iPhone applications are currently big news. From productivity apps, to the novelty of having a monkey in a transparent ball roll around your iPhone's screen there is already a huge collection of applications to choose from, download, and enjoy.
Terror Alert 1.0 is one such application. It's an iPhone program that helpfully tells you just how anxious you should be feeling about national security in the USA moment by moment.
The application's blurb reads: "See what the national terror alert is currently set to as well as recent terrorism-related headlines in this customized iPhone web app.”
Why? So you can get your stomach churning with anxiety? Or crank your stress levels up a notch with minimal effort?
Since there is nothing any of us can do about this news it sits firmly in what Stephen Covey refers to in his famous "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" as our Circle of Concern.
What is the Circle of Concern?
Dr Covey explains: "proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase.
Reactive people on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink."
In conclusion: focusing on your Circle of Concern results in increased feelings of victimisation and a waste of energy that could have been spent productively on areas of your life that you care about and can do something about.
The Benefits of Cutting Negative Association
According to Ayurveda your mind becomes what your senses take in. Focusing on terror alerts can cause us such anxiety that we end up actually terrorising ourselves. Ticker tape news running across your computer screen is another way to increase feelings of stress and helplessness. That's not to say that we should live with our heads in the sand, but we could check what we let come marching into our minds.
For many of us these are the things that will wake us at 2am and spoil our sleep.
Turning off exposure to terror monitoring, and headlines reporting violence and despair is an act of self respect and personal energy conservation that frees us up to act where we can most be of value.
Flickr Photo by Yeray Hernández