A journalist at The Independent is looking for insight and advice from a mental health expert to include in an article about "how to deal with anxiety and ‘helplessness’ over crises that feel out of your control", e.g. current world news (Haiti, Afghanistan), the climate crisis, the Plymouth shootings. Keep your alert_responses to 1-2 sentences please! Deadline is really tight…
6 responses from the Newspage community
Make sure you only access reliable news sources and if you recognise yourself feeling anxious or becoming emotional minimise your news intake and remember it's OK to take time out for you. Small acts of self care, like spending time outside in the fresh air, reading a book, or catching up with friends, can help you to feel more resilient and able to deal with the situation.
No one likes to feel helpless, moreso when you see others around you in the same position. Anxiety increases especially as the feeling of being out of control increases. It's important to focus on what you can change and give your attention to this. Find ways of processing what is happening and limit information overload . Talk about your anxieties with those around you and how you can use your energy to best effect. Try and stay positive and realise that there are many things we cannot control and find ways of feeling empowered and making a positive difference to others .
"I never used to be able to cope with thing happening in the world that are outside of my control. But since the pandemic I have been having regular hypnotherapy which really helps. "This needs to be something employers are aware of, people deal with things in different ways. "One way to make sure you are looking after your employees' mental health is offering counselling and hypnotherapy services as part of your benefits package."
"In a world that is constantly filled with change and chaos, often the only thing we have full control over is where we choose to put our focus. In the case of 24-hour rolling news, that control could simply be in unplugging or limiting our intake."
"As the mind is already on high alert and anxious thoughts are constant, giving the mind a rest is crucial. So, concentrate on your body instead. TRE is a somatic self-help tool that can support health and wellbeing. It's psychological as well as physiological. TRE exercises help your body to release deep muscular patterns of stress and tension and you'll literally shake off stress. Need more convincing? Watch a dog after a stressful event."
Map out a diagram of the things you can and cannot control. Those not in your control can be reviewed and cut down. With so much negative news, we have the choice not to consume it and focus on the areas we can control. Strip it back and focus on your own well-being and self care. Choose not to consume the things that make you anxious or at least limit yourself to set times & sources.