I've learned the hard way what listening to the news can do to my body and my health. During the first Gulf War, for the first time ever, CNN had 24 hour coverage. I didn't have the good sense to limit how much I watched that channel. There was a recession, I was fresh out of fashion design school and unable to get a job, which led to be being a bit depressed about feeling unneeded in my chosen profession. Our country being at war had me on edge and I felt I needed to keep informed, so I constantly had the news on. I got more and more wound up by what I saw on tv, which sent my anxiety levels even higher. My sleep became more broken and I got sick more often.
It was a downward spiral until I realized that watching the news was the problem. Watching the news is for healthy people. I quit almost cold turkey. I rarely miss hearing anything important because everyone's talking about it anyway. One minute of interaction on a news topic with a friend or loved one every few days is so much easier than all the stress I used to get from listening to the daily news. If you're dealing with chronic stress or illness, you might ask yourself how you feel after watching the news. Take stock of your body, heart rate, blood pressure and pain levels before and after watching it. You might want to cut back watching, if not cut it out entirely. There's a lot of brinksmanship going on right now between us and North Korea, but my focus is on what I have power over like staying positive and continuing to write and edit.
Being positive and calm helps others around us to be calmer. The more we can stay in that space mentally, the better for us and our health. I fill in some of the time I used to waste on the news with yoga and meditation classes. You might be surprised at how productive and creative you can be if you're not so stressed.
Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash