Doing Good Deeds Will Shake Off The Stress That Comes From Depressing Headlines

Photo: DjelicS (Getty)

If you’re even only slightly interested in the news you will realize that the majority of things happening out there are pretty damn negative and depressing — it’s actually pretty rare to check your phone and read something positive. But while the majority of headlines are a bummer, there are some things you can do to cope with the stress that comes from all this negativity.

The batch of awful news out there may leave us feeling down, sad or even anxious, in something called “vicarious trauma,” which according to Newswise is a “term introduced in 1990 to describe the experiences of therapists, rescue workers, and medical professionals.” The American Counseling Association describes vicarious trauma as followed: “a state of tension and preoccupation with the stories and trauma experiences described by clients.”

And that’s why Emanuel Maidenberg, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, has introduced various ways to cope with all this anxiety and stress, including doing good deeds and activities. Here are some of Maindenberg’s suggestions:

Do good. Attend a local rally, make a donation or volunteer your time to help others can counteract feelings of helplessness.

Social support is important. Joining a book club, a social group or political action organization may provide much-needed validation, as an opportunity to express your emotions and get support from others.

Increase leisure activities that you find pleasant. Get more physical exercise and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. The balance of self-care in light of the vicarious negative experience is crucial to give your mind and body time to digest and accommodate the upsetting news.

Limit your exposure to news coverage. Engage only at certain times of the day or certain days of the week. It may be helpful to limit your sources of media information. For example, stick to a newspaper and ignore Twitter.

Here’s what Maidenberg had to say:

“As we continue adapting to the ever-increasing speed of the news cycle, it’s important to take a moment to explore the impact it is having on how we feel, behave and think to better take care of ourselves.”

There you have it, kids, just continue to be a good person and you’ll feel better about yourself. So make sure to give that homeless man a dollar on your way to work — after you spend six dollars on a coffee at Starbucks of course.

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