5 Tips For Reading The News And Social Media In Anxious Times Ichaku [Perfect Gifts Selection]

5 Tips For Reading The News And Social Media In Anxious Times

When the world is changing before our eyes, it seems very important to keep track of news and events on social networks.

As psychologists explain, it allows us to maintain a sense of control over our own lives. We think that by absorbing endless streams of information, we can protect ourselves from the negative consequences of what is happening. But in fact, it's exactly the opposite: bad news, unverified statements, and highly emotional reactions from others multiply our stress and anxiety. And therefore, they only prevent us from acting rationally.

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How bad news affects the body

The brain perceives any negative information as a warning of danger. In response, it triggers a physiological stress response. Cortisol and adrenaline enter the bloodstream in huge quantities. They put the body on high alert: they make the muscles tense, speed up the heartbeat and increase the blood pressure to improve the blood supply to the body.

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This state helps us react more quickly to a threat. But if we stay in it too long, it exhausts the body. Stress becomes chronic. It can lead to inflammation and organ disorders. And, of course, it affects the psychological state. When stressed, people usually feel very restless, they are irritable and it's difficult for them to concentrate. It is not uncommon to have trouble sleeping.

The constant consumption of frightening news has another unpleasant consequence - catastrophization. Against the background of the stream of horrors the most negative scenarios seem realistic. A person begins to worry about things that may never happen, instead of concentrating on current problems.

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Signs of severe stress

  1. Headache.
  2. Lack of appetite or bouts of overeating.
  3. feeling of a lump in the throat.
  4. Pain in the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back.
  5. Heaviness in the chest.
  6. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, attacks of nausea.
  7. Sweaty palms.
  8. Sharp weakness or feeling of fatigue.
  9. Frequent changes in mood.
  10. Inability to concentrate on current affairs.
  11. insomnia or increased sleepiness.
  12. Closeness and unwillingness to see others.
  13. Forgetfulness and disorganization.
  14. Irritability and outbursts of anger.
  15. Strong feelings of guilt and shame.
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    If you have found yourself lately with one or more of these signs, you may want to limit your consumption of information for a while. A complete list of the signs of severe stress can be found in the WHO Guidelines.

    Limit the amount of time you read the news and surf social media

    It is impossible to completely abandon the news in times of crisis. Situations change rapidly, and it is important to stay in touch with reality. To reduce the stress of the news and stay informed, do not read it every free minute, but at a strictly scheduled time. Ten to fifteen minutes is enough time to read everything you need to read. Establish a couple of such breaks a day at a time that is convenient for you. But there are a few conditions:

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    1. Don't do it in the morning - so you don't have to worry about it all day afterwards.
    2. You should also avoid reading the news late in the evening - it can cause problems with sleep.
    3. don't be distracted by the news an hour before an important meeting or an important matter.

    In general, don't be afraid to miss something important. Anything that requires immediate action, you will quickly learn about from those around you. And the rest of the news is of little practical use. Moreover, many of them will have time to be refuted in a couple of hours. Wasting your cognitive resources on them is not practical.

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    Limit your sources of information

    In times of crisis, the number of fakes grows like a snowball. To avoid wasting time reading news garbage, choose two or three sources of information that you trust. Until the situation normalizes, read only them.

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    When choosing sources, follow these principles:

    1.      If the news is emotional, it means that the media are not committed to objectivity. The golden rule of journalism is that news should be written in dry language.

    2.     But remember that even if the news text is written without blatant distortion, it may contain false information. Pay attention to the sources relied upon in the publication. Are they trustworthy?

    3. text is better than video: with the help of images, it's easier to manipulate the emotional state and evoke negative emotions.

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    If you can't be bothered to read, look for a news podcast. Many media outlets are making them now.

    Also, do not forget that you can not judge what is happening only by the news headlines. They are often phrased in such a way as to attract attention. Read the entire text, especially when it is about something truly outrageous.

    Be very skeptical of information that circulates on social media.

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    Unsubscribe from those whose posts evoke strong emotions

    In times of crisis, social networks are one of the main sources of panic. It is there that frightening and untrue information spreads most easily.

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    The reason lies in the algorithms themselves: posts that evoke the most emotion are easier to spread. It is better to control the process of information consumption yourself than to give it up to social networks. Here is what you can do:

    1. Unsubscribe from those people and blogs whose posts provoke fear, anger, and anxiety. Such texts usually carry little practical information, but they destabilize the emotional state. In difficult times in life, it's important to do everything you can to preserve your ability to act and think straight. And if someone else's publications disturb you in this - you have every right not to read them.

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    2. Try not to engage in arguments in social networks. Studies show that arguing about politics, even with strangers on the Internet, is the greatest source of stress. You won't be able to change anyone's mind, it's not the right format, but it's quite realistic to spoil your mood.

    Analyze your emotions

    When some information causes you fear or anger, don't try to get rid of those emotions. They will only intensify. It's better to figure out what made you feel them, and how rational that reason is.

    For example, if you're afraid of something, ask yourself the question: how big is the threat to me personally? Perhaps you are only worried about what might happen, and has not already happened? If so, that's a reason to exhale a little.

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    Don't deprive yourself of what makes you happy

    We have already written about how perceptions are distorted in a state of severe anxiety: familiar things like walking, taking care of yourself, and watching your favorite shows seem insignificant and irritating. The feeling that they don't make any sense is difficult to combat. But the paradox is that in times of turbulence, it is commitment to routines and habits that keep your head cool and reduce the impact of stress.

    Habitual actions on social media will have an effect, too. Don't deprive yourself of the opportunity, for example, to check how your favorite cat is doing on Instagram. There are already studies showing that watching photos and videos of animals is good for mental health. In one, scientists looked for effective ways to boost your mood. They studied meditation, listening to music, and visualizing pleasant events, but one of the most effective ways was watching videos of cute animals.

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    If animals don't interest you too much, memes on Ticktock, articles in your favorite publications, and YouTube cooking tutorials can help maintain emotional balance. Without small pleasures, it's harder to cope with a lot of stress.

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