Is the News Like a Drug for Some?

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By Eve Whittenburg, Writer/Editor, SkinnyMs.

by SkinnyMs.

The health of your mind directly affects your body’s health. It is fairly common knowledge that your stress levels can affect your weight, either making you lose or gain. Studies are beginning to show that the news our minds consume could be adding to our stress levels and piling on problems for our minds and bodies.

An article from the Guardian claims that news stories lead to fear, aggression, and a hindrance toward “your creativity and ability to thing deeply.” The article lists several problems news intake can create, but their main reasons are the affects on the mind. Short, quick news stories guide us away from underlying, important matters by distracting us with stories that are entertaining or “flashy.” This type of news is normally unimportant and irrelevant to our lives; it does not help us make any of our life decisions. For example: a protest in Indonesia is highly unlikely to help us decide what car to buy.

The article goes further to argue that real thought requires concentration and time, but news stories are designed to be shallow and to make us shallow thinkers. Those flashy news stories disrupt concentration, creating problems with overall, long-term comprehension of information.

News stories act like a drug. New studies are showing that our brains do not stop growing and changing as we age. News can actually change the physical structure of our brains, making us incapable of reading anything lengthy without losing concentration and our minds wandering. This news “drug” can even alter moods, leading to fear and aggression.

All of these affects news as on our minds translates to our bodies. These stories stress the body, which then releases chemicals that deregulate the immune system and inhibit growth hormones for cells, hair, and bones.

The Guardian takes the view that you should stop consuming news all together. News is bad for you, and quitting cold-turkey will immediately de-stress your mind and body, making you healthier and happier. However, I believe there can be a compromise. If flashy news stories are the problem, perhaps we should consider reading longer, more in-depth pieces. Instead of getting our news as a recap of everything that happened that day around the world, maybe it is time we studied history and current events of regions. Perhaps what happens in Indonesia will not affect our car purchase, but knowledge is not automatic stress. Do not be deliberately ignorant of the world because you think you have too much stress in your life. Your life does not happen in a vacuum. Perhaps a protest near a factory in Indonesia causes a fault in a car part that is then used on a type of car you intend to purchase. What happens around the world can affect your life. Read important news, but try not to stress over it.

Source: The Guardian

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