Stress Reducing Technique: The News Fast

What do you reckon is the biggest health killer? Fast food? Sedentary lifestyle? Drugs? As far as I can tell, ultimately, it has to be STRESS. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot that can be done about a lot of the stresses in life. Bills have to be paid, bodies age, commutes suck, relationships with other people are challenging since they involve, y'know... other people... So what can be done?! Therapy works for a lot of folks, and of course I'm a fan of NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) but today I'm going to mention something simple, FREE, and surprisingly effective. It's called a "news fast." This is where you refrain from consuming "news" for a certain amount of time. For many people, this seems crazy. As I write these very words, I'm tempted to go read some details about the horrific bombing that just happened in Boston yesterday. But what is that going to do for me (or, truly, for anybody)?  For me, it's likely to create a tight and anxious feeling in my chest. It will raise my vigilance and make me reflect on the horrible people lurking out there in the world. It'll probably make me get choked up, and maybe even cry. Once on a given news site, my eyes might wander over to the latest heartbreaking teen suicide story, etc. etc. (Are you starting to get depressed by reading this blog post which is supposed to DIScourage you from reading the news?!?) And this ritual doesn't do anything helpful or good for any of the involved parties.  It also doesn't do anything to encourage the news media to print any GOOD news because the most horrible news gets the most clicks, therefore revenue, etc. and it's a self-perpetuating cycle of unease and stress. So STOP IT! Quit reading it. Some people say that this will just make you ignorant, and that it's irresponsible to be ignorant of "what's going on." I am fairly certain that ignorance is not a condition that stems from lack of news media exposure. If something truly important is going on, then you're going to find out about it soon enough. Trust me!  What we're looking to reduce here is the steady daily IV drip of fear and anxiety that comes from "the news."  If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, go on a news fast.  For 1 month, stop watching or reading the news, and then check in with how you fared! If you really don't think that the stress of watching or reading the news affects your body, do this experiment: take your resting pulse before turning on the news.  Watch or read for a few minutes and recheck your pulse. If you have a blood pressure monitor, you can check that as well before and after.  You may be surprised at the results!  Remember, stress is the killer. A little stress can make you a little sick, and a lot of stress can definitely make you very sick. Control the stress where you have control, and the body will thank you!

And that is all I have to say about that.

-DK