Horrible Headlines and Anxiety

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Nicki Kinickie, Headcase Blog, Mental Health, Anxiety, Horrible Headlines, Bad news, mhbloggers,

*Disclaimer, Please note that I am not a medical professional just someone living with depression and anxiety, I don't claim to have all the answers just tips and advice that helped me.

In light of the events over the last few weeks I wanted to write a brief post regarding terrible headlines and suffering anxiety.

You don't have to suffer from anxiety or depression to be saddened by the recent terror attacks in both Manchester and London, You don't have to be a sensitive soul either. Images of children who have been senselessly killed at an event they should feel their most happiest and free is heartbreaking. Images of innocent parents who were perhaps letting their loved ones attend their first ever concert only for them to never return home afterwards stirs up both anger and pain even as a bystander watching the news unfold miles and miles away.

How can you not be upset by it all?

For nearly a week after I noticed the subject of the Manchester attack was still at the forefront of many peoples minds in this country, it was still trending on twitter because people were still sharing their shock and disgust and mourning the innocents as their names and images continued to be revealed. Then not even two weeks later another terror took place in our Capital. With details of the casualties and reasons behind the attacks still to be revealed, this will be another ongoing headline. Just as I finished this blog post there was breaking news of an attack in Paris which at first appears to be yet another terrorist attack.

There will be a lot of people who will have travelled back into London Monday morning anxious about their journey even though they want to be strong and do not want to let terror win. It can't be helped. There will also be many people who suffer from anxiety or another mental health illness who are struggling to cope with these terror reports because the illness tends to make you more sensitive to bad news. Either way, there are few ways I feel you can face these feelings to help you reduce your anxiety and move forward.

Firstly, accept your grief and how you feel. Don't pretend you're not upset by it all. The entire nation is so you're not alone but if you tend to overthink things and let bad news resonate and wallow it is probably best to avoid watching long news reports on the incidents. Watching endless reports, phone footage, witness reports and details about these people, the attacks and their senseless reasons behind it will sit deeper with you and affect your mood for a lot longer than others. Watch the news of course, but do not watch news channels that will reel out hours of endless details regarding the attacks.

Next you need to accept that bad things happen in this world and these attacks are no exception. Nor are they new. It can feel as if they are closing in but devastation is happening everywhere in the world; war, murder, money laundering, drug dealing, natural disasters, the list is endless.

We also all know that at any moment our life could change forever, we could go under a bus or lose a loved one only we don't think about those possibilities because we don't want to think too hard about it nor do we want those possibilities to rule our lives or judgement. Yes, there is a terror threat but we MUST continue to live our lives. The chances of you being caught up in one are still extremely low despite what we are seeing all over the news today.

Accept that bad things happen and could happen every day and move on. Accept that you are anxious and worried, you shouldn't ignore those feelings but rationalise them too. Like fresh grief, they will be affecting your mood and judgement but over time and by the end of the week you will probably begin to feel a bit better. Once you are back into your daily routine everything will feel as though it has gone back to normal.

Lastly, talk to a loved on that you can trust about how you are feeling. Don't expect them to have all of the answers but just talking about your fears and feelings and having them listen will help you. They will also be able to give you words of comfort to ease your mind and anxieties. You could even watch a comedy or your favourite film together to lift your mood and find escapism.

Take each day at a time and you will be fine.

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