Are you among those who grab their phone first when they open their eyes in the morning?
We feel the need to know what we’ve been missing out for the past few hours. Either by checking out the news section or scrolling through the Facebook feed, our itch is scratched knowing that we are quite “up to date” within the world that we know – at least until the next hour.
The feeling is heightened especially during the election cycles. Not to mention that our nation is becoming more polarized on almost every social, economic and political issue.
The Effects Are Real
An increase in general anxiety, worry, anger, helplessness and frustration is what people usually experience. It affects relationships and mental well-being.
And turning to social media isn’t helping us cope yet many do so out of habit. It’s like a never-ending cycle of death.
3 Ways To Combating Headline Stress
We can choose to be overwhelmed by what’s happening in the world and feel powerless, or we can do something about it.
Write to your congressman or congresswoman.
Support local businesses who are aligned with your values.
Volunteer with organizations that helps children or animals which will take your mind away from polarizing issues.
Charlene Jaszewski, a freelance editor in Oregon, says she’s also taken similar steps to reduce her headline stress and recommends the same to others who may be feeling it. She points out that even small efforts can make a big difference, such as supporting a local business you know hires immigrants if current immigration policies are upsetting you.
Take A Break
Taking a TV or social media break can be one of the simplest ways to reduce stress. Turning to and spending time with friends and family for emotional support are crucial if we want to have a healthy and balanced life.
If you feel headline stress is affecting your life, Joan Rubin-Deutsch, a retired therapist in Massachusetts, advises looking at how you usually find balance in your life. She says everybody has a coping mechanism that works best for them. Meditate or use your time to do something you enjoy. Go out and catch a fun film or listen to music. Exercise or delve into your favorite hobby.
We may not be able to do much about the issues that are out of our reach but we can have control over our daily mood. Fill your day with activities that make you feel happy and accomplished even as simple as taking your kids out for ice cream or grooming your dog.
Comment below with your own way to reduce headline stress.