Today, the vast majority of news is negative. We often hear about crimes, terrorism, strife and acts of violence. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, it is nearly impossible to open up a browser, turn on the TV or scroll through your Twitter or Facebook newsfeeds without being assaulted by news or stories about a world disaster.
Media’s influence on our mental health
You come home after a long day at work and look forward to little reprieve. You sit on the sofa with remote in hand and try to watch the evening news. You see pain, injustice, evil, violence and tears. Now, you’re convinced that they should call it The Anxiety Hour.
While it’s good to know about global events, watching a consistent stream of bad news can affect one’s outlook on the world and can take a toll on our mental health.
The television in the home is the greatest source of anxiety. In fact, the amount of violence being portrayed on TV has a significant effect on how intense our fear of crime is, a new study conducted by a group of researchers from University of Pennsylvania suggests.
You’ll be surprised how the media can warp your view of the world and the people around you. Nowadays, the things covered by the media are focused on war, deaths, crime and accidents. Traumatic incidents in news causes spike in fear and stress.
Since we mostly see the bad in people, most people believe that the world is a scary place to live in. Even families in so-called “safe” neighborhoods are concerned. We can’t blame them.
Violence inspires fear, worry, stress and vulnerability. People worry about the safety, security and health of their loved ones. Since we have very little control over the world, along with the thoughts, actions and the behavior of the people in it, this only contributes to their anxiety.
While it’s good to know what’s going on in the world, please keep in mind that there is a difference between being informed and being obsessed. Remember, what you pay attention to is where your feelings and thoughts go. Try to limit news exposure to decrease anxiety and help you put current events in perspective.