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Sunday, 13 November 2016 22:24

First Aid for Election Shock Information Overload

By: 

I tried to give you my best advice in the title of this article and if you are reading this, you chose not to take it. So please reconsider.

If you are having some strong dis-ease following the Presidential Election in the USA, you might want to think some more about what I am suggesting. Don’t read another article about the Election. For that matter don’t listen or watch anything related to the Election either. For goodness sake don’t write anything about the Election at all. That suggestion should be the easiest for you to follow, because I am writing this for you.

Now as to your dose of not consuming or producing any Election thoughts, that varies by weight of your post-election emotional burden. Some of you might want to wait about a decade before taking a peek at what happened next. For most that won’t be necessary.

News and views that you can’t use, can give you the blues.

We are built to detect threats, act quickly to reduce them and to save energy by calmly accepting some risk and discomfort related to there being nothing we can do about somethings at the moment.

Being exposed to more and more news and what could or should be done about this or that can make one quite jittery, particularly if most of it doesn’t give you a clue as to what you can specifically do. Viewing the news and checking out new views can trigger, “should I prepare to fight, prepare to run, prepare to hide and breathe softly and deeply?” If the news does not contain much direction regarding your particular situation, you may just freeze and seek further news and views. Things can get increasingly chilly.

If you are following news on the political climate like some people follow weather reports and forecasts you might want to stop that. The weather can indeed hit people where they live. Forecasts can inform as when to run or hide or seek higher ground, but usually not. Some people have a friend or family that live some place that a weather forecast has under a rotating cloud, but these people probably don’t need to be warned about that. Having nobody that is near the forest fire or in the hot lava’s path doesn’t stop some people from being good citizens of the world by feeling a duty to keep current about the state of such affairs, but they do so at an emotional cost that often goes unnoticed. When the report comes on about the earthquake, even if you calculate that you are thousands of miles from the epicenter quickly, your brain still spent some milliseconds sensing if your foundation was shaking.

Like weather reports, political news can rile you up with no need or no place to go.

For instance if you see yourself in some oppressed class that Donald Trump is reportedly not fond of, you may feel a need to stay informed as to Mr. Trump’s plans. If you have heard of Wikileaks and aren’t sure that all the information provided there was made up by the Russians, you might be bracing yourself for what will be revealed upon the release of the next batch of leaks, not having close to processing the thousands and thousands of leaks already revealed.

Wanting more and more news and opinions can even rewire your brain which makes it much more difficult to process information and more difficult to see big pictures. Some of these big pictures are obvious and obviously important and go completely unseen due to news and views distraction.

News that you can and want to use can get lost in the Breaking News.

Overwhelming people with news is consciously used tool of propagandists. New news doesn’t just sell advertising and the goods and services advertised, it draws attention away from unsolved problems to the delight of those profiting from these problems.

You may think that giving yourself a news blackout or constriction as being unpatriotic or not what a social justice warrior does. Think again. There can be great value in contemplating what you already know or what you already think that you know. Compare what you’ve heard with your personal experience. Question the sources of information you believe and ask yourself how you would judge information from a source you don’t trust, if you did trust that source.

Resist seeking news to avoid your friends knowing something that you haven’t heard yet. Your friends will probably like you better for giving them the opportunity to be the ones to let you know the latest, then they will think of you as a moron for not knowing.

Notice if you have a tendency to get interested in collecting more an more news that supports your views and delight in being more and more and more convinced that you are right and the wise guy where you work is wrong. Maybe you have collected enough ammunition for awhile.

If seeking more news is making you feel more relaxed about accepting things that you have no immediate plans to do much about, keep seeking. If seeking news is energizing you to bond closer with friends and family, or is energizing to do something to express what you have come to believe in, keep seeking. If you believe strongly in something that you have been recently questioning, make seeking that a priority.

If you are finding that your post-election news seeking has eroded some of your seeking of sports score, fashion trends, pictures of what your friends had for dinner last night, the latest hilarious videos that have gone viral, what the humidity might be tomorrow, that might be a good thing.

Source:  goodmenproject.com

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