“Extra, Extra read all about it, the news broadcast can be misleading”.
“The trending news for today is, Covid cases have spiked…”
“Today on Mental Health News, we have concluded that…STOP!”
Put that phone down, turn off the TV, disconnect from any and every type of news. Take a deep breath with me. Ready? Breath in. Hold. Now breathe out. Release all that negativity and everything that has been trying to tear you down. Now, let’s do that one more time, but keep this in mind while doing this exercise, “you are only a product of your environment, if you choose to be”.
After you have completed this breathing exercise, be aware of what you feel, what is around you. Now, you don’t have to answer the next question, however meditate on it; is the world really that negative like everyone paints it to be?
Social media, news whether on TV or on a radio and even word of mouth, I’d say in my point of view that 90% of the time, brings in negative news; especially this moment we are living in history. From death, bombings, viruses, social injustices, war and so forth, that brings us down. And often, I too question myself, “is there any good out there?” And most of the time or all the time, the answer is “if you want something good or positive you do it. Do not let negativity blind your perspective. Do not let it consume you. Don’t lose hope. Don’t let it affect your mental health any further.
You are in control of your actions and reactions. You do not need to be another statistic in this world. And no, this is not another upbeat, diggity, you can do it blog. It’s a perspective on life, on your mental health and your state of mind.
In the last few years, social media has become such a huge part of us. Social media has been devouring at our souls and our mental health like a snake eats its prey, slowly buy deadly. Comparison has become our ally, negativity the glue that sticks it all, and authenticity our foe. The news, dictators of our rights, an intruder to our homes, and freedom and health? They have been slowly disintegrating into the wind. Locked away into the boxes in our mind.
Whether you hear, see or read the news it will always have an impact on you. Whether right away or gradually. News negativity takes a toll on your mood, increases anxiety, blemishes your perspective.
A study has found that 14 minutes of just watching negative news increased not only anxiety, put triggered your mood to a more sorrowful one and even resulted in the increase of catastrophizing your own personal problems. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9061893/)
In another article, CDC states that due to the increase of the negativity we inhale, especially during the last year and a half with Covid, not only can our sleeping patterns change due to stress, but it can also cause us to be ever worrying. And in fear of our lives, of our loved ones, resulting in poor concentration. (https://www.verywellmind.com/is-watching-the-news-bad-for-mental-health-4802320)
Take a stance today to refuse to live in fear and constant worry. News outlets should not control or cause such turmoil to your mental health. Here are a few tools to mentally detox from social media/news overload.
Try doing the following:
- Do a news fast if possible, and/or detox from social media. It’s okay to detach a bit, those “followers” will still be there.
- Disconnect, take time off from everything, anything or anyone that has been holding you back, triggering certain things in you and just constantly bringing in so much toxicity. It’s okay to take breaks, even from people.
- Take deep breaths constantly. Inhale all this negativity, hold them for 5 seconds feel everything and exhale and just let everything out. It’s okay to let go.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and use your five senses. What do you feel, touch, taste see, smell? Pay attention to the little things. It’s okay to be present.
- Bring in more positivity to your life. Read a book, start a new hobby. Take in things that will align with your positiveness. Do things that will let the voice of negativity get lower and lower. It’s okay to try new things.
In practicing some of these things, eventually your mental health will improve over time. Do not be another product of the system but be a product of the good you put out there. Don’t let others take away your mental health, nurture it, care for it. You need it, to achieve great things.
And as we conclude, take a deep breath again, hold it, and let go and let’s start a new chapter, a chapter that creates REST for your mental health.