How do you find the line between being informed, and being overwhelmed by information?

This is the question I find myself contending with fairly regularly of late.  Given all that is happening both in the USA and around the world, I find I need to remain informed, and keep in the know.

However, there are so, so many things happening that this quickly becomes overwhelming.

World news can be pretty crazy, but all the insane political actions happening in America right now are particularly frustrating.  Again, while I strive to not get political when Pathwalking, this is becoming increasingly unavoidable.  Between a President insistent on telling frequent, outright lies, a Congress interested only in their own power and their wealthy benefactors, increased blatant racism and sexism, not to mention the growing divisions in perception across the continent, this can be a total distraction from anything and everything else.

One key thing I am working on keeping in mind is that I can only do so much to effect these things.  Once I have done my part, I can continue to observe, I can write thought pieces on the given situation or open letters to Congress or requests to the disaffected for my blog.  I can participate in marches and protests as appropriate.

The danger of crossing the line between informed and overwhelmed is the effect this can have on the path I am walking.  When the politics and the anger over the negativity constantly inundates you, it is unsurprisingly easy to step off your path; or even to cease progress upon it; or leave it entirely.

I want to be in the know, I want to be aware of what is happening; but when this dominates my thoughts, it seeps into my feelings and can impact upon actions I might or might not take.  Suddenly a major outside influence is overtaking my paths, and before I know it I am somewhere I would really prefer not to be.

The challenge now is for me to walk my chosen paths, while keeping informed about what’s going on in the world, without letting these things I can do little-to-nothing about dominate my choices.

I’ve written about this before, but it has becoming increasingly difficult to simply observe and not get emotionally invested.  The utter lack of empathy on the part of our so-called leaders, the outright lies being spread, the greed and corruption of the system frequently being laid bare is difficult to ignore.  I want to remain aware of this, but even just staying in the know can be infuriating in the face of extremism.

Further, there is also to some degree lingering guilt about my personal desire to still walk my own chosen paths.  I am aware that if I do not care for myself and do what I need for me, I have nothing to share or give to help others.  And yet there is still a sense of selfishness in these actions; irrational emotions despite the logic of the thoughts I can’t ignore but need to keep control over.

So – how do I keep informed, but not overwhelmed?  How do I walk my chosen paths, and still help other people and worthy causes and not feel guilty?

First, I have chosen to take a unique break.  As you read this, I am on vacation, having a new experience in a new place, with very few of my usual companions around me.  This is going to put me very much in the now, as I will be in this place at this time, and largely focused on the here-and-now as I have this new experience.

See this week’s Positivity in regards to my thoughts on escaping, and the good that can come of that.

Second, the other component of this break is that, afterwards, I will take the opportunity to use this as a form of reset.  When I return to my regularly scheduled life and responsibilities and obligations, I am going to work on a new approach, striving to change some old habits and focus on the paths of my choosing.  I am going to work on actions to not just return to my usual patterns, habits and routines, but to use the week in the here-and-now to STAY in the now, and form some new habits.

Third, I am going to work on staying focused on the now.  A great deal of the frustration born of the news of the world is less in what is being done right now, and more in what is being presented.  Bills that Congress is deliberating over, the effects of Executive Orders on people and our society, terrible ideas being presented that are not yet here, but are unpleasant to think about as happening.  If I am focused on possible outcomes in an unwritten future, I am giving it energy, and since like attracts like, and consciousness creates reality, doing so is detrimental to my health and desires.

Take a break.  Reset.  Focus on the now.  This combination, I believe, will help me to stay the course on the paths of my choosing, and help me better to find what it is I want from life.  It is important as we walk our paths to not be overwhelmed by the things we cannot control, yet remain informed.  I think I have found my own line between informed and overwhelmed, and we’ll see how things turn out as I strive to change some long-held, well-ingrained habits and regular actions.

Do you know where your line between informed and overwhelmed is?


This is the two-hundred seventy-second entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.