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Anxiety Busters: A News Diet

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Hi friends! Today, I thought we would start a series of blog posts about each of the presenting issues I specialize in within my practice. Sometimes therapy isn't immediately accessible for people, due to time constraints or budget limitations. I still want some of my most trusted tips and tricks to be available to anyone who needs them. Hence the 'Anxiety Busters' series. Like the name? My husband is part of a Ghostbusters charity organization, and was the inspiration for the title! "Who you gonna call?" (Hopefully me, if you need the extra support that counseling can provide!)

First up on the stand, an anxiety buster tip that the media won't like: adopting a news diet! What is a news diet, you ask? It's simply taking a break from the 24 hour news cycle and resting. For example, when I find myself feeling worried about current events, I delete the news app off of my phone, turn off the TV and pause notifications from social media apps. Your brain wasn't designed to handle the constant updates about the world at large. Imagine: 150 years ago, you would have read your daily newspaper and that would have been the extent of your world events updates for the whole day. Science shows us that news and social media sources prey on our most base desires for survival and excitement (see this article here for more information). From the color on the headlines, usually red, to the dramatized titles, news sources know you're more likely to get sucked in because your brain is scanning for danger.

Here's the thing: the anxious brain doesn't need extra help scanning for danger. It's already really adept at finding the worst case scenario! By adopting a news diet, you're giving your brain a chance to rest. And rest is vital to producing a sense of calm and control in your everyday life.

"But, how will I know everything is okay in the

world?", you ask. My answer to that is this: look outside your window at the horizon. Do you see a mushroom cloud of radioactive dust headed your way? No? Then, really, truly everything is okay enough for the time being. Your watching the news or scrolling endlessly through articles won't change anything about current events anyways.

Give the news diet a try for just one week. Tell me how it makes you feel in the comments below. I'd love to connect if this tip resonated with you. If you're looking for a therapist who provides real and accessible measures to change your thinking and your life, give me a call or send me an email.


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