News, Can it cause stress?

Tips to be Fit 

It’s important to stay informed. News that affects your world can cause stress and anxiety. But too much news may not be good for your mental and even physical health. Research shows that negative TV news is a significant mood-changer, and the moods it tends to produce are sadness and anxiety. Studies have also shown that this change in mood made the viewer’s own personal worries worst, even when the worries are not directly relevant to the news stories being broadcasted.

Increased anxiety and stress are reasons to be wary of overdoing news. Mental health afflictions can also fuel physical ailments. The stress-related hormone, cortisol, have been linked to inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and many other serious health concerns.

But why if the evidence suggests the news can stress people out, why do we keep going back for more? One simple reason, it’s entertaining. Our brain is wired to pay attention to information that scares or unsettles us. This concept is known as “negativity bias“.

This “negativity bias“ will make it hard for us to ignore the negative news and seek out the positive news. Our brain is predisposed to go negative, and the research on what we consume reflects it.

Most say that following the news to be an informed citizen, but a lot of what we get today is “gossip elevated to a sophisticated level”. If the news you consume is getting you worked up or worried then this is the exact the goal of much of today’s news coverage.

The effect news has on a person’s health varies from one person to another. The news is not an infectious and contagious pathogen like the Ebola virus that impacts humans but it can still cause serious harm. If you find the news is affecting your relationship or well being, you have to make some changes to the ways you interact with your news.

Stress is the mental, emotional, and physiological response of the body to any situation that is new, threatening, frightening, or exciting. Stress can be both positive and negative. What makes stress positive or negative is how we react to it. The way we react to stress has been defined as eustress or distress.

When we react to stress in a positive way it’s called eustress. In the case of eustress, health and performance continue to improve even as stress increases.  When we react to stress negatively, we are in a distressed state. When a person experiences continued distress health and performance begin to deteriorate. It’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role.


Stress is a part of everyday life. Some people can even thrive on stress. But, when stress reaches your mental, emotional or physiological limits it becomes distressed. The way in which people perceive and cope with stress seems to be more important in the development of disease than the amount and type of stress itself.

If you suffer from headaches, fatigue, compulsive overeating, over critical behavior, teeth grinding, crying over nothing, thoughts of running away, edginess, indecisiveness, or feel ready to explode stress may be the cause.

Stress can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, eating disorders, ulcers, diabetes, asthma, migraine headaches, sleep disorders, depression, chronic fatigue, and certain types of cancer. Stuttering or stammering, ringing, buzzing or “popping sounds, dry mouth, problems swallowing, excess belching, flatulence, increased smoking, and increased alcohol or drug use can also be signs of stress. Stress accumulated from our daily life can also aggravate many illnesses.

By Vince Faust

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