doomscrolling, doomsurfing, If it's outrageous, it's contagious, anxiety, covid-19, Dr. George Gerbner, rumination

How To End Doomscrolling and Take Your Life Back Now! 10 Ways

doomscrolling, doomsurfing, If it's outrageous, it's contagious, anxiety, covid-19, Dr. George Gerbner, rumination

How To End Doomscrolling and Take Your Life Back Now – 10 Ways!

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal ten ways to end doomscrolling and take your life back!

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
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10 Ways To Overcome Loneliness, Fear and Panic During The Pandemic Crisis
It is natural and okay to feel and experience stress and fear during this time of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Here are 10 ways to alleviate the stress, overcome loneliness, and neutralize anxiety and panic. Watch the video

Now, let’s talk about the 10 ways to end doomscrolling and take your life back!

Do you feel exhausted, anxious, angry, fearful, confused, or sad? Do you feel like we are nearing the apocalypse? Are you struggling to not read or be sucked in by the constant bad news?

Perhaps you are Doomscrolling or doomsurfing.

Doomscrolling is the practice and habit of endlessly or obsessively consuming doom-and-gloom news!

The media focuses on creating fear and pain because we automatically and neurologically respond more to the fear of pain than to the enticement or announcement of pleasure. We scan for danger, to avoid threats and to try to allay our deeper unconscious fears of death and dying.

Now, what is doomscrolling doing to you, your body and to your overall health?

I fell victim to doomscrolling in the early stages of the pandemic and I would awake halfway through the night with bad dreams and obsessive thoughts, only to reach for the phone to search out more bad news all in the hope of finding answers or allaying my anxiety over the uncertainty and confusion!

Then it hit me, the fear and anxiety were controlling me and making me worse in every way. I created a self-destructive habit. And when you’re feeling agitated, anxious, or stressed, your body is signaling you to stop what you’re doing.

Here is how to end the habit of doomscrolling!

What triggers the habit?
Are you aware that you might also be seeking out bad news in an attempt to allay your unconscious fear of death and fear of dying? This behavior further provokes your anxiety and fear of death and dying, and that drives you to consume more doom and gloom news.

1. Use Pain to experience Pleasure
We move away from pain and towards pleasure; pain is a much more powerful motivator than pleasure. Imagine first the pain you feel when you doomscroll – anxiety, depression, poor sleep (which harms your health), nightmares, exhaustion, fear, rumination, etc. Now imagine the pleasurable benefits of not doomscrolling – calm, peace, energy, security, restful sleep which helps you to process emotions and boosts your immune system.

2. Who needs You?
Who needs you to be strong – spouse, lover, friend, children? Remind yourself that there are people who need your encouragement, help and support through these difficult times. What positive and helpful advice will you give them? By staying away from the negative, anxiety-provoking news, you can help others with your insights and support.

3. Who controls you? 
Imagine yourself bigger than your device. Are you bigger and stronger? Who is in control of you? Do you want to be controlled or do you want to be in control of yourself?

4. Control your phone
Turn your phone off or put it on silent at 8 PM or earlier and leave it outside your bedroom so that there is less chance of checking it or surfing it if you wake up half way thru the night.

5. Don’t put your head in the sand: limit or time your exposure
When you awake, you are in a highly susceptible and suggestible state for the first hour. Do not surf the web or social media upon waking, and not after dinner. Set limited times in the day to get the news – perhaps 10-15 minutes.

6. Prepare for sleep
Again, in the hour before you sleep, you are in a highly susceptible and suggestible state. Read or watch light and inspirational material or listen to soothing music. I replaced the nightly habit of doomscrolling with watching funny and inspirational movies. During the day, exercise, meditate and listen to joyful music.

7. More negative you search, the more will be sent to you
Online algorithms notice and track what you have been reading and therefore send you more of the same topics, so the more negative and fear-provoking stories you read, (doomscrolling) the more will show up on your social media feeds, and with infinite scrolls of bad news. (Clear out your cookies!)

“If it’s outrageous, it’s contagious is the new if it bleeds, it leads.”
– Christopher Mims, Facebook in Denial, 2017

8. Search for good news
What subjects feed your passion and purpose? Search the empowering stories and as mentioned above the online algorithms will send you more of the same – more healthy stories.

9. Scary is also often false, misinformation or just lies
Social media does not scan or review all the content it allows published, so you are receiving many ‘news’ stories with agendas and lots of false information designed to frighten and enrage you. Facebook labels some posts as misinformation; does that mean the other nonlabelled stories and posts are true?

10. Beware of brainwashing yourself
Do you feel insecure or like a victim? How dangerous and scary do you believe the world is? “Mean world syndrome is a cognitive bias where people perceive the world to be more dangerous than it actually is due to long-term, moderate to heavy exposure to violence-related content on mass media.” – Wikipedia

“You know, who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behavior. It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.” – US communications professor and sociologist Dr. George Gerbner, 1997

Your perception of reality is being twisted by media – specifically by the media and content to which you choose to expose yourself. Doomscrolling brainwashes you!

“Fearful people are more dependent, more easily manipulated and controlled, more susceptible to deceptively simple, strong, tough measures and hardline postures….They may accept and even welcome repression if it promises to relieve their insecurities.” – US communications professor and sociologist Dr. George Gerbner, 1981

If you need help to overcome fear, anxiety, trauma or the past, book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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  1. […] am I? What matters? Who matters to me? What are my core values?” * Beware of emotional contagion (Doomscrolling) – reading negative news that only serves to distract you from the challenge of establishing a new […]

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