Five tips to avoid being overwhelmed by negative news

Published January 4, 2022, 3:22 PM

by Manila Bulletin

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed the influx of disturbing news can increase distress and anxiety. It can even escalate panic when shared through social media. Though it is important to stay updated with the current affairs, the continuous surge of COVID-19 cases, among other reports, sure takes its toll on mental health.

PANDEMIC NEWS. a man is reading the newspaper while he is wearing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The Benilde Well-Being Center (BWC) of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde sympathizes with those who may be particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of specific stories. To assist in maintaining positive mental health, they have shared key reminders from chartered psychologist and Northumbria University fellow Dawn Branley-Bell, Ph.D.

Dr. Branley-Bell, a committee member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Cyberpsychology Section, specializes on research around social media use, health, and well-being. She likewise examines online behavior with a focus on self-harm and suicidal ideation. Her other findings explore the positive side of internet usage and technology-based interventions to support recovery or promote change.

A trigger is something that causes negative feelings to someone. They can be driven by many internal processes—a reminder of past trauma or intense emotions such as stress, anxiety, entrapment, or lack of control.

“A trigger is something that causes negative feelings to someone. They can be driven by many internal processes—a reminder of past trauma or intense emotions such as stress, anxiety, entrapment, or lack of control,” Dr. Branley-Bell noted. “If you find yourself beginning to feel these impacts, time to start putting protective steps into place.”

Here are five tips to ensure a positive mindset.

Regulate consumption.

Do you tend to feel more undesirable effects if you read the news when you’re tired? How about just before bed or during periods of increased general stress? If so, note down certain moments you feel most exhausted. Limit exposure during those moments. WHO suggests restricting access only to health authority websites that only provide facts. Take time off from media on a regular basis.

ITS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. Acknowledge what you feel and don’t bottle up your emotions

Take ownership over your emotions.

Never blame yourself for experiencing your emotions. It is important to acknowledge that it is your right to feel how you do. Reaffirm that you have control over your reactions. This empowers you to work toward positive coping mechanisms.

Take care of your health.

Healthy body, healthy mind. Invest time in physical care. This provides the best opportunity to react positively in stressful situations. Eat nutritious meals. Exercise regularly. Maintain a good sleeping pattern. On the other hand, take care of your mental wellbeing. Strive for a work-life balance. Practice mindfulness. Stay in contact with supportive friends and family. Remember: the emphasis is on health.

AVOID NEGATIVITIES and focus yourself more on positive resources

Focus on the positive.

Seek positive resources to focus on, such as recovery stories. Identify exemplary behaviors that you can use to replace unhealthy coping mechanisms.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Stay connected with supportive friends and family

Seek support.

Remember: you are not alone. It is vital to recognize the value of optimistic social support. Your contacts can also aid you find useful resources. It is natural to feel concerned and stressed at times. It is crucial, however, to invest time in self-care.

What works for one may not be the best for another. It is important to find practices which are effective on you. Be prepared to take some time to find the techniques. Be open to seek professional assistance to guide you through this process.

 
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