We live in a time where we are not bound to anything. In which we all doors are open. Choices in our society are constantly increasing. The options in all areas are multiplying, allowing the individual unlimited freedom.
Our name, our religion, our hair color: Nothing is fixed, we can choose and change everything freely and at any time. More products, more professional life possibilities and more possibilities of being. We freely choose our place of residence, our workplace and our life partners. Flooded with more and more information and products on more and more channels we try to stay up to date.
What we take for granted today was unthinkable hundreds of years ago. In industrial society, the central element was the struggle for freedom, progress and growth. Today, we have this freedom to choose - and even have to choose - between a number of ever-growing options and an infinite number of possibilities.
Richer in options, but poorer in certainty
However, this freedom also entails risks. Due to the ever-increasing scope for action and choice, young people in particular are increasingly being drawn into Disorientation and helplessness. On the one hand, they feel free in their choices and actions, but on the other hand, they feel left alone and lost.
Many no longer know what they want to do because they can do anything. The modern world has become more and more disconnected from traditions and structures that used to provide orientation and support for emancipation. We are becoming richer in options, but poorer in certainty.
Fear and pressure to choose the wrong path for yourselfto lose touch and no longer be able to keep up with world events are spreading. Overload, stress and Burnout are buzzwords of our time.
Influence of social media
The situation is aggravated by the ever-increasing influence of social media in addition. Channels like Instagram, Facebook and Co. convey that the limitless possibilities are not only utopian, but within reach. Happy life is predefined. Beautiful influencers talk with their sponsored watches in the left and a Matcha latte in the right about Self-Lovegratitude and work-life balance.
Today, every second person in their mid-twenties is a self-appointed "life and personality coach" and creates with sentences like "You can achieve everything in your life" and "You alone are responsible for your life" in an already flooded multi-option society just more pressure. The presented glittering and colourful world without problems and boundless freedom creates a false ideal in young people.
Constant comparison processes lead to questions like: "Why do others do it and I don't?". Lost in the never-ending process of self-realization and Self-optimization feelings of shame, guilt and inferiority are continuously produced. The stress level of society is constantly rising in parallel with its growing options. Fear of failure, disorientation and identity problems are the consequence of our modern times.
More freedom = more stress?
Doesn't it sound paradoxical to claim that more freedom also means more stress for the individual?
The real problem is that the individual life design is less and less adapted to one's own wishes and needs and more and more to the possibilities offered outside. Or to put it another way: Man no longer lives what he wants, but what he can. And that's quite a lot these days.
It lacks support, structure and orientation. And this both inside and outside. What used to be given to us by family, religion and community has been completely eliminated by today's zeitgeist. Orientation, structure and models are therefore sought in the World Wide Web; and found.
In almost every area of life, be it health, PartnershipFashion, Work or Nutritionyou will find a suitable "Micro- Influencer" with its convinced followers. Practices, beliefs and values are quickly adopted and the corresponding lifestyle is made a substitute religion. But such a "micro-influencer" does not live long in our fast moving society.
And so, in the never-ending hope of finally "arriving", one jumps from one dogma to another and loses more and more contact with himself. Focused on the outer world, the inner world feels at some point as if it is uninhabited.
We forget to stop. Stopping to look at our own needs and ask ourselves, "What is my truth?", "What do I stand for?", "What is really important to me in life?"
Creating orientation through self-care
We need to be able to use our Returning attention to the inside. Learning to take our own heart again as a compass for our life, our Needs as the driving force and our Feelings as messengers of happiness.
We must Rebuilding confidence and orientation within and stop looking for them on the outside. We must ground ourselves by building and nurturing an inner base. By going inward with our focus and beginning to give our organism what it really needs, we begin to fill life from within and slowly build a home within ourselves.
We must understand that personal well-being depends on the satisfaction of certain basic needs. Our mind talks to us, as does our body.
Understanding the signals of the body
For example, for us to feel good physically, we need to interpret the signals our body sends us throughout the day. These are signs such as: pain, growling stomach, pressing bladder, dry mouth, heavy eyes. We have to interpret the underlying Identifying and satisfying needs. We must eat when our body is hungry, drink when it is thirsty, and give it rest when it is tired.
And this satisfaction of needs is individual, it is something very personal, like your own fingerprint. It makes no sense to go to the toilet when an influencer does it; we have to take care of our own bladder.
Perceiving emotions as information carriers
And it is the same with our mental well-being. Our mental system also talks to usin the form of emotions: Sadness, fear, loneliness, envy and anger, these are all signals of our mental system, which continuously give us information about our current mental state: "That hurt me", "That's what I long for", "That would make me happy", "That annoys me".
Emotions are information carriers. They want to tell us something about us and motivate us to behave in a certain way, which should lead us towards the satisfaction of our needs: "I should get out and meet people again", "Maybe I'll sign up for further education", "I'll go for a walk in the woods today".
Therefore it is important to work together with our emotions. Not to avoid, suppress or deny them, but to perceive them, listen to them, interpret them and respond to them: "What does this feeling want to tell me right now?", "What do I need right now?", "What need lies behind the feeling?
Our body has everything it needs to show us the way to our personal well-being. We just have to learn to listen to him again. Only when we learn to respond to the needs of our individual system can we reach states of well-being. Self-care!
Distance from the outside world
And in order to be able to provide adequate self-care, we have to distance ourselves from the flooded outside world from time to time.
I really recommend doing "outside world detox" regularly. Not necessarily for long, but regularly. Targeted Breaksin which we give our mind rest from the constant external stimuli. Allow it to rest. Consume nothing. Do nothing. Also no sports, no reading, no yoga, no music.
I am not talking here about "me- time" (time that you consciously take for things that are good for you), but about targeted "out time". Focus deflection to the inside. During this time, we should simply deal with our inner world and consciously look at our current well-being.
It helps to simply close your eyes several times a day and enter into a loving dialogue with yourself: "What is occupying my mind right now", "How am I doing right now", "What do my feelings tell me", "What do I need especially today? We must learn to care for ourselves and our well-being in the same way that a loving mother cares for her child! Continuously, warmly and patiently.
The more we create a basis within ourselves in which we feel comfortable and secure, the more this basis will also become a source of trust in us. Through the conscious Investment in a rich inner world our needs and feelings become more and more the orientation point for our actions and our self as a source of structure, orientation and support in our life.
This article is a guest contribution from Ariane Jankowski.
I am a graduate psychologist and licensed behavioral therapist.
My vision is to help people outside of "classical psychotherapy" to become experts and masters of their inner world.