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**First, let me start by saying that the hard stories should be reported. This post is about my personal reaction to them and what steps I took to maintain a healthy emotional outlook on life. I am NOT suggesting we bury our heads in the sand. I’m simply stating that we should find a healthy balance between dwelling on the horrible reports and being naive. If you have already found that balance naturally, that’s great. This post is for those who struggle with dwelling on the news reports.**
There are some people who can be exposed to the news all day long without becoming upset by it. I am not one of those people. I believe that too much information is a bad thing. Today, we can access the news with our televisions, computers, radios and phones. Regardless of where we are, the news is too. Even if we aren’t actively watching, reading or listening, it still has an impact. Think about what you hear from the news. Often, it’s sad stories full of violence. Frankly, there’s only so much I can handle. I had to start setting limits for myself to prevent becoming overly upset.
I had to first identify what types of new stories triggered me and why.
There are some news reports that left me crying and dwelling on all the bad in the world. I’ve now got a pretty good handle on what triggers my emotional side and why. For example, reports about abused and neglected animals pull my heart strings. One of the reasons I said goodbye to my personal Facebook account was because of the amount of abused puppy photos constantly posted. It was just too much for my emotions to bear. Or, I’ll hear stories about people who live in other counties that face unbearable conditions. While bringing awareness to the plight of others is important, I have to be careful how much awareness I’m exposed too.
I figured out what news mediums I handle better.
Watching the news is hard for me. I have a hard time seeing the images that go along with hard reports. I prefer to read my news rather than watch it. This allows me to skim through the day’s headlines and get an overview without dwelling on hard subjects. Often, a headline will peak me interest and I’ll research it more.
Once I figured out what mediums are a good fit for me, I unsubscribed from other news sources. I deleted the news apps off of my phone and don’t have automatic updates for anything other than weather reports. Yes, I may miss a potentially big story and be out of the loop and I’m okay with that. I can catch up the following afternoon.
I picked set amount of times I will read the news.
I’ve learned that I do not handle hard stories before going to sleep. So, instead of watching or reading the evening news, I head over to the Good News Network and read a happy news report or two. I wish more news sources would report all of the good events that happen in the world. I will listen to special weather reports at night but that’s about it. I’ve been sleeping much better since implementing this change. I’ve learned that I can handle the harder news in the afternoon. I am not sure why that is but I don’t seem to get overly emotional during that time. I try to limit the difficult news to this time whenever possible.
If you find yourself becoming overly upset or emotional over the news, try to limit the amount you’re exposed too. You need to be intentional about setting limits based on what you can and cannot handle. It’s easy to stay current without it being too emotionally charged.
Do you find yourself becoming upset while watching the news? Have you taken any steps to limit your exposure?