Health Library

Tips for Coping with Negative News

Mass shootings. Natural disasters. Social unrest. Now that we live in the information age, events that occur anywhere in the world can hit close to home. As a result, when traumatic events unfold, they can impact you emotionally and psychologically. 

When you identify with the pain of people who have experience a trauma, you feel their grief, fear or anger. It’s very common to do this. 

Mass shootings. Natural disasters. Social unrest. Now that we live in the information age, events that occur anywhere in the world can hit close to home. As a result, when traumatic events unfold, they can impact you emotionally and psychologically. 

When you identify with the pain of people who have experience a trauma, you feel their grief, fear or anger. It’s very common to do this. 

Experts say that watching the news or following events on social media after a tragedy can result in post-traumatic stress for many of the viewers.  It’s almost as if you experienced the trauma yourself.   When this happens it can deeply impact the way you see the world and your own behaviors.

According to the American Counseling Association (ACA) it’s not uncommon to have:

  • Depression
  • General irritability
  • Inability to discuss personal feelings
  • A lack of enthusiasm for activities that were, at one time, very enjoyable

Be aware of the news, don’t be consumed by it
After traumatic events, pay close attention to your own emotional needs. Here’s some tips on how to cope:

  • Control your media intake – turn off the television, unplug from social media, etc. 
  • Eat regularly
  • Exercise – even if it is just for 10 minutes a day
  • Get the right amount of sleep 
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation 
  • Enjoy the great outdoors – walk, hike, or ride your bike
  • Be creative – paint, write, listen to music or visit an art gallery 
  • Laugh – humor can help brighten your day, so laugh with friends; watch stand-up comedy, a funny movie or a show

Reach out, share your feelings
Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to share how you are feeling with others. There is a good chance they are or have experienced what you are feeling. Consider:

  • Talking with family members or friends about how you feel
  • Visiting with a community of faith
  • Scheduling an appointment with a professional counselor (visit www.azblue.com/findadoctor)  

Just remember, no matter what you are feeling after a traumatic event in the news, others are feeling the same way. You are not alone. Reaching out to others may help. 

Sources:

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.