N is for Negativity in the News and How to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed by it

N is for Negativity in the News and How to Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed by it

It is no secret that the news can be a negative place. But unfortunately, sensationalism has made it so that the more horrific the story, the more attention it gets in the media. This is combined with the fact that there is actually some serious negative news all around us, from the economy and foreign affairs to a global pandemic. So, it can be quite challenging to stay both positive and informed.

 The constant flow of the 24-hour news cycle combined with social media can make staying up to date almost impossible to escape. And if staying up to date on the news makes you feel anxious, it may be time to rethink how you are staying informed. Getting bogged down by the current news information can actually be detrimental to your health and mental wellbeing, especially if you are prone to mental illness.

Here are a few ways to combat getting bogged down by negative news: 

Assess your triggers

What types of news stories bother you? Does seeing an incident result in upsetting you? Try getting your news via radio or podcast instead. Do personal stories make you feel like you’re there? Try just getting fact-based lists and save the personal stories for feel-good topics. Also, don’t forget that the time of day can affect you too. Try to avoid plugging in right before bed or as soon as you get up in the morning.

Limit consumption

This seems like a no-brainer but can be the most difficult thing to do. Try setting aside a short period of time twice daily to catch up on headlines from a reputable source. Instead of indulging in the news, get excited about different media types. Subscribe to a new magazine with a specific subject. Get lost in a recent podcast or pick up a new nonfiction book. 

Regulate your sources

This is an important step, as we cannot always escape the news in most aspects of our lives. But we can unfollow news accounts on social media and instead choose to tune in when it’s right for you. Mute people or pages that may post negative news stories often. Choose a few reputable sources that focus on news that you care about and take a break from the rest.

Focus on your health and wellness

When the world feels heavy, it is best to focus on the things that you can control. And by focusing on your personal health and wellness, you can shift the focus in your life to something more positive. There are many ways to focus on your physical and mental health, but for combating negative news, the most important way to do so is to throw yourself into something that you enjoy, that feels good, and that is easy to maintain as a routine. 

Not feeling overwhelmed by the constant negative news cycle that we see can be extremely difficult. It is important to stay informed, but it is also important to remain balanced in your life. If you struggle with this and these tips don’t feel helpful, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. Take some time to think and reflect on how you can help yourself in this world that may seem overwhelming sometimes.

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