Do you feel stuck in a news cycle? Do you find yourself checking your phone after dinner or before going to bed in an effort to stay up-to-date and informed on all the latest headlines?
Are you tired of being bombarded by media content 24/7?
If so, this may be a sign that you’re suffering from news addiction. News addiction is a type of dependency that develops when you compulsively seek out and read news feeds, watch newscasts, and listen to podcasts about current events.
Your news feed may be full of interesting stories and engaging topics, but if it’s become a source of stress for you instead of peace, it may be time to take steps toward recovery.
Ways to Stop Being a News Addict
Here are six ways to stop being a news addict and start controlling your time.
Reducing your intake of News can save you a lot of time every day and reduce stress and anxiety.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Disconnect
Every time you check social media, read the news, or watch a few cat videos, you’re training your brain to crave digital stimulation.
The same goes for television, computer, and video game screens.
You may feel like you need to stay “informed” in order to avoid social awkwardness or to avoid missing out on important events, but in reality, it’s just setting yourself up for trouble.
If you find yourself spending more time on your phone than with your friends and family, take a break. Stay offline and unplug. Get up from your computer or turn off your television and phone while you’re out to avoid overdoing it.
2. Stop Consuming Media All the Time
You’re probably well aware that excessive news consumption can lead to a news addiction, but that doesn’t mean you should completely stop consuming media.
Instead, try to keep your news consumption within sensible boundaries.
If you feel like you’re constantly overwhelmed or stressed out by the news, take a break.
Pick times during each day day so that you can fully focus on what’s important to you, such as spending time with your loved ones, reading a good book, walking, exercising or meditating.
When you’re ready to return to news consumption, do so in a more relaxed and informed manner.
3. Be Aware of Your Triggers and Develop Strategies to Cope
When you’re constantly checking your phone, watching the news, reading Facebook, or listening to podcasts, you’re at risk of triggering your emotions.
You may feel overwhelmed and anxious when you hear about a breaking news story because you’re feeling anxious about current issues.
Be aware of what triggers your feelings and develop coping strategies to help you relax. You may use relaxation techniques, or distracting activities to help you get yourself back under control.
4. Monitor What You Read, Watch, and Listen to
If you find yourself reading an article on the newsfeed on Facebook, think before you click on it. Is it worth your time? Will it enrich you in any way?
You might also find that you’re re-reading the same news articles or watching the same news programs that you’ve already seen. News, especially the same news and same topics that you repeatedly watch, program your mind. Why allow that?
If you feel like you’re over-consuming news content, try to limit how much you read, watch, and listen to in one sitting.
Limit the amount of news you consume, and don’t let it consume you.
5. Focus on What You Are Doing, without Checking Your Phone or Watching TV
Sure, it’s important to stay informed on current events, but you should also focus on the positive aspects of your life, too.
Make time for activities and relationships that are meaningful to you, such as spending time with friends and family, doing a hobby, or developing a healthy lifestyle.
Make time for your own self-improvement, such as reading books, exercising, or taking classes.
Focus on your work, or on whatever you are doing, instead of letting messages and newsfeed to constantly attract your attention.
6. Get Outside and Socialize with Friends and Family
It may be easy to stay busy and distracted when you’re always plugged into digital media, but staying busy isn’t the same thing as staying connected.
If you’re constantly scrolling through social media, checking your phone, or watching TV, you’re not connecting with your friends and family in a meaningful way. Connect with them in-person.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and engaging in activities that are healthy for your mental and physical health, like going on walks, gardening, or taking classes.
Re-focus your attention on the people in your life who are close to you, who are meaningful to you, and who are closest to you, instead of on media figures who are thousands of miles away.
While it’s important to know what is happening in your city, country or the world, there is no need to go into detail, and listen to every news bulletin or read newsfeeds nonstop.
If you’re struggling with news addiction, know that you’re not alone. In fact, news addiction affects many people. It’s important to recognize that you’re not alone, and that there are resources out there that can help you overcome it.
If you’re struggling with news addiction, don’t let it hold you back from living the life you want. There are ways to cope with it, and with practice, you can learn to reduce your news consumption and avoid being stuck in a cycle of digital stimulation.