Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When All the News Is Negative---How to Cope

When I was working out on the treadmill at the gym early this morning,I was watching the news.It was overwhelming,scary,and upsetting.The stock market had its' worst day since 2008.Our U.S. government credit rating got reduced to an AA+.US Navy seals were tragically killed trying to rescue other soldiers in Afghanistan.London is ablaze and looting is widespread. Amy Winehouse dies at 27.It's hard to keep your spirits up.

How do we keep all this sadness from engulfing us and making it want to pull the covers up over our head and stay in bed? Here are some strategies for not getting immobilized by the downbeat flood of information:

1.Set boundaries.Turn off the news.Read it in the morning,and put it away.Never listen to the news last thing before bed,as it will make your sleep more less tranquil.Keep a bedtime for the computer and cell phone as well,several hours before yours.

2.Make a list of things and people you are grateful for,either daily or weekly.

3.Get outside.Research shows us that most urban dwellers are nature deprived,and getting outside to connect with nature,go for a walk,notice trees and animals ,or watch for signs of the season changing, will help your mind relax. Breathe deeply.Take in the fresh air and breathe out any tension or worry.

4.Seek spiritual solace.Pray,or do whatever you do or go wherever you go to feel closer to God.

5.Exercise.Get active,and as much as you need to,in order to get the worry out of your body,and preferably early in the day.Exercising is activating for your brain and body,so close to bedtime isn't good.

6.Help someone.Some of these worries are huge,and taking action locally to do something for an older person,a child,or someone in worse circumstances than you will put things in proper perspective.Action is ALWAYS better than angsting,which is passive and fruitless.Feeding the homeless with an organization I'm involved in with my 17 year-old daughter really helps us as much or more than it helps them.

Hang in there.Tough things pass.Take an active role in not taking every negative thing that occurs in the news enter the core of your being.

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