Friday 5 June 2020
Surviving negative news and information. Photo: Unsplash

Fact: There is such a thing as ‘headline stress disorder.’

Therapist Steven Stosny explains in an opinion piece for The Washington Post that this is when a person starts reporting tension and anxiety that arises from feeling bombarded by alarming news headlines. He further describes his personal experience with clients where the grueling news cycle triggered intense feelings of worry and helplessness.

“Many feel personally devalued, rejected, unseen, unheard, and unsafe. They report a sense of foreboding and mistrust about the future,” Stosny writes – which might be a very like case for many right now.

Researchers from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, also prove that when we consumes negative news, it can exacerbate our tendency to worry about and form enhanced catastrophising of personal scenarios – even if they have no obvious connection to the news topics.

Photo: Unsplash


When faced with anxiety about what feels like a constant cycle of negative news, one of the best approaches is to take a breather and step away from these reports, at least for a while. This allows the mind and emotions to hopefully clear up and calm down.

Redirecting your attention to other activities may also provide some relief and help. This not only takes your mind off negative scenarios for a while, but also helps to regulate the emotions and make positive connections.

“My solution for news-based anxiety is the same as for any anxiety I’m feeling — I need to get out into nature, read some books, engage in some face-to-face conversations, and shun screens for a while,” explains an interviewee to Medical News Today Research has shown that activities such as reading can help reduce stress, as can exercise, listening to music, and practicing meditation.

Katherine C. Nordal, the American Psychological Association (APA)’s executive director for professional practice, emphasises these points: “Read enough to stay informed, but then plan activities that give you a regular break from the issues and the stress they might cause. And remember to take care of yourself and pay attention to other areas of your life.”


Negative news regarding acts of violence or the impact of a devastating natural disaster, for example, can make a person feel small and powerless. However, everyone can do a little something to make the world better — by contributing to positive changes in their communities, families, or even themselves. Suggestions include being involved in a community project or volunteering in a meaningful cause.

Being selective with news consumption makes for a sustainable way forward. And also, we sometimes need to make an effort to find positive news. This can help counteract negative news-related anxiety.

Source: MNT