I have been thinking about Fear and how it dominates our press and the affect this has on the anxious.
If you are an anxious person then you will be well acquainted with fear.Any campaign designed to alert us to have a mammogram, (fear of cancer), wear our seatbelts (fear of crashing), be alert to strange unattached parcels in public places (fear of terrorism), eat the right food and exercise regularly (fear of obesity and/or death), recycle our rubbish (fear of global warming), get in stocks of canned food (fear of bird flu), use the correct moisturiser (fear of aging),will no doubt succeed and sendthe anxious out to get the next mammogram or buy out the local supermarket of canned goods.I find myself avoiding this type of media activity as it feeds my fear, but then of course I fear that I am merely burying my head in the sand .I can’t win!I also wonder if the people that these types of campaigns are wanting to target ie those who don’t know about these issues, or don’t care – still don’t know or don’t care?The only people watching and listening are the anxious (who know all about this stuff already…!)
So, how do I try and deal with this overload of fearful information?
I only listen to commercial radio in the mornings and save the “real” news for later in the day when I am awake and lucid.Waking to endless bad news cannot be good for you.
I prefer to read the news rather than watch or listen.I find TV news unbearable, it is designed for the few second sound bite, contains little information and a whole lot of fear.
I find talking about what I have heard is helpful. Hopefully someone will be able to challenge some of this information, and might put a different perspective on things.
If it all becomes too much I’ll turn everything off and have a news holiday and read a trashy book, or go to a feel good movie – anything that helps take me away from news and gloom overload.
Every now and then I will congratulate myself on the fact that I am a responsible person and doing the best that I can.
Sometimes it helps to find out more information, and not just to take what I have heard or read about as gospel.I believe that information can ease anxiety and help get things into perspective. (Although you have to be careful with this one as this can lead to a certain obession which isn’t always helpful either).
It is of course important to be careful, to be alert and to be aware of our environment, our health and our political climate. However, if like me, you are inclined towards the anxious then it is also important to look after yourself - it is all too easy to become overwhelmed.