Are You a Stressed Out News Junkie? – Do you watch CNN religiously for coverage of the war in Iraq? Do you spend hours glued to Fox News for its take on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process. Do you constantly surf the Internet hunting for news? Is your radio turned to talk radio throughout the day? Or you one of those news junkies who reads as many as five newspapers each day in order to keep abreast of the current news?
If any of those questions sound like you, then it’s obvious you don’t want to go a single day without knowing what’s going on. You feel out of the loop if there is a news event that you’re not knowledgeable about. You probably know the talking heads on TV on a first-name basis, and you’re familiar with all the major news anchors. Let’s face it, you’re probably feeling as if you’re on information overload.
The desire to be informed is certainly an good attribute. In a democracy, we want citizens who are knowledgeable about major issues. Knowing about current events can help you to protect your property, improve your health, and even protect the lives of yourself and your family. People who ignore current events altogether do so at their peril.
Are You a Stressed Out News Junkie – However, the down side is that being addicted to news can cause you a great deal of stress. In addition to dealing with your own problems, you feel as if you have to weigh in on every major issue of the day. You might even start to feel depressed by somber world news, adding to your state of anxiety. It can be particularly troubling hearing about a news event and feeling as if you’re powerless to respond.
Let’s determine whether you’re putting yourself under too much stress with a short quiz to see you’re a news junkie. Do you watch more than two hours a day of television news? Do you read more than two major papers? Have you foregone music radio for talk radio? Are you on the Internet for more than an hour a day, searching for news headlines?
If your answer is “yes” to these questions, you’re definitely in serious jeopardy of hurting your emotional and physical health through excessive stress. Watching television or listening to talk radio is essentially a passive experience, however, it can still take a toll on our nerves. It’s quite likely you’ll become edgy and feel high-strung and find it increasingly difficult to concentrate because of being distracted by the news stories you see and hear all day long. Your stress is likely to manifest itself in terms of increasing irritability.
The point is, information and news overload can be a highly stressful experience.Therefore, if you’re obviously a news junkie, you’d be wise to do what you can to lessen your stress level. There’s a point at which seeking out news can become highly counter-productive. Therefore, you should consider taking steps to protect yourself against this excessive stress.
Are You a Stressed Out News Junkie – You can start by limiting the time you spend viewing cable news. You might have noticed that the news is updated every half-hour, so you can just watch the headlines at the top or bottom of the hour and get all the information you need about the top news stories of the day. On occasion, you might want to tune in longer in order to hear in-depth reporting of a particular issue, however, try to limit your viewing time to an hour at the most.
Also, try to cut the amount of time you spend on the computer hunting down news headlines. Often just knowing the headlines is enough. You don’t always need to know the minute-by-minute casualty count in order to form an opinion on your city’s crime prevention programs. In addition, reading just a couple of major newspapers each day should provide you with enough information to have a good understanding of the major issues of the day.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be informed, but taking it to the extreme is likely going to cause you much unnecessary stress. So, if the news becomes overwhelming, turn off the TV, disconnect the Internet, sit back and relax for a change. You can learn to be a reasonable news consumer without becoming over-anxious. It may take some time at first to adjust to your new viewing schedule, but once you get used to it, you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel.