NEWS FLASH – Is the news bad for your health?

I don’t watch the news! I am curious about what your reaction to that is. I am curious about why you do or do not watch the news yourself. Many people stopped watching the traditional TV news before bedtime some time ago as we learned it isn’t conducive to good sleep. The news is generally negative and bad, right.

However, many people don’t consume news in the traditional way. It is consumed by smart phone notifications, by social media posts, tweets and re-tweets and also friends sharing articles etc. News is consumed passively like the carton of popcorn at the cinema. How much control do you feel that you have over what you consume? Is it now time to ask yourself the question.

With the current situation it could not be a better time to really look at what messages you are receiving and what filters you apply in your life. Now don’t get me wrong, I listened to the political broadcasts as I needed to listen to the important health messages and what I needed to do as a responsible citizen however I do not need to read constant updates and I don’t need to review tragedy through charts and infographics. And fake news – wow, don’t get me started on that!

We consume news like we used to consume frozen chips and microwave meals until we woke up to what we were doing to our bodies. It is now time for another wake up call and perhaps while we are in the season of enforced change perhaps the time is nigh.

The actual effect on your brain and body

Have you ever noticed how you feel after consuming some news. Provoking stories will cause the unnecessary release of cortisol (stress hormone) into the body. We need a level of cortisol as it is an important hormone to help the body function but too much cortisol causes pain and distress in the body. If you are constantly in a state of stress from over-indulgence of the news, you could be placing your body in chronic stress and therefore increase the risk of disease. It may also influence your behaviours and increase aggression, fear, anxiety, panic and a loss of perspective. It is essentially likely to make you feel crap. How much are you talking about the current situation with your friends and families as a way of regurgitating the news.

The Trigger

If I asked you to make the sound of the notification on your phone when the news hits your screen you will probably struggle to consciously do that. However if you heard that noise your body would intrinsically and unconsciously react to it. Have you noticed what reaction that you have to it? You will be anchored to the sound and right now it may not have a good reaction in your body at all and your body may be in stress before you have even digested the news itself. That is incredible isn’t it.

When is the news best to digest if at all?

If you can not go cold turkey and give up news in one go and you may want to introduce some boundaries or limit your diet. It is so important when you consume the news too. For most people it is the first thing that they do in the morning and I get that. We live in a 24 hour world but really, what has really happened in the last 8 hours that you were asleep that cant wait a couple of hours. Morning routines are so important to your positive mental health and a good morning routine does not feature any intrusion from the external environment at all, unless it is nature. Last thing at night is not conducive to restful sleep either and there should be a distinct break from consumption and bed.

Ask yourself

Ok, so I don’t want to be accused of scaremongering either but I do want you to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Am I over indulging on negative newsfeeds that are not serving me?
  2. Do I have a balanced diet of what I consume?
  3. What are the side effects of my news consumption?

The action you can take now

The best news of the day is that you have total control over this and can do something about it now! Here are a few things that you could do that will bring you more balance, joy and happiness in your life and reduce the toxicity from bad news.

  • Turn off your news notifications on your phone.
  • Delete the news app – I dare you!
  • Do not read news or look at social media first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
  • Limit time consuming the news and be selective of your source. Be a news snob!
  • Cleanse your social media of negative friends, follows and posts.
  • Add a dose of positivity into your social media. Who do you admire and who lifts you up.

 I promise that this will enhance your well-being immediately and, in a world, where it feels that there is a lack of control right now, this is your way to take it back! Go grab it and enjoy!

With great respect and gratitude

Tammy Lawrence

NLP and Transformation Coach