Almost everyone in the United States reads and watches news everyday. Either by paper, by the shows on T.V., or the screens of computer or IPhone (just like you right now). With every article we read, we see our current events or learn more and new things. But now, with every breaking news article about a crime committed, company that’s failing, or a disaster that destroyed homes, we seem to be forced into a crisis of our own making.
When I started researching about news, the first thing I found about it was a article from The Guardian called “News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier”, and after reading it I was generally surprised. Despite the initial trepidation, I found that they do make a few goods points, and bring forth the question about how the news can affect people negatively.
It is not about whether you should give up news or keep reading it, it is how much you read that is the problem, especially negative news.
Constantly reading news about disasters or stressful situations puts your brain into fight, flight, or freeze mode before returning to a restful state. Recurrent exposure to traumatic news means that the body will be affected by this when they are recovering in its restful state.
According to a survey from the American Psychological Association, more than half of people say that the news causes them stress, and report of problems with anxiety and sleep.
According to Babbel “over time, when we experience this process again and again, our adrenal glands can become fatigued. Adrenal fatigue can lead to being tired in the morning, lack of restful sleep, anxiety and depression, as well as a multitude of other symptoms.”
Tragic news is a significant mood changer, and a good amount of the physical, mental and emotional problems from reading negative news is because of our own personal worry. We as humans start to empathize with those effected, and start to feel unsafe if we read them constantly, especially if it “hits too close to home”.
But despite all of this, we still read the news. We still consume the happy and tragic news we see on T.V. and websites. So what is a solution to lower news consumption?
Simple: take a hike.
While I don’t discourage reading the news, in fact reading it is important to keep update on the world and our current situation, reading too much negative articles in one sitting will cause more harm than good.
If you have these problems that stem from news, limit your time with it. It could make a difference for your health, mentally and physically.
Pattillo, Alexandra. “Too Much Bad News Can Make You Sick.” CNN, Cable News Network, 1 June 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/06/01/health/bad-news-bad-health/index.html.
Heid, Markham. “Is Constantly Reading the News Bad For You?” Time, Time, 31 Jan. 2018, time.com/5125894/is-reading-news-bad-for-you/.
“The Psychological Effects of TV News.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-we-worry/201206/the-psychological-effects-tv-news.