News Reading Tips in an Era of Political Anxiety
Political anxiety extends across both sides of the aisle. From the battle over health care to accusations of bias and wiretaps, Americans are increasingly frantic and confused about the news that they consume.
According to a new report from the American Psychological Association, both Democrats and Republicans now say they are more stressed than they were before the 2016 election. A quarter of the conservatives polled in the study pointed to politics as the source of their stress, while nearly three-fourths of liberals said the same.
The same study also found that 86 percent of adults frequently checked their email and social media accounts—and those who did were more likely to feel more stressed. Often people check these forms of communication because they’re worried, but that new info only fuels their worries further, the New York Times reports.
According to the Times, psychologists recommend disengaging from the news cycle by not signing on to social media as frequently and turning off alerts on cell phones. Other suggestions include speaking to people with differing political views to understand their perspective and doing something fun as a distraction.
Another idea: consider volunteering—those who do tend to have better mental health, a BMJ study found.