The News – On or Off?

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Phot of two people watching TV

The world is a stressful place to be in right now. The news is full of bad stuff happening that gives rise to a huge amount of uncertainty. A recent poll by the American Psychological Association, entitled “Stress in America” reveals the impact that the pandemic has had on mental health, with an increase in stress levels as well as an increase in unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as drinking and weight gain).

Along with the pandemic are other stressors such as worry about rising prices, concern that things are not available in shops, worry about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its possible consequences.

I will not go into everything that the survey has turned up – because very little of it is good news.

There are lots of bad things happening in the world – locally, nationally and internationally. Dwelling on these things can really increase our stress, and really push up anxiety levels.

Some of my clients have a very simple way of dealing with stress brought on by events in the world – they simply do not watch the news. When there are bad things happening that we have no control over, there is simply no point in worrying about them. Developing righteous anger or worrying about the bad things that are happening will simply make anxiety worse. So a simple answer is to turn off the news.

That being said, there are also good reasons to watch the news. Some things effect us that we need to know about, and our friends and colleagues will often want to discuss what is going on.

It’s a question of balance. You need to watch the right amount of news for you. If you are effected by it badly (getting worried, depressed or angry) – then maybe you should watch less, or even turn it off altogether. If it all rolls off you like water off a duck’s back – watch as much as you want.

To watch or not to watch – that is the question.

If you cannot manage your anxiety on your own, you may like to consider getting help. In my clinic in Fleet, I help people with anxiety. I use solution-focused hypnotherapy to help them get back in control of their lives and get rid of the unwanted symptoms.

Photo by Ron Hamlin on Unsplash

Tim Maude

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