How to Keep Our Emotional Balance When the Information Flow Overwhelms Us
To stay in touch with the world and involve actively in the life of the communities and organisations we are part of, informational exchange and how information flows in our own bubbles are vital.
The way information is manipulated impacts how we perceive it and react towards it. Nowadays, in the tense times we live in, the media uses new technologies to broadcast irresistible stimuli to the human psyche.
“We know from a lot of research that high levels of media exposure, especially when it’s repetitive, tend to be associated with psychological distress…” – DanaRose Garfin, PhD, assistant professor at the University of California.
Therefore, the question that crosses my mind, given the circumstances is: how do we find a balance between keeping ourselves educated and involved on one hand and taking care of ourselves emotionally and mentally on the other?
However, because there are no universally right and valid answers, I have chosen some ideas and recommendations that can inspire and guide us towards finding the most befitting solutions for emotional balance for each of us, individually:
- Provide the body with the water and healthy food it needs, in order to successfully withstand any effort, including cognitive;
- Choose quality rest, and make sure that your night sleep is calm;
- Give yourself special time dedicated exclusively to reducing stress and invest in personal care activities or hobbies, so that your body, mind and spirit reach harmony and experience long-term joy, communion, comfort, relaxation, etc;
- Remember that accessing more information does not mean that it is more meaningful to you; realising that uncertain or rapidly developing situations can lead to anxiety or major discomfort (due to lack of control over them), make wise choices about the amount of “news” you can process really and focus only on the “things” you can manage or influence directly;
- Access only reliable sources of information (recommended by specialists and validated over time as such), which avoids misinformation, manipulation, panic or sensationalism;
- Opt for specialised publications or newsletters provided by specialised institutions that offer periodically (daily, weekly, bimonthly, monthly) summaries of key updates in the areas of your interests (personal or professional);
- Organise your information flow strategically to streamline your reading experience either by giving up sources that cause agitation or any other prolonged discomfort, or by adding new types of content that can induce constructive attention or genuine relaxation;
- Offer yourself a few minutes of comforting social connection, receiving information from someone dear to you whom you trust and with whom you enjoy analysing, commenting, or interpreting topics that interest you
- Set up some basic boundaries (small, simple, realistic rules) to fix the optimal parameters for exposure to information flows: only certain (default) time intervals of the day (morning, evening), preferred locations without “News” etc;
- Choose responsibly only a well-defined timeframe (maximum 30 – 60 minutes) for social networks and / or news applications. Fortunately, technology can help you make these decisions with ease!
- Disable push notifications (unfortunately, this is an obvious strategy, but often underused …), even choosing to put a certain physical distance between you and the gadgets you own, so that you can resist the temptation of overusing them;
- Have the “courage” to unconditionally give yourself full permission to temporarily disconnect from the stressful information flows, without feeling uncomfortable choosing this well-deserved “holiday” in which you simply “recharge your batteries in a healthy way”, resetting priorities physically, mentally and mentally
- Act with “baby steps” – so that you can fully enjoy each stage of an successful action, in order to more present in the newly formed relationship with yourself and with those who really matter to you
- Let yourself return to the real world by being aware of both, the constant challenges that assail your existence and the genuine personal power that you can involve in dealing with them with dignity, in full respect for yourself and the others.