So is the news damaging our mental health? Yes, it has the potential to. We are bombarded with news constantly, its almost always bad and at the moment given the current climate that’s not healthy. But its not healthy at any point to be constantly hooked into the mainframe of 24/7 coverage. It was reported by the British Medical Journal that political events like Brexit make a massive impact on our mental health so imagine what a pandemic is doing to it.
Why the style of news won’t change
Listen, its not going to change. Most media outlets work on a negativity bias, why is that? We are physiologically drawn to bad news, its hardwired into our brain. With this in mind why would they change their stance? They want to keep us wired into their feeds. We can seek out uplifting news though, this is something I do a lot via Uplifting News on Reddit or The Happy News on Instagram drip feeding that into normal mainstream coverage, for me it works.
Its up to us
Ultimately its in our hands as to how much damage the news does to our mental health. We cannot control what is happening externally and we also cannot help what is happening to people around the world during this time. We are aware of it but we are not desensitised towards it, we should shift our thoughts, feelings and efforts to those around us. To who/what we can immediately have an affect on. I think by doing this it allows us to gain a better perspective on what matters to us in that moment.
Limiting your intake
In saying the above I am not supporting burying our head in the sand, ignoring every piece of coverage. Get what you need from it and move on. We don’t need to know every death, every tragedy, every financial downturn going on. We need enough to get us through this, to survive and to protect the ones we love. But at the same time holding onto our compassion for all humans, without carrying the burden of their pain on our own shoulders.
I spoke recently in a post about Anxiety and Covid:19 and how I stripped back all of my news intake to quite an extreme. So try to limit yourself maybe check the news in the morning then don’t look for the next 10 or so hours. Social media – if its somewhere you don’t go for news then get rid of the news on it, filter your social media.
Tips for not letting it get you down
- Limit your intake: set yourself a designated time to take in what you need
- Seek out uplifting/positive stories
- Make social media a positive place to go
- Keep things in perspective: list whats good right now
- Stick to the facts: seek out the truth get what you need and move on
- Sometimes no news is good news
- Don’t lose time to it: what other great things could you be doing?
Lets just recap. Is the news damaging our mental health? Yes it can. Do we need the news to stay informed and keep our Governments in check, Yes. Like most things in life its all about balance, so strike a deal with your news intake and I can almost guarantee you will feel better. Don’t bury yourself in it, or allow it to assault you constantly every 15 minutes. Allot your time, get what you need, do something else productive or something that will benefit those around you.
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