The Solution for News Media Anxiety
If you are anything like me, you’ll find the news media to be a virtual minefield of anxiety and panic attack triggers. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet are constantly bombarding us with headlines about various happenings in the world. Whether local, national, or world news, the one thing that is certain is that media will find, create, or report on anything that will draw our attention.
More often than not, the news is negative. Anything tragic or controversial crowds the front pages and runs at the top of the hour. The phrase, “if it bleeds, it leads,” appears to be the measure of newsworthiness for any story. Constantly being bombarded with stories of danger, crisis, and violence is enough to leave even the most level-headed among us feeling anxious about our own safety and that of our loved ones.
The News Media is Filled with Anxiety Triggers
It’s obvious that the news media is filled with anxiety triggers. For many people with anxiety, myself included, witnessing confrontation and anger are huge triggers. People arguing with each other, or worse, is terrifying. Often, the media portrays the story in a way to maximize the anger, frustration, and fear. We have all seen or heard some variation of the headline, “Is your drinking water dangerous? The answer will shock you.”
Headlines and news teasers are designed to cause the average person anxiety. With the possible exception of sex, there is nothing that gets someone’s attention faster than scandal and violence. It isn’t accidental that these are the common things we see day in and day out. Something that is designed to cause anxiety in an average person has incredible odds of setting off an anxiety attack in a person with an anxiety disorder.
The Quickest Way to Stop News Media Anxiety Triggers
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. The quickest way to stop news media anxiety triggers is to stop paying attention to the news.
A news media blackout is easier said than done. As discussed above, the media is everywhere. It’s not just TV, radio, and the Internet. It’s buildings with headlines on an electronic scroll. It’s billboards, many of which today are electronic and flash all kinds of news updates over and over again.
It takes effort, but it is possible to train yourself to look away from media advertising. Turn off the television, listen to music-only stations on the radio, avoid news-related websites, and cancel your subscription to the paper.
However, if you don’t want to be completely unaware of what’s going on in the world, you can frequent websites that don’t offer sensationalized journalism. You can use news aggregator sites, which will have the same story from multiple sources. Clicking the least sensationalistic headline is usually a safe choice.
Finally, don’t forget that there is plenty of good news out there. Make it a point to consume at least as much good news as bad on a daily basis. Whether it is reading about your favorite sports team, an article about a community play, or children’s school events, it’s easy to find some glad to balance the sad.
Howard, G. (2014, June 4). The Solution for News Media Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/06/the-solution-to-news-media-anxiety