When the News Is Depressing

by Belinda Munoz on August 1, 2011


From having read the title of this post, one might point out that the news is often depressing these days. And with the help of social media and unlimited access to what’s happening around us, any breaking news at home and around the world can easily disrupt our peaceful thoughts and homes.

One need not be glued to CNN to know about the famine in Somalia, the drought on the Horn of Africa, the unrest in the Middle East or the distracting and ill-advised time-suck of a debate on the U.S. debt limit. An attempt to make sense of what’s happening simultaneously in various continents is enough to make a sober, non-religious person turn to the bottle or the church or any other place of worship for a little respite from the intensity of it all. And even then, there’s no guarantee that one wouldn’t stumble on worrisome facts such as a white supremacist principal running a Catholic school with a highly diverse student population.

The news is only one of the many causes of depression, a disorder affecting 16 million American adults and the leading cause of disability for people between 15 to 44 years of age. If you’ve kept up with the modern world, you are likely exposed to many other factors that are hazardous to your mental and emotional health.

Here’s a bit of good news. If prescribed medication isn’t your preferred aid to battling mild forms of depression, it appears it’s time to practice positive activities. According to the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Positive Activity Interventions (PAI) is a viable form of therapy that has been studied and researched with scientific rigor. “PAIs are intentional activities such as performing acts of kindness, practicing optimism, and counting one’s blessing gleaned from decades of research into how happy and unhappy people are different”, according to a study led by researchers from the University of California, Riverside and Duke University Medical Center.

Need PAI ideas? Try paying it forward, yoga, meditation, sweating it out at the gym or outdoors, or having people over for a healthy, home-cooked meal.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Do you pay attention to the news?
How do you safeguard/restore your mental health?


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 TheKitchenWitch August 1, 2011 at 5:48 am

Paying it forward is a wonderful solution. Because there’s nuts over in Norway, among other things.


2 Belinda August 1, 2011 at 10:27 am

I do think there’s something to be said for the energy that we put out there and the energy that comes back…


3 ayala August 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Paying it forward is always a great solution. The news is depressing but regardless, I feel a responsibility to be aware of all the issues, even if I don’t like it. At a very young age my dad would discuss with us all the unfortunate issues going on. It was a burden at times but it made us aware and it made us care about the world around us.


4 Belinda August 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I hear you, Ayala. The world is really so small and paying attention, I feel, encourages acts of compassion and a sense of interconnectedness, which may not be an obvious fact when we don’t venture outside of our respective bubbles.


5 BigLittleWolf August 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm

What a wonderful post, Belinda.

I think it was Bruce at Privilege of Parenting (http://privilegeofparenting.com) who said “giving is the best cure for not having.” I’ve never forgotten those words and I believe in them deeply. Paying it forward as a way to battle what ails us – which is often isolation and alienation from others and ourselves. It works.


6 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri August 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

This post reminds me of a book I am reading right now. Same Kind of Different As Me – where paying it forward changed many lives. Highly recommend it.


7 Talon August 2, 2011 at 7:20 am

Depression can be so insulating and the idea of paying if forward and moving outside of the depression is an awesome idea.

It’s easy to get caught up in the negativity – it will always get more press than the good things. Not sure what that says about our society, but there it is…


8 Cathy August 2, 2011 at 9:31 am

One of the things I try to do daily is something nice for someone else. Could be little and mostly insignificant, but I do find it makes me feel better.

As for the news, I don’t watch. I don’t have TV which makes it much easier to ignore.


9 Walter August 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm

News these days are indeed depressing and so I just get the headlines and don’t dwell in it any further. I’d rather watch funny movies, at least it uplifts my moods and put depression at bay. :-)


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