With the constant stream of negative news bombarding us every minute of every hour, it’s hard to keep a healthy psyche, knowing that there’s so much wrong with the world. Feeling overwhelmed is the least of your problems, especially when the news is local. Bad local news can make us stressed, afraid, and often depressed.
This phenomenon is known as Headline Stress Disorder. People who constantly seek news might suffer from this disorder. The people who are more prone to have Headline Stress Disorder are the ones who surround themselves with news outlets that focus on reporting negative news.
If you think you’re suffering from Headline Stress Disorder, don’t worry! You may deal with this issue if you learned how to cope with the news.
Here are 5 tips on how to deal with Headline Stress Disorder.
1. Avoid exposure to topics that trigger you in the news
News can provoke you sometimes, which makes you stressed and feel down. When you notice that certain news outlets report news that trigger you a lot, a smart thing to do is stay away from that kind of news. They will only bring to you unnecessary information that only hurts you. Unsubscribe from the media outlets that trigger you to avoid stress.
2. Limit the time you spend consuming the news
Access to a colossal amount of news is now easier than ever with Smartphones. A constant stream of information is now only a few finger swipes away from us. While being interested in the news is a healthy and normal need, developing an addiction to information is taking it to the extreme, which is unhealthy. News can be dangerous to your mental health if you obsess about them.
It can be difficult to drop the habit of scrolling through the feeds for news. But, this is a crucial step for dealing with Headline Stress Disorder. Be more aware of your news consumption tendencies. Also, try to stay limit the time you spend on the news outlets. It would be a great idea if you unsubscribe from the pages and websites that report news that stress you.
3. Be more aware of your social media use
You have to be more aware of how you use social media. Otherwise, you’ll always get caught up in mindless sprees of bad news and negative thoughts. The social media websites and apps are constantly filling our feeds with information. And sometimes none of that information is useful, or at least positive. You must control your urge to use social media and consider the possibility of deleting your accounts if you don’t use them practically. Doing that will undoubtedly enhance the overall quality of your mental health.
4. Practice stress management strategies
Practicing how to manage stress is always useful no matter what your reasons are. The first three steps are proper nutrition, good sleep, and regular exercise. You can also reduce stress by doing some breathing exercises that relax the body and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Anxiety can be dealt with if you have more control over your breathing and muscles. Fast, shallow breathing and muscle tension in the neck and back are correlated with high anxiety levels.
Try to live off-line for some periods and spend your time doing nothing or a hobby instead of scrolling down the news feeds. Meditation is a good alternative!
5. Don’t worry about your condition because it’s normal
Regardless of what you want to name it, this condition that we call Headline Stress Disorder is a common mental health issue. This news anxiety is a natural reaction in our times. We are surrounded by uncertainty and hidden dangers all over us, which invokes anxiety in all of us.
In conclusion, try to focus on the positive things in life more. Pessimism and optimism are two faces of the same coin. The important thing is to keep a balance between them. Try to find news outlets that focus on hope and knowledge. That way you’ll be more positive and wise. Additionally, you have to realize that you will always encounter bad news. You don’t have the power to change them into good news, but you have power over how you react to them.