We're bombarded with news headlines all day from all our devices. (Photo: GaudiLab/Shutterstock)
Sometimes it's hard to scroll through the morning newsfeed. Whether you check it on your phone, on TV or even in a newspaper, the news can be disheartening.
A new study reflects on our symbiotic relationship with the headlines — and it's not necessarily a positive one.
Nearly seven in 10 Americans feel overwhelmed by the amount of news, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Conducted from Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018, the survey found that 68 percent of people in the U.S. feel worn out by the sheer amount of news that is available now, compared to three out of 10 who like the quantity of headlines they're getting.
Interestingly, the poll found that people who follow the news less closely experience more news fatigue than those who avidly follow it.
There's also a difference across political party lines. Republicans are somewhat more likely to feel news fatigue with 77 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents feeling worn out over the amount of news, versus 61 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents.
Your feelings about the news media also tend to influence whether you're tired of all the headlines. People who think national news organizations don't do a good job of informing the public are the most worn out. This is a much higher rate than for those who think news organization do very well at informing the public.
When news takes a toll
You may not just become tired of the news, but the constant barrage of negative headlines can have a physical impact. When you read about natural disasters and school shooting, political unrest and other crises, it can take a toll on your health.
"Every time we experience or hear about a traumatic event, we go into stress mode. We might go numb or have an overactive fear response to the perceived threat. Our physiology is triggered to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline," Susanne Babbel, a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery, tells CNN.
When we experience this stress over and over, the result can be poor sleep, anxiety and depression, headaches, muscle tension and stomach problems, as well as many other harmful symptoms.
Babbel suggests setting a limit on how much you look at the news or go online to check headlines.
"One way of coping to this continual exposure is not getting overloaded with the news and pacing yourself with your consumption," she says. "Everyone has a different limit, and you have to find out what your limit is."
Mary Jo DiLonardo writes about everything from health to parenting — and anything that helps explain why her dog does what he does.
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