How to Reduce ‘Headline Anxiety’

How to Reduce ‘Headline Anxiety’

In today’s world, we are constantly exposed to the news and events going on in others’ lives through social media. The almost constant exposure to negative/somber information through these outlets has led to an increase in anxiety, so much so that it’s been coined Headline Stress Disorder or Headline Anxiety.

Feeling anxious or down after scrolling through social media channels or watching/listening to the news is common—and completely understandable. The media tends to highlight all the horrible things that happen in the world and it can be hard to not let it get to us.

That is why the counselors and therapists at Whole Journey have created this brief list of ways you can reduce anxiety when triggered by social media and the news:

1.) Avoid it When Possible 

Of course, it is not always possible but if you notice the news is triggering anxiety or that you feel more anxious after scrolling social media, consider turning off the news or limiting time on social media. It is ok to turn off news alerts on your devices so that you only get information at certain times of the day. If there is truly something earth-shattering you need to be aware of, you will find out.

headline anxiety delete application

2.) Delete Apps/Groups that Trigger Anxiety

Similar to the above tip, if you notice certain apps or social media groups that bombard you with information and leave you feeling down, delete them. Social media has a way of running away with the news and discussing it at length. It is an open forum for anyone to give their opinion. Be mindful of how and where you are receiving information and how you feel, then take steps to limit intake.

3.) Practice Self-Care

Headline anxiety and daily stress can play a big toll on your mental and physical health. Practice stress management and daily self-care to keep those feelings in check. Things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, getting outside, and taking breaks from all screens can be great ways to help keep you healthy.

4.) Be Mindful

It is so easy to let our thoughts run away with whatever we see in the media, many call it “going down the rabbit hole.” Instead of allowing your thoughts to run wild, bring your attention back to earth and your current surroundings. For example, you might feel anxious, fearful, and unsafe but are you currently in an unsafe situation? Are you sitting at home on your couch? Or at your office at work? What sounds do you hear? What do you smell? How does the fabric of your clothes feel on your skin? Remind yourself that everything is ok right now.

headline anxiety normal

5.) Understand What You Feel is Normal

With easy access to information comes more exposure to the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is perfectly normal to feel anxious, scared, or overwhelmed by the uncertainty and sadness around us. Give yourself some grace but work on being mindful of your exposure to headlines.

We Are Here

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns, consider seeking the help of a licensed mental health professional. They can help provide healthy coping tools to manage stress and be a voice of reason when you are struggling with uncertainty.

Ready to begin counseling in Virginia or North Carolina?

Whole Journey works with clients throughout the state of Virginia and North Carolina via our online counseling platforms. We have office locations in ChesapeakeRichmond, Vinton, and Charlotte. Our counselors are professionally trained in helping people to live healthier, happier lives. We want to see you thrive. Call our Virginia offices at 757-296-0800 or our North Carolina office at 980- 209-9805 to schedule an appointment.