Calm Down! Tips to Prevent Doomsurfing from Affecting your Health

The COVID-19 pandemic created an environment of anguish and loneliness for many people and made then to focus on the negative news unfolding globally. Learn how to avoid doomsurfing.

Woman looking at her cellphone lying on a bed

This term took a growing trend with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to confinement, people have had more time to check social networks. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Nereida Vega

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Leer en español: ¡No es el apocalipsis! Tips para evitar que el doomsurfing afecte nuestra salud

Doomsurfing or doomscrolling refers to searching social networks for news that might affect your emotions. This term took a growing trend with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to confinement, people have had more time to check social media. In addition, the uncertainty of the development of the virus generated a considerable increase in attention for the advances and the impact in the world, which in turn causes the increase in the use of electronic devices.

With the arrival of the pandemic and as a consequence the confinement, many people find themselves alone. These actions cause a situation of anxiety that leads them to focus on the search for negative information. However, constantly focusing on the same circumstances leads them to severe social concern. This negative search directly affects the psychological and emotional development of adolescents and adults.

Also read: Infographic: How is the Panorama of Latin America in Mental Health Services?

Scientist and researcher Mesfin Bekalu, a member of the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard University's TH Chan School of Public Health, reveals that although much of the news that unfolds daily is negative or bad, as humans we have a natural tendency to put more emphasis on negative news.

This is the capacity that the brain developed to evolve in such a way that it allows it to search for threats frequently. For this reason, when reading negative news, the brain reacts and its way of expressing it is to affect health and cause anxiety, depression, fear and isolation.

In this sense, being in a situation of mental imbalance can develop aggressive behavior, fickle mood swings and, in very extreme cases, attempt with life, even towards other people.

Recommendations to stop doomsurfing

  1. Initiating and maintaining conversations in a positive environment where interesting topics are discussed, with good energy and joy, helps reduce stress. Scientists have found that people who read and listen to negative news are more likely to develop stress than those individuals who engage in conversation or consume quality and more positive content.
  1. It is understood that the pandemic is something new that affected the whole world and it is necessary to be informed. However, controlled use of the information must be made, read what is necessary and look for quality sources without reaching the abuse of the news and social networks.
  1. It is also necessary to put limits on the daily time spent behind electronic devices and the type of information that is read.
  1. It is advisable, during the day, to invest time in quality plans, such as reading that book you've always wanted or studying a language online. Even learning to cook, implement a daily routine of physical activities, watch television, series and movies. It is also appropriate to talk with friends and family, joining a reading group where you interact with other people can be very helpful.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to keep your mind occupied with positive issues.

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