With the rapid evolution in technology came the bombardment of news feeds filled with images of war, terrorism, natural disasters and crime on our streets. We now have access to 24 hours of news and not just on one forum. Is the world really getting worse, or is our access to news and current affair programs just making it appear that way?
From phones, to laptops, television and even billboard size screens in our cities, we have constant visuals of the worlds most horrific crimes and disasters. We have cameras, both social media and professional journalists poised all over the world waiting to capture images to send to us. I don’t know about you, but it can make me feel like sometimes there is no hope in the world.
So how to we find a balance between keeping up with what is happening locally and globally, and yet not becoming so anxious we can’t let our children play in the parks anymore, or take them into the city for a day out?
It is important to know what is happening so we can make informed choices, and so we can help out where we can, like volunteering, or donating goods or money to help those in need. It can also help put our own trivial dramas into perspective and make us less selfish. On the other hand, we need to find a balance so that we are not damaging our long-term emotional health and wellbeing.
We all have different levels of tolerance to what we can see and hear before it begins to affect our current mood, our emotional health, and our ability to cope. If you are prone to anxiety for example it is probably best to limit the amount of news you expose yourself too, and it may help if you do something like volunteer your time or donate to causes, as taking positive action can help give you back the power you may feel you are loosing.
- Turn news alerts off your phone. We don’t need a constant stream of news all day long. We can check ourselves now and then through the day, or even just once a day.
- Remember that the worst news makes the best money for news networks, their advertising sales and money making potential shoots through the roof when they have the most dramatic news headlines and graphic images. This encourages the Heads of News Corporations to promote, and over promote the headlines in the most terrifying way possible. They are not thinking of how it may skew reality or affect our psyche, they are thinking off how much money they, and their shareholders will make! This is a big reality check and something we should all keep in mind.
- Don’t look at the news first thing in the morning. Wake up, get ready for your day before looking at the news feed.
- Similar to above, there is no benefit to looking at the news right before you try to sleep, it will stop you unwinding and affect your quality of sleep.
- Do something about the negative news! Sitting back and watching can leave us anxious and feeling helpless. Take your power back and do something positive with your negative feelings. Volunteer in your community, donate money to causes that help those in natural disasters, use your individual skills to help out where you can. Maybe you are good at making toys or clothes that you can donate. Maybe you can volunteer to help at your local hospital. By getting involved you will feel less anxious and more in control of your world.
- Don’t judge people without knowing them. It is easy to become fearful of cultures and differences due to what we see on the news, we have to remember that we are only creating more hate in the world by making harsh judgements.
- Keep things in perspective. Fear sells, remember to actually look further into the evidence rather than just believing emails sent to you by people promoting hate, or fear. Don’t believe everything on your Facebook feed. If you are going to watch the news then watch from the most reliable sources you can, but still keep in mind that these realities can be exaggerated in order for corporations to maximise their profits.
“On an average day, terrorists kill 21 people worldwide. On that same average day, natural or technological disasters kill 2,200 people – or more than 100 times as many. The likelihood of dying at the hands of a terrorist is comparable to the odds of drowning in one’s own bathtub.” Source TheConversation.com
- See the beauty in our world. It is often when the human race can seem at its worst that we also see it at its best. Focus on those who help, those who are kind, those who are the real heroes, everyday people like you and me who rush in to help people in distress. Look at the kindness a child will show an elderly lady, or the beauty in how a nurse bathes a sick patient with gentleness. Yes there are horrible people in our world, but we can make a difference by being kind. Listen to that lonely person, offer your seat to the elderly, or to a pregnant woman. Remember your basic manners. Thank the people who make your day easier. Thank the person who makes your coffee, the bus driver, the sales assistant, compliment people, and smile at people.
- Mindfullness is also a great way to stay in the present moment and not get lost in worries. Try being in the moment, turn off the news if you are cooking, playing with your pet or child, or talking to a friend. Be in the moment.
- Human nature can be the most beautiful thing. Be there for one another, kindness goes a long way.
I hope these tips help. How do you feel about the news and the current world we live in? Do you get anxious? Do you feel safe? What tips can you offer people to feel more at peace in their mind during difficult times? Please share your thoughts with me.
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
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