The news sometimes makes you feel panicked and anxious. All the same one wants to be up to date and informed. How can we handle the news and absorb it without fearing for your sanity?
1. THE MEDIA HAS ITS OWN AGENDA
These days there are no shortage of bad news- the bad news is that bad news sells better than good news. No wonder there is a growing tendency to focus on the emotional and sensational aspects of unfortunate incidents.
“Emotionalizing” or “sensationalizing” is the way in which the news focuses on the potential negative results of an incident, rather than telling you how small the probability is of further negative outcomes.
2. BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT THE MEDIA CAN GIVE YOU A WARPED WORLD VIEW
News teams and journalists do not just give factual, impartial and objective news bulletins these days for a few minutes every hour anymore. They are part of a 24 hour news feed on several different news networks that competes for your attention. This means that they try to capture and hold your attention by converting news into entertainment.
It is indeed an unfortunate fact that news do not serve the purpose of only enlightening you anymore, but try to appeal to your undivided attention by making the emotional and sensational aspects of a story the high lights or by exaggeration instead of just giving the facts.
The danger of this is that they portray the world as a place full of drama that put you in constant danger. In light of this, you have to be able to think critically for yourself what the possibility of potential danger for you really is in reality and not just accept their version of events as the absolute truth.
3. CHOOSE YOUR NEWS SOURCES CAREFULLY
All news organizations emphasize the sensational details of a dramatic event when first aired, but some news sources do not attempt to give a balanced, unbiased perspective. It is important to find reliable news sources that you trust to give you an overall story that is as close to the truth as possible.
If you start to feel overwhelmed by the news, it is necessary to impose restrictions on your intake of information. If images upset you, it is better just to listen to news on the radio. If you find it difficult to “switch off” from the news or have sleepless nights about it, do not listen to news after a certain time in the day. You can also get apps that help you determine the amount of news you are exposed to on a daily basis on social media.
4. GET RID OF SOCIAL MEDIA THAT “TRIGGERS” YOU
Social media plays a more important role than ever in the times of social isolation to keep us in contact with each other. That said,certain people or news feeds that has a negative impact on your psyche through the kind of news stories they post or the subjects people complain and write about, should be avoided by blocking , unfollowing, unfriending or just scrolling past.
5 BALANCE IS KEY
It is good to be informed about current events, but it gets unbalanced when the news is all you occupy yourself with. Read the interesting and entertaining pieces in the paper as well and watch a favorite TV program after the news at night. A comedy that makes you laugh or soothing music, will help you divert your focus from current affairs in the news.
6. AVOID NEWS IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL ILLNESS OR ARE IN AN UNHEALTHY MENTAL STATE
It is better to stay away from upsetting news if you suffer from a mental disorder or are experiencing tough times. Research shows that upsetting images or information can make your state worse and/or prolong it.
Ask an informed person who hails balanced views, to tell you the facts if you need to get your news fix. Discuss your anxiousness with people who care about you, because this can help you get a balanced and more objective view on news stories and can put things in perspective.
If news causes you undue stress, detox from it by avoiding all news sources. Some people get more anxious by not knowing what is going on, because it makes them feel even less in control of their lives. It is then better to find a reputable source that you trust to get your information from in small, digestible amounts. Balance, as with everything in life is the key to the prevention of information overload.