Each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists publishes a reasoned estimate of how close we are to risking the destruction of everything. They take all threats into account, not only nuclear war.
For 2020, they have judged us to be the CLOSEST EVER to the end of civilisation.
I recommend you read their quite long analysis of the situation. They consider nuclear war issues of course, as well as climate change, and the effects of COVID-19. They point out that other new disease epidemics are highly likely.
However, they have not factored in one issue: the global extinction crisis. We are destroying forests, killing aquatic life in multiple ways, and very concerning is the huge reduction in insect numbers.
At the end, there is a list of powerful measures humanity can take. They are mostly aimed at governments, but ordinary people also need to know about them, to pressure governments to act and so we can change our own behaviour.
Reading such things is a warning and a call to action. However, it may also lead to feelings of despair.
To help, here is a slightly edited extract from my short story, A Lucky Break, which is part of my current work, Lifting the Gloom:
Learn mindfulness meditation. And do your best to be in this moment. The past is history. The future’s a mystery. I give you a PRESENT. In this moment, you’re fine. Since the future is an invention, an illusion, you are fine…
Anticipating the future, planning, stuff like that is part of this moment. But that’s where the next tool comes in: equanimity…
When I was lying on the ground with my freshly broken hip, I separated the pain into two parts. There was the horrid sensation in my hip, about 12/10. The second part was wanting this sensation to go away. When I simply allowed it, I could function. As long as you completely and honestly accept what is, it doesn’t hurt… It really works, for every source of distress. It works when experiencing something unpleasant, and it works when you know that something good will have an end sometime…
Anything that has a beginning must have an end. That includes humanity. If we are witnesses to that, well, someone has to be, why not us? And it also applies to personal lives. We can die one at a time, or billions together. Either is all right. You can die at 100, or before birth. Either is all right. And even suffering is only short term. We get through it.
Earth is a school for souls. And let me reassure you: if the students burn this school down, there are zillions of other schools within the Universe. We must do the best, but whatever happens is all right.