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WHEN TO “TAKE A STEP BACK”

by Contributor

Photo credit: Africa Studio at Shutterstock

(Feb. 21, 2019) — Global news and news apps on our phones have made one thing clear: we are better connected to what’s going on than ever before. The issue with this, however, is that it is far more profitable to report on the bad news, the shocking news, and the outrageous news.

People read and consume headlines that spell doom for something, but this isn’t necessarily the healthiest thing for the world’s population. When the only thing you see are bad headlines about how the world is getting worse, it is all too easy to despair. Sometimes the drama in news headlines – particularly surrounding the Democrats vs. Republicans – can even result in addiction.

If the news and political climate of today is severely impacting your mental health, you need to take a step back.

The Damage of Bad News

When all you hear is bad news, it can be all too easy to see the world ending. Overpopulation issues, the rise of measles, political strife, environmental disasters, the baffling unwillingness of governments to take charge against pollution and environmental collapse – but just reading about it will not help. Yes, being informed is important, but if you feel helpless, you need to take a step back.

When You Know You Need to Change

You will know you need to change your news reading habits when:

1.    Your Mental Health is Suffering

If your mental health is suffering, you feel anxious, have panic attacks, or are in any way negatively impacted by your addiction to the news, you need to make changes to your lifestyle.

2.    Your Mood Has Become Erratic

Anger is another common emotion that arises when the world seems against you, and this can happen regardless of which end of the political sphere you sit on. If your mood has become erratic and you become angry, a change is needed.

3.    You Are Constantly Anxious

If you feel like the world is ending, take a break. At the end of the day, sitting around worrying about it will not change anything except make you miserable.

The Importance of Taking a Step Back

It is critical to take a step back when the news gets you down, because unless you are actively making changes in your life or in the world due to the news, it is doing nothing for you. Instead, focus on the issues you care about and try to do some good in the world. Of course, if mental health is holding you back, you will need to address those issues first.

How to Find Help

It is far easier to seek out help when you understand more about what is going on with you in the first place. This can be done by going to a doctor to become diagnosed, but most won’t take that pre-emptive step. That is why companies like The Recovery Village create guides on mental health, like this one about the symptoms and treatments for a borderline personality disorder. You can read up on the many different kinds of BPD, and if it sounds like you, then you can contact them for a meeting and even visit their clinic. If this is what it takes to get the help you need, do it.

Staying informed is important, but developing an anxiety disorder or worsening your current mental health issues is not worth it. We need to stay positive to stay strong, and therefore it is okay to take a step back from time to time, and work on ways to take back control in your life.

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