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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Whitaker

3 Ways to Reduce Your News Anxiety Today

Do you find yourself more anxious after consuming the news? Maybe, it adds to your anxiousness without you really knowing it.


Many people find an instant increase in their feelings of negativity, worry and despair following checking the news.



What is News Anxiety?


Very simply, it’s the anxiety we have related to the news. When talking about news anxiety, most people refer to national or world news that you might consume via the TV, radio, podcast, newspaper, website or app.




Why do people get news-related anxiety?


Negative news taps into our primitive mind (the limbic system). The part that is designed to keep us alive, known as the amygdala, becomes activated – when this happens, we fall into fight, flight or freeze mode.


This in turn, releases chemicals within our brain and body, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These physiological reactions are great if we need to act immediately in order to stay alive (like if we’re going to be eaten by a bear) but not so good if we’re going about our daily lives.



A man reading a newspaper while sitting on the train
Nowadays, we can consume news in more ways than ever before


How to avoid news anxiety – What can I do?


So, that’s what news anxiety is, so how can I avoid it?


1. Well, one way is to understand how much news you actually consume. This might be A LOT more than you think. Try to become mindful for a couple of days about how much you’re taking in news – this could be via the TV, radio, podcast, newspaper, website, app or even friends and family.


2. Try to reduce how much news you consume. This could be by turning off news app alerts, not buying that newspaper or not downloading that daily news podcast.


3. If you want to reduce your news intake but still stay in the know about national/ world events, try listening to a weekly news podcast which summarises key events from the previous 7 days – one that I listen to is ‘The Standout 7’ that comes out on Saturday morning (available on Spotify or other podcast providers).



Conclusion


If you have considerable news anxiety, you’re not alone. Many people find news to be engaging (it’s designed to be) but not always in a positive way. If it leaves you feeling negative, see if one of the following things helps you:


1. Understand how much news you consume and how it affects you

2. Try to reduce the news you consume

3. If you feel it's important to stay in the know, consume news but less often

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