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War News and Mental Health—How to Cope…?

The conflict in Ukraine is stressing and depressing a number of people all around the world. Following a global pandemic that has already taken a toll on psychological health. Perhaps, the War stories only add emotions of insecurity and uncertainty that are known to exacerbate anxiety.

People living far away from the War may be perplexed as to why the news and images they’re seeing are affecting their mental health. Our brain cells are so sensitive to inspect for threats needed to shield us from harm. It can result in an almost uncontrollable, continual scouring of the news to help us start preparing for the worst – a phenomenon is known as “doom scrolling”.

According to research, even brief exposure to terrible news can result in long-term increases in fear and stress. Bad news can also encourage anxious thoughts. Sometimes, it stuck you in a cycle of misery. Another reason is that watching the news from Ukraine may impact depression. Probably, witnessing others’ suffering can make us feel pain. We feel more connected to people when we see personal stories circulated on social media than when we see statistics about fatalities, which increases our empathy. It is better to avoid involving with the news if it influences one’s mental health. However, this isn’t easy to put into practice. This is particularly given the ongoing stream of uncensored stories on social media and an intent to remain up to date. Here are some additional methods of managing mental health that does not involve you turning off:

Controlling Mental Health

Recognize your emotions: Many people try to dismiss their opinions by saying, “how silly I am? There are people on this planet who are having problems”. While there are unquestionably others suffering, this does not invalidate your feelings in war.

You may feel stressed and anxious for yourself and everyone else. Also, you may feel thankful (that you are secure) and heartbreaking (that the others are not). Attempting to justify or dismiss emotions never makes them go away; it can make you more sentimental and challenging to cope with. Accepting our emotions without judgment can enhance our psychological health by alleviating the burden of denying bad feelings.

1.    Engage your thoughts:

  • The story lines that arise may trigger our personal experiences of anxiety, depression or out of control, loss, memories of fear of separation from family members, or confusion.
  • However, the reasons why a person feels upset may differ. For example, the separated family images may serve as a reminder to those unable to meet their family members during the pandemic.
  • Writing down your feelings or speaking with a friend may be beneficial. Let’s talk about silent emotions. Silent emotions express to break the stressful, emotional cycle. It provides benefits such as better stress management, feeling more grounded when experiencing anxiety, and even improved overall health.

2. Follow the appropriate steps:

Consider whether there are any practical options available to you, such as donating to a charity or voluntary work. These can help you deal with feelings of hopelessness while also improving your psychological health. Plus, providing you with a sense of accomplishment from helping others.

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