Friday, October 14, 2016


          During this past Thanksgiving weekend many of our family members gathered at our house for the annual celebration. We had a great time feasting and visiting and the event went by all too quickly as usual. We did manage to cover a lot of our favourite activities as we shared an abundance of the holiday’s standard treats.

Led by our seven-year-old Grandson, Treyton, who reminded us to share what we were all thankful for by saying he was really thankful for the baby his mom was carrying who would become a little brother or sister to him and his sister Ava. That little gem got the ball rolling as everyone else also shared something they had to be thankful for.

            During the weekend the conversation naturally came around to news items and current events. Hurricane Matthew, Dumbass Trump, the sudden stop to the fall harvest, Brad and Angelina splitting, all sorts of bad news out there dragging us down it is not difficult to find something to be thankful for.

            Our daughter told us that she had stopped listening to the news because it was too distressing. She said it just agitated her so much that she had to stop. Being a working mother of two and having one on the way she has enough balls in the air at any given time that she cannot possibly take on any more stress because the world is going crazy like the news and social media lead us to believe it is.

            Our daughter was on to something, though. I did some reading on the subject of tuning out and during my research I found an article describing the effects of negative or pessimistic headlines and there was some very interesting information in there. In fact, one study showed that, “viewing tragedy in the media has proven to be capable of creating PostTraumaticStressDisorder.”

            Here’s an excerpt from an article I found on the subject: “After the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, the University of California, Irvine published a study that assessed the level of stress symptoms affecting people who watched it on television, social media, in print and on the radio. They found that ‘Acute stress symptoms increased with each additional hour of bombing-related media exposure.’ As a result, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Center for PTSD concluded there is a link between watching the news of traumatic events and stress symptoms.”

            So she’s right-cut out the news coverage and you’ll lessen your stress level. I prefer to stay somewhat engaged but not overwhelmed but that’s a fine line, too, especially on the internet where one article leads you to another article which leads you to another article.

            Thankfully we are merely observers of many of the scarier events going on in the world around us and we remain somewhat insulated and isolated from a lot of the world’s woes back here in our little neck of the woods. Humans are hard-wired to be empathetic, though, so no matter how isolated we feel we cannot help ourselves from being affected by other people’s strife. It’s humanity.

            If you’re looking to lower the stress in your life, (and, really, who isn’t?), then simply lower or remove the negative current events you expose yourself to and it would be a good start.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”-William James (1842-1910).


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