Feeling anxious? Try a news holiday.
Several years ago, I went to a training on coping with anxiety. One of the useful tools I took away from the class is this set of three questions:
· Is this (thinking) making you feel the way you want to feel?
· Is this (thinking) moving you in the direction you want to go?
· Is this (thinking) based on fact?
The idea is to ask yourself these questions to avoid unhealthy patterns of thought. If you can’t answer “yes” to all three questions, then it’s time to think about something else.
In my opinion, these questions can equally be applied to the news. When you follow the news, how often can you answer “yes” to any or all of them? And if you can’t answer in the affirmative, then why do you give news any thought at all?
Have you noticed that the “news” in the media is largely bad? That’s because the organizations distributing the news have learned that people are more likely to watch and follow bad news rather than good. You may have also noticed that the news is often different depending where you look – different news services often have different “top” news stories. Apparently, there isn’t an absolute “truth” when it comes to the news and there isn’t even agreement on what news is important.
You might be surprised to know that there is much more good news out there than you see in the mainstream media. I recently came across this great article of good news from 2018: Link Here.
If you, like me, find that the reading news largely leaves you feeling worse than before, why not try a news holiday? Consider taking a day a week and not reading the paper or watching news on TV or on the internet. Perhaps instead you could do something relaxing with your time like reading a book, or doing an activity outdoors, or having a conversation with someone you care about.
I know that it might be tough at first to ignore the news for a day, but I think you will find that as a result you’re more relaxed. You may also discover that you’re not really missing anything. This week’s top stories usually fade into oblivion next week when they’re replaced by something else. And don’t worry too much about missing any truly important news, you will likely hear about it through word-of-mouth whether you follow the news media or not.
When you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole into the news vortex, try asking yourself those three questions. If the news isn’t making you happy, why watch?