Why I (Mostly) Gave Up My News Obsession

Oct 28, 2014 9:00:00 AM Michelle Monette Anxiety

news_addictionHello, my name is Michele, and I'm a news junkie. At least I was, until about two years ago.  I listened to the TV news every morning as I was getting ready for work. I subscribed to the newspaper and read it  every day on my lunch hour.  I listened to NPR news on the way to and from work.  I checked the news online every couple of hours, and watched the television news most nights when I got home.   I had a general sense that all of this news was probably contributing to my overall stress, but I prided myself on being informed and up to date on current events.

Then one day I decided to go on a news fast.  No news for 24 hours.   Then a week.  Guess what.  The world didn't stop spinning.  I felt a lot calmer.  I gave up my newspaper subscription. I started listening to music in the mornings, or just getting ready for work in peace and quiet.  I settled on listening to NPR on my commute, checking the news online once or twice a day, and reading the Sunday paper.  

A couple of months ago, as my boyfriend and I were enjoying our Sunday breakfast and newspaper ritual, I became very aware of how anxious I became while I was reading the paper.  That day's news seemed particularly filled with child abuse, death, destruction, and political divisiveness.  The following Sunday, I decided to do the Sudoku puzzle while my boyfriend read the paper.  He was kind enough to fill me in on the important highlights, while  I did the puzzle, perused the travel articles, book reviews and human interest stories, and ignored the rest.  I felt so much better!  

These days, instead of indulging my news obsession, I listen to an audio book on my commute, read a book or run errands on my lunch hour, and limit my exposure to the constant horror stories.  I occasionally watch or listen to the news, and I feel like I know everything I need to know about what's going on.  I feel a lot calmer. And the world keeps on spinning.