Americans are being bombarded daily with “the sky is falling” headlines about Trump admin resignations or Russian warships off the east coast. It’s clear from all the over-exaggerated headlines that biased journalists — most of whom are Democrats, are having a hard time accepting that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost the presidential election.
Unhinged journalists throw tantrums daily on CNN, MSNBC and within the pages of the Washington Post. The goal is to stress you out because misery loves company.
“It’s constant, said Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and director of the Muslim Mental Health Conference. “Your mind doesn’t have time to digest one piece of information and you’re getting another.”
So what are we to do to stay sane in this era of overhyped fake news?
“My biggest rule of thumb is if it arouses an emotional response in you, double-check it,” said Brooke Binkowksi, managing editor at Snopes, a website that specializes in debunking popular internet myths from both the left and the right. “They upset you because they’re meant to.”
D.C. Vito, director of a literacy group, says slow down.
“Reading the first report is never really important,” he said. “You don’t need to watch every story unfold in real time.”
Psychologist Vaile Wright suggests limiting your time watching the news.
“You have to figure out a sustainable schedule for yourself,” said Wright, director of research and special projects at the American Psychological Association. “It’s upon us as citizens to be paying attention, but we need to know our own limits. Give yourself an hour in the morning to read the news, an hour at night, or both, and then get back to your life.”
Prioritize your life, says Anthony L. Rostain, professor of psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Keep focused on what you need to get done and try to minimize off-task behavior as much as possible. Following the news constantly not only makes people more anxious, it’s also a “time killer,” he said. You need to take a step back and “create a space around you and the task at hand so that you can complete it.”