Our mental health needs to take a break from the doom-laden news and focus on the positive.
IntroductionI'll tell you a little secret: we all sometimes feel powerless. It can be hard to keep up with the news, and it's even harder to understand how everything ties together. What makes this worse is when we see bad news repeatedly reported, making us feel like nothing good or positive is happening anywhere in the world. And that's just not true! People are always doing incredible things —it may not make its way into your daily news, Facebook, or Twitter feeds. So here are some tips for getting back some balance between feeling like everything is falling apart around you (even though it isn't) and knowing what kinds of news stories actually matter when it comes down to affecting your life:
Be aware of your news consumption.Be aware of your news consumption.
- Be aware of your biases. Are you more likely to believe something that aligns with your political or social views? Or worse, do you avoid information that doesn't align with those views?
- Stop reading the news if it is affecting your mental health. If the constant stream of bad news makes it hard for you to get out of bed in the morning, consider taking a break from consuming online media. And be mindful of the difference it may make to your overall feeling.
- Be aware of how much time you spend consuming news: In an ideal world, we would all have unlimited bandwidth and time to watch every newscast produced every day on every channel across the globe! But we don't live in an ideal world. So we must be careful about how much time our brains absorb doom-laden content before we even get out of bed each morning.
Seek out the good news.
Seek out the good news. Look for stories, not about doom and gloom, politics, celebrities, or violence.
Spend time with family and friends who make you feel good, and laugh.
Take time to breathe deeply and relax your body from head to toe. You'll feel better!
You could try reading reasons to be cheerful
Know what you can and can't control in the world around you.
You can't control the news, but you can control how you react. You can also control how you spend your time and money. These three things significantly impact your mental health and happiness—so why not make them work in your favor?
Let's break down each of these examples: You can't control what happens in the world outside of yourself, but you can control how often or where you choose to get your information about what's happening around us. We're all familiar with Facebook and Twitter as go-to sources for news; these platforms are still incredibly popular because they're easy to use and accessible almost everywhere (the internet). But lately, there has been an increasing amount of information coming out about how those sites may be contributing negatively to our collective mental health through misinformation campaigns explicitly designed to keep us engaged longer.
So while it might seem like social media would be a good place full of helpful information, be mindful that it's free for a reason. Your incentives do not line up with the motivations of the social media companies.
Give yourself a break from time to time.
We can't change what is happening around us, so it's important not to let anger or depression get in our way. It's important to remember that we live in one of the world's most privileged countries and that many people are far worse off than we are. Yes, you might believe that the woes are all due to one political party or another, but this is an overly easy answer thrown at complicated problems. If this was the case, there should be one perfect party that has been in power since the dawn of time somewhere - obviously, there isn't.
Regain some balance and perspective through self-care.It's essential for our mental health to do so, especially when we are bombarded with negative stories.
Self-care is key to regaining balance and perspective through relaxation, spending time with family and friends, exercising regularly, eating well, and getting enough sleep. If you want to take your self-care further – meditating or doing things you enjoy can also help you feel calmer and more at peace with yourself.
You can still be informed about what's happening and give yourself breaks from it for your mental health.As humans, we can't help but have an emotional reaction to the world in which we live. We might feel angry, frustrated, or sad when reading about the latest horror story on the news. It's important to recognize these feelings and take a moment to breathe them away before they become more than just another mental health issue.
You mustn't let yourself be consumed by doom-laden news stories - even if they are authentic, something positive is always happening somewhere in the world! And remember, the news outlets focus on those stories because they know people are likelier to click on them, thus earning the outlet's ad dollars.
Try to focus on what is going well instead of dwelling on all the bad things in the headlines.
You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: limit your time on the internet and watch less news. The same applies to social media and reading blogs (unless they are written by you). These things can be overwhelming, so limiting how much of them you consume will give you more room for other things.
If it’s hard for you, try putting a timer on your phone or computer when using them during the day. The goal is to help create space in between checking these sites/apps and make sure that there’s not too much doom in your life at once!
We're all facing many challenges, which can be overwhelming. But remember that taking care of yourself and your mental health is essential. You don't have to ignore what's happening in the world around you, but try not to let it consume your life. And if you need help doing so, reach out for support from loved ones or even professional counselors.