Coping with the News

The news is pretty awful at the moment isn’t it? We have a flu pandemic, seemingly endless wars, corrupt politics, looming environmental catastrophe… It seems difficult to not get down about it? So what can we do?

If you are very low I would recommend not watching the news for a while. I used to watch the evening news on Channel 4 religiously. Now I get a sense of the news from social media and dip into stories that interest me. I feel better for having a news detox. My mood is now more optimistic. However, I wouldn’t recommend totally shutting the news out forever. I feel we have a duty to know what is going on in the world and to engage with it.

Another strategy is to reframe the news. Change the way you think about it. Journalists seem to always look for bad news. We are wired to react to this as a survival strategy. If we know about the flu outbreak we can take steps to avoid it and stay alive. These days though we can know what is going on in the whole world in an instant. If you think about how we evolved to live in small tribal groups we just wouldn’t know about all this mass of information. It is overwhelming for us. Think about the whole world and everything that’s going on in it. There are plenty of good news stories. They just don’t make the national nightly news. Make a point of seeking out these positive stories. The local press are often a good source. There are always people trying to help. This is what to focus on.

Taking action makes you feel better. If a news story is bothering you think about how you can help. You can donate to charity or join a charity to volunteer. You can make the effort to cut down your personal environmental impact by recycling, using green energy and limiting your flights. This action will improve your mood as you take practical steps to help.

Finally, for me spirituality really helps. If I feel triggered by something I have seen I can meditate and pray. As a Christian I believe that God loves us and does not wish us harm in the long run. Of course bad things will happen. Global warming may cause immense suffering but even death is not the end of the story. Everything is energy and at death the energy of a person just changes into another form. All the spiritual sites I subscribe to say that we should not be worrying about unseen catastrophes. They are part of an unfolding spiritual plan. Even if you don’t have a faith meditation will help to calm you and give you a  new perspective.

I hope these ideas are helpful in coping with the onslaught from mainstream media. Hypnotherapy can help you learn to relax and stop worrying.

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