Stress & the News

I was speaking with a friend the other day. She shared with me how her most recent doctor’s appointment had gone.

She has been going to this same doctor with good results each time she went. Every time was the same thing…improvements.

However, this time was different. The doctor wanted to know why some of her test results had changed. Things were showing up that pointed to stress in her body.

As my friend thought and prayed about this, she realized the only thing she was doing differently was watching the news for a little while each day. Hmmm.

Matthew 6:22-23 says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

I decided to do a little research. It turns out, many scientific studies have been done along these lines. What you watch, read, and listen to does indeed affect your mood, temper and even how kind you are to others.

Television and movies are like food for your mind and soul. Some are like donuts, they feel good for a moment, but leave us with nothing good. Other things we put before our eyes are like protein bars, they have many added benefits. They help our mood.

This study showed people who watch as little as 15 minutes of negative news have an increase in depressed mood, anxiety and are more worried about their personal lives.

Watching chaos and violence increases our blood pressure and heart rate. It even causes increase in aggressive outbursts. People who continually watch negative news are more likely to lose their temper and express anger.

No wonder heavy TV watchers are more likely to feel anxious, unsafe and fear personal violence in their daily life.

This information was not a surprise to me. I have seen this happening all around the world. People are more afraid than normal. Many people are uncharacteristically angry these days.

Could it be that these emotions are being fed through television, and through news media? I think so.

For me personally, I don’t watch the news. I have tried to at times, but it always leaves me anxious or some other negative emotion that does not line up with the word of God.

While we can’t always avoid what is being spewed on the local news, we can choose to keep our eyes and ears on God and His word.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

I see nothing true, honorable or pure on television, at least not on the news. Therefore, we can’t afford to think on these things.

Today, if you are feeling fearful or anxious. If you are experiencing an anger that is uncontrollable, may I suggest you pray and ask God where it is coming from.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. God says think on good things. He also says every good and perfect thing comes down from the Father of Light. That is Him.

All good is found in Him and His word. Lean into that. Lean into Him. Read His word until you feel peace again. Turn on worship music and sit quietly before Him. Allow Him to restore you back to a place of peace.

Turn off the news. Don’t allow that negative stuff to go in your eyes or ears – those are the gates to your heart. Fill your heart with good things. When you do, you will feel much better. More at peace. And confident in the God we serve. That is His promise to all of us.

Meditate on this:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Col. 3:15

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