If you are anxious about what’s going on in the world right now, you’re certainly not alone. The world has experienced so much turmoil, chaos, and drama over the past few years that almost everyone has been affected mentally by it. The constant distressing news has affected the mental health of millions of people, and it looks like things won’t be stopping anytime soon.
This phenomenon is sometimes known as headline stress disorder, and it can affect anyone who frequently watches distressing news. However, with so much going on, it’s difficult to avoid distressing headlines. So here are a few ways you can cope with anxiety from current events.
Limit Your News Consumption
Though it may be tempting to do so, constantly watching the news can significantly affect your mental health. Therefore, to reduce any anxiety you are experiencing, you will need to limit your news consumption.
This is often difficult due to our access to 24/7 news coverage and the fact that we are constantly updated on distressing events. As a result, people who want to remain informed may be compelled to constantly scroll for updates and new information, even if it does take a toll on their well-being.
But taking a break is critical to maintaining your mental health. Unless the news updates directly impact you, there is little reason to keep up with a news story every moment. Therefore, limit your news consumption to take some mental health breaks and ease your stress.
One way you can do this is to only check the news when you get important updates from your favorite news app. That way, you are not spending energy looking for new information or the tiniest of updates. You can also schedule a specific time each day to get caught up with any new information so you are well informed without being inundated with updates all day long.
The important thing is to find some sort of boundary that prevents you from checking for updates every few minutes. Your brain will thank you for the much-needed break.
Be Careful Of Social Media Usage
Social media is often the medium where people discover important news. Unfortunately, without even trying, you can easily be bombarded with distressing facts and disturbing images and videos. What’s worse is that it is often hard to block these sources out, as anyone can post this information online.
Therefore, you may need to limit your social media usage to prevent further anxiety. If it’s a big enough issue (such as the pandemic), chances are that everyone is talking about it online. If you need a break from the information, then you should avoid social media as much as possible. Be mindful of your social media usage and make appropriate boundaries where necessary.
Focus On The Positives
Even in the worst situations, there are always heroes and positive forces at work. Though you shouldn’t dismiss the reality of the situation, remember that there still is some good too. Try to focus on the good stories so that you still learn about the situation but without experiencing nearly as much stress.
Furthermore, you can also prioritize taking positive actions to help the situation. For example, you can donate money to the involved causes or volunteer your time to help out. This will give you a sense of being involved while doing something to help the situation.
Experiencing events through the news or online videos can produce as much stress as experiencing them in person. Some researchers believe that this is because we replay the videos and information over and over again, experiencing the event multiple times instead of just once.
It’s not always viable to block out the news for several days. Sometimes we need to stay informed to stay safe. If creating boundaries with the news isn’t an option, then make sure you are practicing self-care. The constant news consumption will increase your anxiety and stress levels which can do significant harm to your mental health. And in the confusion of so much stress, you can easily forget to take care of your physical health as well.
So no matter what is going on, do your best to eat well, exercise, drink water, and get enough sleep. Practice stress-alleviating activities such as deep breathing and meditation. Make sure to surround yourself with friends and family so you aren’t experiencing the situation alone. Doing these things will provide you with a solid foundation that will make it easier to heal your mental health when the situation is over.
Watching the news may be important, but it can cause significant stress and anxiety. By limiting your news consumption and practicing self-care, you can remain informed about current events without the lasting impacts on your mental health. For more information on how current events affect your mental health, head over to BetterHelp for further reading.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.