The following tip from the Heart Math Institute De-Stress Kit is especially important during the Swine Flu Epidemic media campaign. When we tend to over focus on negative senarios we make decisions and respond to others from our fears. Tomorrow we will post a transformation exercise from our upcoming book SHIFT: A Woman’s Guide To Transformation, that will assist you with getting out of fear.
Manage your reactions to the news.
During this time of economic and global instability, it’s important not to compound Your stress by projecting worst-case scenarios as we watch the news. That’s why it’s so important to practice listening to the news from a state of neutral, and resist the temptation to emote and obsess over the negative downsides of each issue discussed. We can maintain our own positions and keep our own opinions while still managing how much negative emotional drama we attach to events or disappointing information during and after news broadcasts. This is where a large portion of our stress accumulates. By listening or watching the news from a more neutral position, we can avoid pouring excessive emotional energy into replaying the issues, which can intensify anger, fear or anxiety. There’s a difference between evaluating an issue and emotionally obsessing over it. By practicing neutral, it can help us manage our emotional energy expenditures and avoid stress overload.
When we’re under extreme stress and anxiety, it can be helpful to manage the amount of news we watch. Many people are afraid to watch the news because of dreading what they might see and yet also afraid not to watch it in case they might miss something important. When experiencing high anxiety and depression, cutting back on news occasionally can help lower the intensity of our fear and anxiety. It’s the intensity that makes fear and anxiety seem unbearable at times. You have to experiment to see if cutting back helps you, as it has many others who are experiencing high anxiety. You have to decide based on your stress load and how sensitive your emotional nature is to constant media drama around issues that amplify anger or fear. It’s about managing your media intake according to honest assessment of your particular situation. We shouldn’t judge the media, as we are responsible for what we watch and how we react to it. It’s our job to balance and manage our exposure and our perceptions of how the news affects us.
More tomorrow. Make every moment count!
Marion Ross PhD & Tracy Latz M.D.