• By Deborah Balzer

Negative News Overload: Turn Off, Take Action

August 13, 2015

In our society, we are constantly bombarded by news. Cell phones, the Internet, television, radio and other outlets allow an ever-present stream of information to flow into our lives. Being informed is important, but when the news is bad or disturbing, some people become upset or even depressed. Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Dr. Sheila Jowsey says adults and children should avoid media overload, and they should be careful about the amount of negative or bad news to which they're exposed. "Some stories are so noteworthy that we end up feeling like it's all bad news, and I believe that this has been happening quite a bit lately. There are many ways we can reframe what we're hearing so we don't drift into discouragement or depression."

Dr. Jowsey offers some tips on how to cope when the news brings us down.

  • Turn it off – stop listening, watching or readingblurry word cloud with the word overwhelm
  • Turn it around – do something positive to make the world better, such as  volunteering
  • Go outside – experience nature
  • Exercise – it helps relieve stress
  • Be positive – remember that good news does happen
  • Talk to your children – their concerns may be different than yours

If bad news becomes overwhelming, Dr. Jowsey recommends you contact your health care provider.

Journalists: Sound bites are available in the downloads. [TRT 1:55] Click here for the transcript.

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