News consumption has increased hugely in the 21st century. Instead of just reading the newspaper once a day, we are now being flooded with instantaneous information through television, radio, and social media. Given that positive news stories rarely capture as much attention as stories about environmental damage, political climates and global pandemics, many people now find themselves invested in hugely stress-inducing events that they have little control over, yet are unable to look away from. In this blog, we will review in more detail what anxiety around the news can look like and how common it is. We’ll then look at what steps we can take to cope with this anxiety and how a service like TALKWORKS can help with this.
Anxiety around the news can look different for everyone, but you may have noticed:
Additionally, this anxiety can then contribute to increased news consumption; in an aim to reduce uncertainty and gain some control over the situation. This may result in you engaging more with these news stories, which in turn may make your anxiety feel inescapable and self-maintaining.
Recent evidence suggests that anywhere between 50-70% of us express a significant degree of worry directly associated with the news. Current studies are suggesting that this could be particularly common in young people, but it can affect people of any age. The worry can feel especially impactful to those with a personal investment in the stories, such as worries surrounding changing laws on immigration.
There are a number of different ways that you can learn to manage anxiety. Here are some techniques to consider:
While it is important to keep informed about the world around us, this should not come at the expense of your wellbeing. If you do feel like your anxiety is impacting your life, TALKWORKS can help equip you with effective tools to manage your worries. This can include working 1 to 1 with a therapist for a number of sessions to develop a ‘toolbox’ of techniques to help get you back on track. We also offer a number of wellbeing workshops you may find helpful, including our Stress Less session which focuses on how to reduce worry and manage stress.
We are all affected by news stories in one way or another, and you shouldn’t have you face that alone. If you would like to access any of TALKWORKS’ services, you can self-refer through our online form or speak to a member of the team by calling 0300 555 3344.
Posted by Nicky Haycock on 15 November, 2023