Finding meaning in times of uncertainty

This has been a difficult year, not just for Sri Lanka, but globally. Politics are more chaotic than ever. forests are burning, economies are crumbling, and terrorism is ever present. The youth is severely in debt and people’s livelihoods are under threat in many communities.  Everything is top heavy as it has always been, so do we have a shot at sanity and joy  in a chaotic world?  Try these simple steps for staying grounded.


Ask yourself, does this REALLY matter to me?

Very often our minds wander into territory which is unnecessary. Unless these thoughts and worries are something that you are passionate about your focus shouldn’t be wasted. Consider whether the matter at hand is something you can help change or something you feel is important to your values, everything else has to be disposed of from your mind’s closet.


Why does it matter to me?

Very often we think something is important to us but in reality it is  something we thought “should” be important to us. Determine whether what you are stressed about is something that really should be worth giving time and energy to and then shift your focus to what does.


Do something meaningful

Viktor Frankl believed that humanity requires meaning and purpose in life. Whether you have a defined purpose or not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is whether you enjoy the process or if it helps your personal growth. When you feel confused and stressed, focus on something you want to do, something that helps enhance your skills and makes you feel alive. It could be something as simple as reading a book that you have always wanted to read, or building your own website. Action is always required to shift the negative energy.



Yes, as over emphasized  as this word may be, nothing has been as credible as meditation in the wellness world. The simple focus on the breath, closing your eyes and surrendering attachment for observation of the thought stream is adding more and more relief to the human psyche.  Science is finding that this practice is as dependable as any pill without the side effects.


Learn to prioritize

We often get carried away with the mundane, if you have enough food, shelter and at least one companion you can speak to, that is all that is needed, everything else is just an added benefit. However if your priorities are not defined it is easier to lose focus on what matters to you and get caught up in gossip, and external stressors. Unless your stress is directly going to cost a shift in your wellbeing and security. Let  go and focus on what needs to happen.


Engage in community

I definitely believe in the power of solitude, however when your suffering the worst thing to do is to become a recluse, as your mind is vulnerable and anything that is toxic can enter your thought processes, such as depression, suicidality and anxiety etc. This is why it is recommended that you avoid isolation. Seek some comfort in  a supportive community, your church, your friends, a counselor anything that helps you share your feelings in a empathetic setting.

Dr Shanelle De Almeida

Licensed Clinical Psychologist


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