Posted by Gwyn MacDonald
Earlier in the summer I heard a great program on Radio Times, here in Philadelphia.
The topic was stress and the news and each of the guests had valuable information about how the media can affect our everyday lives and stress levels in both positive and negative ways.
As we all know, we are surrounded by media of some kind or another, and it takes a conscious effort to avoid becoming overwhelmed. The challenge is finding the balance between being informed about and engaged in our world, be it at the local or broader level, and taking control of the content that we allow in to our minds and bodies. Much of what goes on in the world is intense, violent and heartbreaking. And with an endless news cycle we are hearing and seeing these things repeatedly.
Research has shown that this inundation of stressful news events can cause as much or even MORE stress than if you were actually at the traumatic event. Let’s say that again:
Research has shown that this inundation of stressful news events can cause as much or even MORE stress than if you were actually at the traumatic event. Wow. That stopped me in my tracks, people.
So, what to we do with that information? Well first, please listen to that fantastic broadcast. Second, turn off the news today sooner than you did yesterday. Don’t read every tragic story in the newspaper. Check out the comics page first thing instead of last.
Join a group in your local community and volunteer at their next event. And check out The Good News Network. Publisher and editor of this network, Geri Weis Corbly was one of the guests on that excellent radio show. She worked in the news industry for many years and at some point realized that while there were many wonderful things happening in the world, they weren’t grabbing the headlines like she thought they should. The Good News Network has been around for years and I’ve recently started to check it out on a regular basis. It’s very cool! Don’t be fooled, it’s not fluff or blind to the realities of the world. It’s just reminding us about balance. Reminding us that we have a choice in how we live our lives everyday. And of the goodness in the world and the power of the human spirit to love, support and be kind to one another, every day, over and over and over.
Now that is a cycle worth repeating!
For more on how to find balance in a stressful world, check out Voices in the Family with Dr. Dan Gottlieb. His archive is filled with some fantastic guests and conversations on this very topic.