(TRFW News) Emotional responses play an important role in our stress levels says Judy Moskowitz, PhD, UCSF Osher Center researcher. A research project completed by Moskowitz tested positive emotional skill building in teens manage stress. (3)

The skills taught were noticing positive events, amplifying them, being grateful, practicing mindfulness and positive reappraisal, noting personal strengths, setting attainable goals, and performing acts of kindness.  These skills increased positive emotional responses.  It was noted that these positive emotions helped the teens cope with stress.  This study encouraged that the importance of creating more space in our lives for positive emotions to create emotional balance. (3)

As a therapist, I often describe human emotions in terms of a ladder.  Our baseline is our normal level of functioning when our life is emotionally balanced.  When experiencing stressful events, we climb the ladder moving closer to our crisis response.  The further we get up the ladder, the longer it takes us to return to our baseline.  When facing traumatic or stressful life events it is important to increase positive emotions and coping techniques at the same frequency to maintain balance and closeness to our baseline.

Biggest contributors to daily stress is watching, reading or listening to news

A national survey completed by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health reports news media may be partly to blame for the stress people are feeling these days.  (1)

Out of 2,500 American’s that participated in the study, 1 in 4 reported that they had experiences a “great deal” of stress in the prior month.  Out of these stressed-out people, one of the biggest contributors to their daily stress was watching, reading or listening to the news.  (1)

Since then, McNaughton-Cassill and other researchers have done several studies showing the emotional response that news coverage can produce.  The biggest effect noted results when traumatic events are covered in a sensational way.  This is hard to avoid when reading, listening, or watching the news these days.  McNaughton-Cassill says, “There is so much more news available, and so many different channels that are competing, that they’re trying harder to be sensational.” (1)

The study also found that “people who exposed themselves to six or more hours of media daily actually reported more acute stress symptoms than did people who were directly exposed” says professor Alison Holman of the University of California, Irvine. (1,2) Holman reports that one reason for this reaction could be that news outlets “take a clip of images and they repeat that same clip over and over and over as they’re talking about what happened.” (1)

Increase positive emotions by reading or watching positive news

Consumer can take steps to protect themselves by avoiding bingeing on news  after traumatic events happen in the world.   Absorbing every detail about a negative event does not aid in our survival. (1) It stresses us out!  Instead spend more time using skills that increase positive emotional responses and reading positive news sources, such as The Raw Food World News.

Sources for this article include:

(1) www.npr.org
(2) www.wbur.org
(3) www.osher.ucsf.edu

Image source: https://flic.kr/p/4o3gC8