The mass media loves to give you enough information to scare you, but fails miserably to give you the tools to deal with it.
Although there were many reasons I could pinpoint, this was probably the main reason I chose to leave the television news industry - the values disconnect.
After about five years of success in the news industry, what began rubbing me the wrong way from a values standpoint was the way news was chosen to be delivered and what exactly was chosen to be delivered (those are all decisions made for you by someone else, whether you realize that or not).
There is a psychology to it - it's a game - but that's a different (and very long) blog post for another day.
What is going on right now is a perfect example of what I am referring to.
With all the scary news that is surrounding us 24/7 about the new coronavisus, there is little to no information being shared by these outlets about how to reduce the anxiety that is a natural response to the scare-mongering being toted by the mass media.
News outlets love to stir up everyone's stress and anxiety, but then offer you nothing to be able to cope with it more effectively.
That's because the news' job today is to get more viewers, not to educate you.
It's a business...end of discussion.
Don't just take my word for it, observe for yourself:
- The news will always make you more anxious, never more calm
- The news will tell you what's going wrong, not what's going right
- The news will always remind you there are problems, but rarely explain the solutions
- The news will always show you people doing bad things, but rarely people doing good things
- The news wants you to believe that the world is an awful and frightening place, instead of reminding you how truly kind and thoughtful most people actually are
If we are all children, the news is that grandparent who takes us, disobeys all the 'rules' our parents would prefer their children have around them, gets us all revved up, fills us with sugar and sends us back home for our parents to deal with the aftermath - without much guidance.
During this time of panic-inducing (thank you mass media) and panic-buying (thank you entitled, sheep-mentality that the mass media has created), I invite and encourage you to tune out. At this point, you have the information you need to be fine. You know what you need to do to be fine.
You don't need to rehash the same information seventeen times today (that's where YOU create your own anxiety).
If you take the people/outlets out of the mix that are feeding you more fear, you will be better able to feel more calm, less stressed, and more in control. Your stress and anxiety levels will begin to lessen.
If the place you are continually going for information turns out to be the very thing that is inciting your anxiety about it, you need to take the personal responsibility to instead go to places that will offer you practical tips for handling the fear, uncertainty, and denial that is arising for you.
That is how YOU can help YOU.
If you are not sure where to begin looking for some of these resources, here are some of the ones I use on a regular basis:
- TenPercent.com (Ten Percent Happier is a great site and has a free Coronavirus Sanity Guide
that gives you practical, actionable ways of coping with stress, fear, and anxiety, including meditations, podcasts, blog posts and talks to help you build resilience and find some calm amidst the chaos.)
- Calm (This is an app with significant meditation and master class options - there is a free and a paid version.)
- Simple Habit (Another app with great meditation options about every situation, including the coronavirus - there is a free and a paid version.)
You will not heal yourself by going back to what broke you. Step into things that give you what you need, not the things that keep you where you are.