platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and youtube amongst others are giving you a golden opportunity to
speak out about social issues that deeply concern you in the hope that that you can
influence the opinion of your community.
Whether you are raising awareness about the dangers of the vaccine, ways to prevent the
spread of COVID, or the rising death toll – your voice can make a difference. You no
longer need to feel hopeless or helpless for not taking action, in fact, you can feel proud
that you are active – right?
But have you ever considered the impact of your social activism on your mental and
physical health? Or on the mental health of your community?
When you feel anxious about something that deeply concerns you, your mind can only
see the worst possible outcome and it creates hundreds of negative scenarios that are related to it. You begin to drown in a sea of negative thoughts and this impacts the way you communicate.
You use language that causes alarm, sounds like a warning, and instills fear in others.
While your intentions might be good, your own state of worry and fear is impacting
your readers and distracting them from paying attention to their own emotional states.
Moreover, it may encourage your readers to jump into action, because we may think that
doing something is better than doing nothing, but in most cases, our actions are not well
thought out and can drain our energy and give us anxiety.
As you continue to pour your emotions into your work, your readers may feel
overwhelmed and some may choose to take a break from social media buzz to avoid anxiety.
When you don’t get the reaction that you were hoping for, you begin to feel discouraged, as though you are not doing enough. This leads to a form of activism burnout, which you may experience as depression, anxiety, headaches, and other physical
ailments, substance abuse, loss of productivity, and trouble concentrating.
So what can you do about it?
1. Break the habit of constantly worrying about things that are out of your control
Like the past and the future. Instead, train yourself to find comfort and peace during
times of uncertainty or anxiety. Train yourself to focus on the present moment and live breath by breath, day by day.
2. Change your belief that by worrying you are actually doing something and by not worrying you are being careless
Our society has programmed us to feel that we should be worried—that worrying is a good and productive thing to do. And then we login to Twitter or Facebook to see which of our friends are reinforcing that message: Yes, you should be worried. And if you’re not, what’s wrong with you?
But the truth is, you don’t need to worry to be a good person.
3. Pay attention to the way you communicate when you are keen to raise awareness about a social matter
Work on striking a balance between what is true/real such as the facts and figures but also be brave to talk about that which you don’t know. Allow your voice to carry both sides of the argument – the negative and the positive. And let people choose for themselves.
Originally from Cairo, Shama Kaur is Egypt’s first Kundalini Yoga Teacher & Trainer. At the age of 25, Shama completed the Level 1 Aquarian Trainer Program in New Mexico. Ever since she has been devoted to spreading the teachings throughout Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Dubai, Morocco, and Tunisia. Shama is a Professional Trainer in the Aquarian Trainer’s Academy. Currently, She is training as a Yoga Therapist with the Guru Ram Das association and is pursuing a degree in psychology and counseling. She is also the founder of YallaYoga Center. She’s a graduate of Business Strategy and Commerce from McGill University, Montreal, and holds a Masters degree from King’s College London.