Can watching the news make you sick?
The average American spends 70 minutes a day getting the news! Thirty four percent of people go online to read the news every day. Thirty nine percent of people watch news on TV every day. Forty four percent say they get news through their mobile phone.
But what is the effect of all of that news on our brains?
News can trigger our brain’s limbic system, which then releases cortisol. Cortisol is released when we are in a state of stress. Cortisol can dysregulate the immune system, and inhibit the release of growth hormone. Chronic stress with high cortisol levels can impair digestion, make us susceptible to infection, and impair hair growth.
Researchers in Canada found that our comprehension declines based on the number of news stories we are exposed to! The researchers believe that the constant barrage of interruptions from short news stories are distracting to our brains, and can impair concentration and memory.
Researchers in California found that when Americans watched more than four hours a day of news were more likely to report post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSD).