Addiction to News: A Drug of Hate & Division

At this time in history, millions of people have saturated themselves in a barrage of sensationalized news content. There is an addiction to news and an increased propensity toward viewing and rehashing information that affirms one’s opinions and beliefs AND carries an emotional charge. The acts of reading or listening to emotionally charged information directly affect our physiology.

These physiological responses sound an alarm within our nervous system and release the neurochemicals and stress hormones that cause us to react. According to our reptilian brain, it is a matter of life or death! However, they do not prime us for considering the integrity of the source (Use Higher Knowledge: A Rare Credible Source), contemplating another’s perspective, nor any form of critical thinking.

Addiction to News

Neurochemicals like dopamine reward the finding of ‘facts’ that confirm your beliefs.

Addiction to “fact-finding,” like addiction to news, is also rising. News sources and groups with particular vested interests have exploited this increasing phenomenon. The truth is, energetically, we will always find that which we seek. Whatever we hold in thought and emotion carries a vibration. This vibration is our attractor point, and it will bring the data, ‘facts,’ and experiences to confirm any bias.

So what drives this addiction? The events of 2020 spilled over and continued into 2021; the confusion, fear, and division have many people in a sea of frontal lobe suppressing hormones! Making sense of a rapidly changing world and a rapidly evolving self has left many in an almost frantic seeking of truth. Not surprisingly, most sources of information will conveniently spoon-feed their followers with ‘facts’ that fit with one’s already adhered to beliefs and assumptions about people, politics, and what is right and what is wrong. (This is perfect because, in general, our brains are lazy and love to have mental shortcuts!)

So back to addiction to news. Engaging in addictive substances and behaviors helps us feel better when the nervous system is activated. Stress hormones subside, dopamine and other neurotransmitters are released. Social media is flooded with one-sided ‘evidence,’ and it will give you your fix because it feels so good to be ‘right’! Pass it along, and you will feed your fellow addicts, who in turn feel validated and more sure about their opinions about the world around them. If this isn’t enough to confirm your biases, the social media platforms will help you out! Each time you click, you’ll get a bombardment of more of the same. It must be a sign.

Not the world, not what’s outside of us, but what we hold inside traps us. We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.

Gabor Mate
Addiction to news, the high from the neurochemical confirmation of biases

Be in your body, see through a compassionate lens, and feel ‘the truth.’

Uncertain times, worldly unrest, and inner transformation bring forth neurochemicals that cloud our thinking and perceptions. Now more than ever, we benefit from activities that increase body awareness, presence, and grounding. The thing is, truth is not outside of you but within you. Seeking external information while functioning with an activated nervous system skews your perceptual lens and pulls you further from your innate ability to discern truth based on how it feels. You can reclaim the energies of self by refusing to be dulled by the lure of instant gratification that comes from consuming divisive rhetoric.

Are you looking to quell those gnawing inner sensations or feel like you have an addiction to news consumption? Pause, breathe, feel the earth beneath your feet and give thanks for the opportunity to be alive at a time that beckons every one of us to dig a little deeper. Wake from your cerebral fixation and know that all earth’s inhabitants are your family. If you can, rest deeply, and when you rise, feel the sun upon your face and know that the reward of this drug is better than any other being sold.

Check out: Use Higher Knowledge: A Rare Credible Source for other reading. Please visit my Coaching Services page if you want more information or supportive coaching. I wish you much peace and contentment as your focus shifts towards appreciation, gratitude, and higher truths.

Estelle Bonaceto

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