Anyone with access to the internet is a victim of doom scrolling. Doom scrolling is the habit of scrolling endlessly through news sites, or social media feeds on our smartphones to consumer information. People are mostly attracted by negative news such as stories about the COVID-19 pandemic and politics. That’s a part of the reason for the rise in Talkspace online counseling users, but also the rise of telehealth programs in general.
It is imperative to be informed about what is happening around the world. However, we need to limit the information we consume to avoid stress and anxiety.
Doom Scrolling Is an Unhealthy Behavior
People think that maximizing your information consumption is the right thing to do, but during a pandemic, it is unhealthy. It is good to know the facts around a particular topic, but it is harmful to read every headline or article, especially those from unreputable publications. News overload and doom scrolling are an enemy to our peace of mind. “Feeding on too much negative news has a detrimental impact on our mental health,” says Catherine Richardson, the Talkspace provider.
Checking on breaking news frequently puts your brain into a panic mood, which can prepare your mind for hypervigilance by expanding areas such as the amygdala, that functions as the gateman for your brain.
That’s the reason why we feel more anxious if we are spending too much time on doom scrolling. According to Talkspace, , headlines are designed to grab your attention, and it takes some self-control to resist the urge to click. It’s depressing to consistently read stories of the unique challenges presented by the pandemic. If the pandemic has affected you negatively, doom scrolling can only heighten anxiety.
How To Quit Doom Scrolling
So how can you quit the habit of doom scrolling? It’s a bit daunting to quit the habit, but it is possible if you put enough effort. Here are tips to assist you in limiting news consumption to desirable levels.
Devote time for news
Instead of scrolling through news feeds any time of the day, set aside a considerable amount of time for news. Being intentional when consuming information will help you to be in control of the quantity you can consume per day.
Turn off push notifications
Push notifications can be enticing and anxiety-inducing. It is stressful to receive shocking headlines from a news app now and then. One way to avoid this problem is to turn off push notifications in any news app.
Don’t consume news when you are anxious
Numerous people use their phones when they are anxious and begin to mindlessly scroll through news sites, social media, and Reddit, to mention a few. It is prudent to know that if you feed on negative news when you are already jittery, it only heightens your anxiety.
Only consume news from reputable sources
There are a significant number of websites that purposely try to trigger dopamine so that you can click on a particular story. It would be best if you were selective about where you get news. People should be inclined to sources designed for slow consumption, instead of those that trigger quick emotional responses.
Limit screen time
By limiting the time you spend on the internet, you will be reducing the likelihood of scrolling past articles or news headlines. If you have an android phone, use the screen time app to check how much time you spend on your gadget. If you use an iPhone, use the Screen Time feature for the same purpose.
Obtain healthy facts from renowned medical sites
If you want the updates of COVID-19 cases, safety tips, or transmission information, it is essential to get the information from well-known medical sites. Some media sites provide biased and incorrect information that can elevate anxiety. You can check out the WHO site or the CDC for safety tips.