Saleem Reshamwala hosts “More Than a Feeling”, a podcast on emotions from the meditation and mindfulness platform Ten Percent Happier. Recently she published a piece on NPR sharing five practices for managing that nagging feeling of impending doom. She encourages us to recognize that the list of things we dread is almost endless, from the Sunday scaries and climate change to deadlines, the holidays, simple errands, and more. So what do we do about this? You can read the full article at https://www.npr.org/2022/11/22/1138759124/transform-the-way-you-deal-with-dread but a quick summary is offered below:
Rewrite your dread – We often struggle to talk about dread because it can feel so heavy. Poet and clinical psychologist Hala Alyan has a suggestion: Write down the things you’re concerned about. She shares a journal prompt to help you emotionally distance from your dread.
Draw your dread – What happens when we express our dread without words? Art therapist Naomi Cohen-Thompson and meditation teacher and writer Jeff Warren explain why reframing our attitudes toward dread nonverbally can help us accept what scares us.
Find the joy in dreading – Fear of death may be the ultimate type of dread we face, but clinical psychologist Rachel Menzies and death doula Alua Arthur say that facing death can be a joyful exercise. They make a compelling case for why remembering we will die – instead of trying to forget – can help us accept the inevitable.
Schedule your dread – This is how my dread works: I dread something. I try to avoid thinking about it. I fail. Before I know it, I’ve spent an entire day stuck in an endless loop of worry. Mattu shares some tips around this conundrum, including the benefits of carving out “worry time” to keep dread from becoming too overwhelming.
Notice your surroundings – After speaking with More Than a Feeling listeners, it became clear that one of the biggest issues they’re worried about right now is the state of our planet. I spoke with therapist Patty Adams, who helped me understand how connecting to the environment can help us build emotional resilience — so that even if we feel paralyzed by “eco-dread,” as it’s called, we don’t stay there for too long.