These days, we seem to be bombarded constantly with news stories. At one time, we had to actively choose to read a newspaper or switch on the TV to find out about the goings-on in the world. But today, an endless media stream is directed to our smartphones, and whenever we glance at the screen, we are subjected to a wealth of news, both fake and real.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many of us admit to feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of news that we encounter on a daily basis. Some people even find that exposure to endless news stories causes them extreme stress that has a significant negative impact on their daily lives.
With this in mind, here are a few top tips to help you manage your news consumption more effectively, so you can avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Table of Contents
Limit How Much Time You Spend Reading News Stories
You may have heard of the term “Headline Anxiety”. It’s something that’s an ever-growing problem. The problem centers around the internet and its constant stream of communications.
A recent report showed that almost 80% of people were worried about their use of the internet, and over 50% found today’s political environment significantly stressful. The reason for this is that all day long we are drip-fed small amounts of news until it begins to feel like a form of psychological persecution.
You can reduce the negative impact of today’s non-stop news cycle by using screen-time trackers that help you to put limits on the length of time you’re spending watching or reading news stories on your phone.
Switch Off Your Push Notifications
Although many of us know that we should just stop scrolling if we’re finding the onslaught of news stories too overwhelming, it can be surprisingly difficult to just quit. If you switch off your news apps’ push notifications, you won’t be alerted to the latest breaking events, and that will help to minimise your scroll-time. Studies from 2015 and 2016 showed that receiving push notifications could cause a negative impact on your cognitive function by disrupting daily tasks, and that they could cause stress because of information overload.
Focus On Positive Stories
One of the reasons why we find the news so overwhelming is the sheer number of depressing and negative stories out there. It’s therefore important to try to keep a clear perspective. It’s easier to stay optimistic if you focus on the larger picture. For example, over the past two decades, the number of people who live in extreme poverty has halved, however this isn’t something that ever seems to be put at the forefront of the media. Try to balance out every negative story with a more positive one so you can gain greater balance.
Rely On Trustworthy News Sources
A lot of us get our news stories from social media platforms, but unfortunately, it is becoming well-known that fake news abounds on these channels. Many facts are expressed as if they were the proven truth, while they are actually hearsay, not the full story, or just incorrect. The fact that social media can hyperstimulate us feeds into a feeling of impending doom, what causes us to become even more worried and anxious about the things that are happening in the world around us. You can eliminate this unwarranted concern by focusing on trustworthy news sources. For example, you can take advantage of the Telegraph subscription offers so you can read stories that come from a reliable provider.
Avoid Reading News Stories Before Bed
Recent studies have shown that if we use screens before we go to bed, our internal body clock gets reset, disrupting our sleep patterns, and disturbed sleep leads to greater anxiety overall. If you read the news on your tablet or smartphone before you go to bed, your mornings can become even more tiring and anxious. It’s always best to avoid using any kind of screen before winding down for the night. Read a book or listen to some calming music instead and allow the peaceful activity to relieve you of the stress you’ve experienced during the day.
Minimising The Impact Of The News
Although it can seem difficult to avoid the slew of news stories that are sent our way every hour of the day, it’s important to develop a sense of perspective and to adopt self-care measures so that we don’t become overwhelmed. Try these top tips, and you should find that you can approach the stories of the day in a calm manner.