How the News you Watch can Affect your Mental well-being
It is not just the food we eat that makes our health and body, but it is also the thoughts. Whether they are your thoughts or someone else’s. If they are taking a space in your mind again and again then they will definitely bring the change. I am sure you have heard of it.
Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits.
The type of songs we listen to, the kind of language we use, the friends we keep and even the news and media that we see. All of it has a deep influence on our mind and body. Today, in this article I am going to talk about how this consumption of information can affect your mental health. Have a look:
Mental Health and News:
With the coronavirus spreading rapidly, the news all over the world is filled with regular updates, possibilities, researches, precautions, warnings and what not. People and governments all around the world are now in a state of panic. They are trying their best to minimize the damage. Not only the physical and mental health but also the economic health and the jobs all over the world are now in the state of jeopardy. So when we consume all of this and that too regularly, it instills a sense of fear and tension in the mind. Many of you may not be aware of it and may realize it in the long term but it is there.
How do I know if I am being affected by it?
If you are regularly watching news for updates and any kind of information that could increase your knowledge about this pandemic then there is a possibility. Try to shut down your television, phone, computer or whatever your source of knowledge for a few days and observe your thoughts. If you are getting worried, tensed, anxious just because you don’t know how conditions are unfolding out there in the world. Then yes, your mind is already accustomed to getting all such information and you are in a way mildly addicted to it.
But if this feeling is making you lose sleep, appetite, focus, concentration, and giving you mood swings, then you need to seriously stop watching it. These are the signs that your brain is not only craving for it but is finding difficulty without continuous inflow of such. Mental health experts confirmed that continuous bombarding of such news, especially if it is disastrous in nature increases the stress levels and also boosts symptoms of anxiety and depression. How does it happen?
How does News Affect Mental Health?
During such a condition when people feel powerless and unable to do much against the situation, such as this outbreak, the people start feeling overwhelmed. This slowly takes over the habits and we can see a significant amount of change in them. Hammering such news daily can on the people’s mind can even change the way they think.
Psychologists agree that the fact and news reporting today is done in such a way that binds people to the screens rather than to just provide information. So you will see more and more news channels reporting disasters, losses, tragedies, etc rather than positive news or achievements that would bring out mild reactions from audiences. Such distressing news affects a person deeply.
And it is not just the news, the way it is reported by the reporters, sounds of explosions, people shrieking, etc. also sparks fight and flight response. The sympathetic nervous system releases adrenaline and noradrenaline, these are also known as stress hormones. Once released they make a lot of changes in the body. Some of them are increased alertness, increased heart beats and even blood pressure.
So what happens is, when these hormones are released again and again they result in boosting your stress levels so high that your body starts developing other symptoms which were not there in the first place like fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, tension, mood swings, etc. So these were some of the effects of news on mental health.
Though we do understand that staying in touch with the news is also very necessary in these dynamic times but there should be a limit to the exposure. You can select some specific channels of news that actually do the job rather than curating publicity and some particular time of day like 15-20 minutes to get the gist rather than going in all the gory details. This way you can stay updated and still maintain the peace of your mind. No one knows how long this situation will persist but we hope everything falls into place soon. So till then stay indoors and stay happy.
Hope it helps.
Thanks for reading!