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This article is bad for you

Reading too many news sources like The Gazette, Twitter, Reddit, Huffington Post ó or even The New Falcon Herald ó can be bad for your health, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Stress from becoming upset about political issues or tragedies near and far can add as much to a personís daily symptoms of stress as personal health issues and family strife. Binging on bad news and a malady called Outrage Fatigue Syndrome can create the same emotional and physical symptoms that plague people directly involved with hideous events. The July survey, ìThe Burden of Stress in America,î asked more than 2,500 American adults about stress in their personal lives, the sources of that stress and how they manage it. Harvard, National Public Radio and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conducted the stress survey. The study showed that 44 percent of those who had a ìgreat deal of stressî attributed it to ìhearing what the government or politicians are doing;î 40 percent cited ìwatching, reading or listening to the newsî as major contributors to their daily stress. The results were about the same as ìjuggling needs of family members,î which garnered 48 percent. The Pew Research Center studied how people reacted to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks based on their media habits. Sixty-three percent of people in their study stated that ìthey could not stop watching terrorism reports.î The respondentsí emotional responses to watching the news were similarto those who were actually in the affected areas or who had family members involved. ìAny kind of news, shift in perspective and a shift in how things are or how the future is going to look can cause stress, depression and a whole host of things,î said Holly Gray, a licensed marriage and familytherapist in Falcon. ìHumankind are caring people and wired to connect with other people. To see tragedy or injustice done can touch a string, and people can relate with certain pieces of the story and look at their own home or their own children and relate to it on a personal basis ó even though it doesnít directly affect us.îCoping with stress from bad news, controversy and national tragedies is akin to dealing with stress from family and personal setbacks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ìLimit your time around the sights and sounds of what happened,î the CDC advises in its ëCoping with Stress Tip Sheet.í ìDonít dwell on TV, radio, or newspaper reports.îFocusing on what individuals can control and attempt to change in their own environment can improve their outlook, Gray said.ìOne of the most important things to do when it comes to being surrounded by negative news is to look at what you have control over in the situation, and ground yourself in what you have control over,î Gray said.ìPeople feel helpless in things they canít change. So, when they look at what they can change, it helps overall satisfaction.îGlobal issues like the atrocities related to religious wars can be stressful; however, when someone works with an organization or addresses the issue locally, some of that stress can be alleviated. ìWith things like ISIS in Iraq, that could be working in organizations for rights for women and children in underprivileged countries or looking close to home and making sure youíre teaching your children about respecting other cultures and beliefs,î Gray said. ìOne of the other things people can do is truly look at each day that they are living, and say what can I do to make this day a good day. People get wrapped up on planning if a catastrophe happens, what will they do. Sometimes, being prepared is helpful, but sometimes when we get trapped in that, we lose opportunities to enjoy life.î

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