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Doomscrolling
Breakthrough
How To Break Free From Your
Doomscrolling Habit
Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1
What Doomscrolling Really Is ................................................................................ 2
We are Programmed for Survival ..................................................................... 2
Don’t Feel Bad about being a Doomscroller..................................................... 3
It’s not easy to Break the Doomscrolling Habit but it is Possible................... 4
The Possible Impact of Doomscrolling on your Life.............................................. 5
Fight or Flight Mode........................................................................................... 5
Doomscrolling is Hard Wired in your Brain .................................................... 6
We don’t need Bad News to Survive.................................................................. 6
Doomscrolling can Intensify Irrational Fear.................................................... 7
Doomscrolling is a Time Stealer ........................................................................ 7
Doomscrolling can Negatively Impact your Mental and Physical Health ..... 8
It can become a Vicious Cycle............................................................................ 9
It is going to be Tough to Break the Doomscrolling Habit.............................. 9
Research Studies Prove the Negative Impact of Bad News........................... 10
Technology Compounds the Problem ............................................................. 11
How to Break Free from Doomscrolling......................................................... 13
Minimize your Sources of Bad News............................................................... 13
Take a Break from your Devices ..................................................................... 14
Ask yourself Questions about your Doomscrolling Habit ............................. 14
Increasing your Awareness is Critical............................................................. 15
Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 17
Essential Resources ............................................................................................... 18
1
Introduction
Do you have a doomscrolling habit? Are you constantly checking your
social media accounts for the latest bad news and doom and gloom?
Doomscrolling is a relatively new term used to describe a negative habit
that has intensified with the introduction of smartphones and social
media.
People are spending a lot of time each day reading about the latest
spread of Covid-19, the state of the economy in their country, natural
disasters, global warming, the threat of wars, murders and other crimes
and more.
There are so many things that can provide you with a negative
experience these days. Every day in the news there are reports of the
latest classroom shootings in the United States and the seemingly
uncontrollable spread of Covid-19 and its variants. If you want to put
yourself in a negative state of mind then there is plenty of information
available for you to do this.
The reporting of bad news is not a not thing of course. Before the
Internet and social media there was bad news being reported on the
television news and in newspapers (this is still going on today).
Constantly reading and listening to these bad news reports is not good
for your mental health. But it is a habit that you can break.
In this special report we will take a deep dive into doomscrolling
(sometimes called “doomsurfing”) and how it can negatively impact
your state of mind. Then we will reveal what you can do to overcome
this negative habit and replace it with empowering habits. These
empowering habits will transform your life for the better. OK, let’s get
on with it shall we? In the next section we will reveal what
doomscrolling really is.
What Doomscrolling Really Is
The best definition of doomscrolling in our opinion is “obsessively
looking for and absorbing bad news”. A person that has the
doomscrolling habit will continue to do this even though they know it
causes anxiety within them.
Doomscrolling is a habit that you have probably been strengthening for
years. You know it makes you feel bad but you cannot stop doing it.
Every day you need your fix of bad news and you will always take
action to get it.
It is believed that the term “doomscrolling” originated on the Twitter
platform. Everyone is susceptible to this destructive habit due to the way
that our brains are wired. Psychologists know that are brains will
instinctively focus on any situation that we perceive to be dangerous.
This is part of our survival instinct.
We are Programmed for Survival
You probably don’t realize this but your brain is continually scanning
everything around you to detect any potential dangers. In terms of
priority, threats to your survival are at the top of the list and your brain
sees this as more important than anything else.
Of course, this is a good thing because we all want to survive. But the
problem is that the vast majority of the time we are not in any danger but
our brains will always make us focus more on negative stories than
positive ones.
We are always looking for more answers when it comes to our safety
and security. If we cannot find the answers that we need, or there is
conflicting information, we have to find better answers and so we
continue to look for bad news.
Before long you find yourself scrolling through your social media
accounts looking for any kind of bad news. You have entered into a
negativity cycle and this is affecting your happiness. Are there people in
your life that always seem to be negative? Of course, there are – they are
everywhere and doomscrolling can be partly or totally to blame.
Our ancient ancestors were always on the lookout for bad news. They
wanted to know if predators were near which would be a major threat to
them. This information was more important to them than sources of food
or fresh water.
Don’t Feel Bad about being a Doomscroller
If you participate in doomscrolling regularly then we do not want you to
feel bad about this. Most people do it these days. All humans are curious
and crave new information. This information is very important to us if it
can keep us out of danger and boost our chances of survival.
But you need to be aware that not only can obsessive doomscrolling put
you in a negative state of mind, it is also likely to steal your precious
time. Are you finding it tough to get everything done because you are
obsessed with finding the latest bad news? Wouldn’t it be better to free
up the time you spend doomscrolling and use this for something
positive?
It’s not easy to Break the Doomscrolling Habit but it is
Possible
It is not going to be easy for you to break your doomscrolling habit but it
is certainly possible for you to do it. These days, everyone has a
smartphone and it is all too easy to quickly check what is happening on
social media and consume all of the bad news you could ever want with
different news apps and websites.
But don’t let this make you believe that it is not possible for you to break
your doomscrolling habit. You will see in this special report that there
are more positive things that you can do to replace your doomscrolling
habit. These new things will change your life for the better and will
provide you with a much more positive outlook on life.
Before we get into what you can do to replace your doomscrolling habit,
you need to know what damage doomscrolling can be doing to you right
now every day of your life. You are probably not aware of these things
happening to you.
In the next section we will discuss the possible impact of doomscrolling
on your life…
The Possible Impact of Doomscrolling on
your Life
We are going to get a little technical now explaining how your brain
works. You have a “lizard brain” which is activated when you subject
your brain to negative information. You have a structure in your brain
known as the “amygdala” which is near the base of your brain and is a
collection of cells.
This is a very important part of your brain because it triggers your
natural responses to any threats in your environment. When this is
triggered, it will force you to actively scan everything around you
looking for danger.
Fight or Flight Mode
Your brain always wants you to be on high alert if you sense any threat
to your life and we all need to be grateful for this. It also prevents us
from doing stupid things such as jumping of tall buildings or standing in
the path of a speeding vehicle.
When your brain senses danger your limbic system initiates fight or
flight mode. This means that you will either stand your ground and fight
to defend yourself, or you will run away from the situation as fast as you
can.
In fight or flight mode, your reaction times are at their sharpest. This
will help you to get yourself out of a life-threatening situation. Your
heartbeat increases significantly and it can cause you to freeze due to
fear. There is no chance of you relaxing when you are in fight or flight
mode.
Doomscrolling is Hard Wired in your Brain
Humans have always had an adaptive response to danger and always
will. As a species, we have learned to do everything possible to thrive
and survive. It is totally natural for us to continually scan our
environment for danger.
The media and the social media companies know all about this natural
instinct. There is an old saying that “bad news sells newspapers” and this
is perfectly true. By providing negative content all of the time and
making it accessible to everyone through social media, it was inevitable
that doomscrolling would take a hold on so many.
It is in the interest of social media companies that you keep scrolling
your newsfeed and share all of the bad news that you find with your
friends. They want you to look at your screen as much as possible. There
are so many opportunities for you to find bad news on social media and
when you start it is difficult to stop because there is a lot of it for you to
consume.
Doomscrolling was heightened by the coronavirus pandemic. It has been
a very stressful time for all of us and a lot of people just had to consume
all of the bad news about it. Because Covid-19 represents a threat to our
survival it was inevitable that people would always be scrolling for the
latest doom and gloom about it.
We don’t need Bad News to Survive
While our ancient ancestors literally needed bad news to survive this is
not the case in modern day life. Now you can find bad news from
everywhere across the world if you look for it. The reality is that this
news does not affect our lives very much at all.
There is nor reason for us to continually scroll for more bad news. It is
not a threat to our survival but something that people choose to do in
today’s world. Although we don’t need to consume this bad news, it still
has a negative impact on our mental and physical health when we do it.
Covid-19 was always going to trigger our amygdala because it is a real
danger. But it made a lot of people very compulsive for the bad news
that surrounds it. Living on a diet of constant bad news is going to
change your perceptions in a negative way.
Doomscrolling can Intensify Irrational Fear
Continuous doomscrolling can make you believe that the world is a far
more dangerous place than it actually is. The more that you continue
with doomscrolling the more concerned and anxious you can become.
You can be compelled to specifically look out for negative things which
will just make everything worse.
Too much doomscrolling is not healthy at all as it can make you feel
helpless and believe that you are heading for disaster. You can start to
develop new irrational fears and intensify existing ones. It can
strengthen the negative bias in your brain so that you are constantly
searching for new things that prove the world is a very bad place.
Doomscrolling is a Time Stealer
There is nothing more precious than time. You can’t buy more of it no
matter how rich you are. Another major downside of doomscrolling is
that it is highly likely to monopolize your time. A report in the New
York Times revealed that since the pandemic, Americans are spending
50% more time looking at their computer or smartphone screens.
Think of all of the good things that you could do with that wasted time.
You could get a lot more work done and spend more time with your
family and friends. These things are far more important in life than
social media.
Doomscrolling can Negatively Impact your Mental and
Physical Health
Much worse than wasting your time is the negative impact that
doomscrolling can have on your mental and physical health. Too much
doomscrolling can increase anxiety, stress and depression. These are
things that you want to avoid at all costs because they can ruin your life.
There are a number of physical health problems that can result from
doomscrolling as well. These days more and more people are suffering
from increased muscle tension, a lack of energy, headaches, sleep
difficulties, stomach issues and more.
Constantly bombarding yourself with negative information can cause
severe anxiety problems and a number of physical health issues. This
can all lead to depression due to irrational fear that you are in constant
danger when you are not. People always looking for bad news can even
become aggressive and hostile in their behavior because they believe
there is always danger.
A lot of people like to do their doomscrolling late at night and this has a
negative impact on their sleep time. When they finally do want to sleep,
they can often find this harder to do due to the doomscrolling. They feel
uncertain about their environment and this can create high levels of
stress and anxiety. This fuels the need to find more bad news.
It can become a Vicious Cycle
If you are in a negative state of mind due to the amount of
doomscrolling you have done then you are likely to be very sensitive to
more emotionally disturbing bad news. It can strengthen your irrational
fears and make you more anxious. In turn you have an even stronger
craving for more negative information.
There is so much bad news available these days that this in itself can
heighten your anxiety. You are anxious to keep up to date with
everything but this is impossible for you to do. People can literally
believe that this negative information is crucial to their survival and they
just can’t get enough of it.
They have to keep searching for answers and it results in a negative
spiral that is really difficult to get out of. This can soon turn into anxiety
and depression. If you become anxious then you feel that consuming
more information will help you to regain control. You can only stop the
vicious cycle by overriding your instinctive habits.
It is going to be Tough to Break the Doomscrolling Habit
We want to be as realistic as possible in this report. You need to know
that it is going to take a lot of self-discipline to break your
doomscrolling habit. There are no overnight fixes available but know
that you can break free from doomscrolling.
You are going to need to be determined to stop doomscrolling and you
will need good focus and energy to overcome your desire to keep doing
it. This means that you need to increase your self-awareness to stop
doomscrolling on autopilot. The best way to break the doomscrolling
habit is to replace it with an empowering habit.
You need to create a more positive daily routine that will change your
life for the better. The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the trust that
many people have in life. They feel that the pandemic has made them
lose control over their life. None of us have experienced this situation
before. It has made some people very anxious.
Research Studies Prove the Negative Impact of Bad News
There are many research studies linking regular exposure to bad news to
poor mental health. We now live in a time where you can access bad
news 24/7. Before the Internet and social media, you had to wait for the
news on TV for your daily dose of negativity.
It is so easy to consume a lot of bad news these days. This is making
people more stressed and resulting in higher numbers of depression and
anxiety. You probably never intended to be a doomscroller, the volume
of negative information available forced you to become one.
People that are obsessive doomscrollers have what psychologists call an
“intolerance of uncertainty”. This is what makes doomscrolling such a
difficult habit to break. These people have a constant need to know what
is going on in the world even though the bad news makes them more
anxious.
There was a research study conducted on the affect that positive and
negative headlines had on the participants. How would a positive or
negative headline affect the mood of those taking part in the study? The
study consisted of 30 participants that were divided into three different
groups.
The first group was subjected to mainly positive news, the second were
presented with a mixture of good and bad news, and the last group was
subjected to mainly bad news. They checked the mood of each
participant before the study began and afterwards. Nobody was shocked
by the outcome of the study.
Everyone in the third group that had constantly seen bad news were in a
heightened fearful state and were more anxious than the participants in
the other two groups. It was found that the participants in the bad news
group tended to worry a lot more about the private worries they all had.
This means that if you are constantly doomscrolling and consuming bad
news you are highly likely to become anxious about more than what you
are reading. You will probably start to focus on the things that stress you
out in your life that you feel you cannot control.
Technology Compounds the Problem
Modern technology is a wonderful thing but it compounds the problem
of doomscrolling. Nowadays, people can search for information on any
subject and consume all of the bad news that they want using social
media. People carry their smartphones around with them wherever they
go, so bad news is always available to them.
To compound the problem even further, search engines and social media
platforms have complex algorithms that learn about what you are
interested in and serve up more of the same for you. They want you to
be engaged on their platforms as much as possible so they keep
providing you with the content that you want.
The result of this is that you will be constantly served up with negative
content even if you didn’t intend for this to happen. It becomes much
harder to get away from this content because you are confronted with it
every day.
You are going to have to battle with search engines and your social
media accounts to break your doomscrolling habit. It is going to take
determination on your part to regain control over the information that
you consume online. Changing what you search for and what you read
on social media will help a lot.
Your preferences detected by the algorithms of search engines and social
media are going to take a while to change so you need to be aware of
this. Once you have committed to breaking your doomscrolling habit
you are still going to find negative content being served up to you on
these platforms for a while.
The effort and determination required to stop doomscrolling will
certainly be worth it though. In time, you will feel a lot more positive
about your life and your anxiety and stress levels will fall. There is no
better decision for you to make than to break free of doomscrolling.
In the next section we will discuss how you can break free from
doomscrolling…
How to Break Free from Doomscrolling
Breaking free from doomscrolling is going to require that you establish a
new daily routine. You need to change direction in your life so that you
reduce the amount of bad news that you consume. This will require that
you are focused in your endeavors and that you apply consistent effort to
regain control of your life.
The benefits of breaking your doomscrolling habit are numerous. Once
you begin to replace your habit of searching for bad news all of the time
with new empowering routines you will feel so much more positive
about your life. You will also reduce your stress levels and anxiety and
begin to feel in control once more.
Minimize your Sources of Bad News
There are many places that you can find bad news, and if you are
regularly using many different sources then you can make a great start to
stopping your doomscrolling by minimizing the sites that you visit. This
in turn will reduce the amount of bad news that you consume each day.
Let’s assume that you are currently visiting 8 websites with your
doomscrolling. It is likely that you will be seeing the same bad news
over and over again which will just fuel your habit. When you reduce
the number of sites that you visit you will gradually lesson the anxiety
triggers from seeing the same news over and over again.
Another action that you need to take is to closely monitor the emotional
impact that reading bad news has on you. If a source of bad news fuels
your anxiety causing you constant problems, then you need to cut that
source off right away. It is a good idea to find sites that have good news
to replace the bad sources.
Take a Break from your Devices
Decide to take a break from your computer and smartphone. This is
fairly easy to do if you do something else in your life to fill the void. Let
people on your social media accounts that you will no longer be
responding to every notification instantly.
It is easy to turn off your computer or to put your smartphone in a place
that is difficult to access. If you are concerned about missing calls and
text messages then get a cheap mobile phone that does not have the
functionality to surf the web or use apps. Taking short breaks from your
devices will help to calm any irrational fears.
Start by taking short breaks and then gradually building on this. There is
more to life than social media and the Internet. While you are taking
your breaks you will be able to clear your head and think about what you
are doing.
Ask yourself Questions about your Doomscrolling Habit
Asking yourself the right questions can really help you to make progress
with breaking free from your doomscrolling habit. Here are some
questions that will make you think more carefully about what you are
doing:
• Is the information I am consuming useful or is it just fueling my
doomscrolling?
• How do I feel when I read the bad news?
• Is my doomscrolling preventing me from doing other things that
make me happy?
• Does my doomscrolling make me angrier and more aggressive?
• Am I verifying that the bad news I am reading is really true before
letting it affect me?
• Am I sharing negative information with others without validating
it?
It is essential that you answer all of these questions honestly. You will
not make any significant progress with breaking your doomscrolling
habit if you lie to yourself.
An important point that we want to make is that breaking your
doomscrolling habit does not mean that you should never keep abreast of
important things that are happening in the world. What we are
recommending that you do is to challenge the information to check that
it is useful and relevant to you.
When you challenge what you are consuming in this way you can avoid
many of the negative emotions that will hold you back in life. For
example, if your doomscrolling makes you fearful and angry then you
are going to have a hard time understanding your world and those
around you.
Increasing your Awareness is Critical
In an earlier section we told you that the way our brains are hard wired
makes it natural for us to want to doomscroll. Don’t beat yourself up
about this or you will never beat the habit. Be committed to increase
your awareness of what information you are consuming instead.
Remind yourself that the world has changed significantly from the days
of our ancient ancestors. The way that bad news worked well for them to
survive is not required in modern life. It is extremely unlikely that there
will be a pack of lions in your neighborhood looking to attack you.
Improving your self-awareness will help to put all of this into
perspective. The vast majority of the negative information that you
consumed by doomscrolling is neither useful or relevant to you. It was
just instinctive for you to look for it and using self-awareness will help
you fight this instinct.
It is a good idea to protect your time and your mental space. You do this
by being aware of the amount of information you consume every day
and assigning categories to everything. So you could categorize the
information you consume as follows:
• I need to know this
• I want to know this
• I don’t need to know this
After a short time of doing this, you will be able to see how much
information you consume is a symptom of your doomscrolling habit.
You can then take action to eliminate the kind of information that is
irrelevant for your life.
Another way to develop your self-awareness is make an assessment of
your feelings as you are consuming information. If you are feeling
stressed or anxious in any way then stop consuming that information.
Not everything that you are going to see online, and in particular on
social media sites, is going to be accurate. Even major news websites get
it wrong sometimes. You will definitely benefit from ensuring as much
as you can that the information you are consuming is accurate.
The information that you consume needs to be based on fact and not just
on someone’s opinion. Opinions are often wrong and you cannot trust
them. Do not react to any information that you consume until you have
done your best to verify the accuracy of it.
Conclusion
You now know what causes doomscrolling and the negative impact that
it can have on your life. It is time for you take action and break free from
your doomscrolling habit. This report is not a miracle cure for
doomscrolling (this does not exist).
The good news is that you can definitely break free from doomscrolling
but you need to be determined and apply consistent effort. Remember
that doomscrolling is just a habit and replacing this with not
doomscrolling is a habit as well. It is going to take time and persistence
to replace your doomscrolling habit but you can do it.
Self-awareness is the key to breaking free from doomscrolling. You
need to work on your self-awareness so that you are completely
conscious of the content that you are consuming each day. Be
accountable to yourself and become diligent about what you consume.
This will take self-discipline as it is very easy just to scroll through sites
to consume negative content that is harmful to you. Keep the bigger
picture in mind here. When you are tempted to return to doomscrolling
(which is very likely to happen in the beginning) remind yourself that
the consumption of negative content will elevate your stress levels and
make you anxious.
Also tell yourself that doomscrolling is lowering the quality of your life.
There are many better positive things that you could be doing instead of
doomscrolling such as spending time with your family and your friends.
If you have opted in for news alerts then opt out of them. Develop a
serious intent about what content you are going to consume. Intention
will force you to use other areas of your brain which are not used with
mindless doomscrolling.
We wish you every success breaking free from doomscrolling.
Essential Resources
What is doomscrolling and how to stop it
https://www.health.com/mind-body/what-is-doomscrolling
Why doomscrolling is bad for your mental health
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/i-hear-you/202011/here-s-
why-doomscrolling-is-so-bad-your-mental-health
3 apps to help you stop doomscrolling
https://techunwrapped.com/3-apps-to-stop-doomscrolling-2021/
6 tips to stop doomscrolling
https://happiful.com/tips-to-stop-doomscrolling/

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Doomscrolling Breakthrough

  • 1.
  • 2. Doomscrolling Breakthrough How To Break Free From Your Doomscrolling Habit
  • 3. Table of Contents Introduction ............................................................................................................. 1 What Doomscrolling Really Is ................................................................................ 2 We are Programmed for Survival ..................................................................... 2 Don’t Feel Bad about being a Doomscroller..................................................... 3 It’s not easy to Break the Doomscrolling Habit but it is Possible................... 4 The Possible Impact of Doomscrolling on your Life.............................................. 5 Fight or Flight Mode........................................................................................... 5 Doomscrolling is Hard Wired in your Brain .................................................... 6 We don’t need Bad News to Survive.................................................................. 6 Doomscrolling can Intensify Irrational Fear.................................................... 7 Doomscrolling is a Time Stealer ........................................................................ 7 Doomscrolling can Negatively Impact your Mental and Physical Health ..... 8 It can become a Vicious Cycle............................................................................ 9 It is going to be Tough to Break the Doomscrolling Habit.............................. 9 Research Studies Prove the Negative Impact of Bad News........................... 10 Technology Compounds the Problem ............................................................. 11 How to Break Free from Doomscrolling......................................................... 13 Minimize your Sources of Bad News............................................................... 13 Take a Break from your Devices ..................................................................... 14 Ask yourself Questions about your Doomscrolling Habit ............................. 14 Increasing your Awareness is Critical............................................................. 15 Conclusion ............................................................................................................. 17 Essential Resources ............................................................................................... 18
  • 4. 1 Introduction Do you have a doomscrolling habit? Are you constantly checking your social media accounts for the latest bad news and doom and gloom? Doomscrolling is a relatively new term used to describe a negative habit that has intensified with the introduction of smartphones and social media. People are spending a lot of time each day reading about the latest spread of Covid-19, the state of the economy in their country, natural disasters, global warming, the threat of wars, murders and other crimes and more. There are so many things that can provide you with a negative experience these days. Every day in the news there are reports of the latest classroom shootings in the United States and the seemingly uncontrollable spread of Covid-19 and its variants. If you want to put yourself in a negative state of mind then there is plenty of information available for you to do this. The reporting of bad news is not a not thing of course. Before the Internet and social media there was bad news being reported on the television news and in newspapers (this is still going on today). Constantly reading and listening to these bad news reports is not good for your mental health. But it is a habit that you can break. In this special report we will take a deep dive into doomscrolling (sometimes called “doomsurfing”) and how it can negatively impact your state of mind. Then we will reveal what you can do to overcome this negative habit and replace it with empowering habits. These empowering habits will transform your life for the better. OK, let’s get
  • 5. on with it shall we? In the next section we will reveal what doomscrolling really is. What Doomscrolling Really Is The best definition of doomscrolling in our opinion is “obsessively looking for and absorbing bad news”. A person that has the doomscrolling habit will continue to do this even though they know it causes anxiety within them. Doomscrolling is a habit that you have probably been strengthening for years. You know it makes you feel bad but you cannot stop doing it. Every day you need your fix of bad news and you will always take action to get it. It is believed that the term “doomscrolling” originated on the Twitter platform. Everyone is susceptible to this destructive habit due to the way that our brains are wired. Psychologists know that are brains will instinctively focus on any situation that we perceive to be dangerous. This is part of our survival instinct. We are Programmed for Survival You probably don’t realize this but your brain is continually scanning everything around you to detect any potential dangers. In terms of priority, threats to your survival are at the top of the list and your brain sees this as more important than anything else. Of course, this is a good thing because we all want to survive. But the problem is that the vast majority of the time we are not in any danger but
  • 6. our brains will always make us focus more on negative stories than positive ones. We are always looking for more answers when it comes to our safety and security. If we cannot find the answers that we need, or there is conflicting information, we have to find better answers and so we continue to look for bad news. Before long you find yourself scrolling through your social media accounts looking for any kind of bad news. You have entered into a negativity cycle and this is affecting your happiness. Are there people in your life that always seem to be negative? Of course, there are – they are everywhere and doomscrolling can be partly or totally to blame. Our ancient ancestors were always on the lookout for bad news. They wanted to know if predators were near which would be a major threat to them. This information was more important to them than sources of food or fresh water. Don’t Feel Bad about being a Doomscroller If you participate in doomscrolling regularly then we do not want you to feel bad about this. Most people do it these days. All humans are curious and crave new information. This information is very important to us if it can keep us out of danger and boost our chances of survival. But you need to be aware that not only can obsessive doomscrolling put you in a negative state of mind, it is also likely to steal your precious time. Are you finding it tough to get everything done because you are obsessed with finding the latest bad news? Wouldn’t it be better to free up the time you spend doomscrolling and use this for something positive?
  • 7. It’s not easy to Break the Doomscrolling Habit but it is Possible It is not going to be easy for you to break your doomscrolling habit but it is certainly possible for you to do it. These days, everyone has a smartphone and it is all too easy to quickly check what is happening on social media and consume all of the bad news you could ever want with different news apps and websites. But don’t let this make you believe that it is not possible for you to break your doomscrolling habit. You will see in this special report that there are more positive things that you can do to replace your doomscrolling habit. These new things will change your life for the better and will provide you with a much more positive outlook on life. Before we get into what you can do to replace your doomscrolling habit, you need to know what damage doomscrolling can be doing to you right now every day of your life. You are probably not aware of these things happening to you. In the next section we will discuss the possible impact of doomscrolling on your life…
  • 8. The Possible Impact of Doomscrolling on your Life We are going to get a little technical now explaining how your brain works. You have a “lizard brain” which is activated when you subject your brain to negative information. You have a structure in your brain known as the “amygdala” which is near the base of your brain and is a collection of cells. This is a very important part of your brain because it triggers your natural responses to any threats in your environment. When this is triggered, it will force you to actively scan everything around you looking for danger. Fight or Flight Mode Your brain always wants you to be on high alert if you sense any threat to your life and we all need to be grateful for this. It also prevents us from doing stupid things such as jumping of tall buildings or standing in the path of a speeding vehicle. When your brain senses danger your limbic system initiates fight or flight mode. This means that you will either stand your ground and fight to defend yourself, or you will run away from the situation as fast as you can. In fight or flight mode, your reaction times are at their sharpest. This will help you to get yourself out of a life-threatening situation. Your heartbeat increases significantly and it can cause you to freeze due to fear. There is no chance of you relaxing when you are in fight or flight mode.
  • 9. Doomscrolling is Hard Wired in your Brain Humans have always had an adaptive response to danger and always will. As a species, we have learned to do everything possible to thrive and survive. It is totally natural for us to continually scan our environment for danger. The media and the social media companies know all about this natural instinct. There is an old saying that “bad news sells newspapers” and this is perfectly true. By providing negative content all of the time and making it accessible to everyone through social media, it was inevitable that doomscrolling would take a hold on so many. It is in the interest of social media companies that you keep scrolling your newsfeed and share all of the bad news that you find with your friends. They want you to look at your screen as much as possible. There are so many opportunities for you to find bad news on social media and when you start it is difficult to stop because there is a lot of it for you to consume. Doomscrolling was heightened by the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a very stressful time for all of us and a lot of people just had to consume all of the bad news about it. Because Covid-19 represents a threat to our survival it was inevitable that people would always be scrolling for the latest doom and gloom about it. We don’t need Bad News to Survive While our ancient ancestors literally needed bad news to survive this is not the case in modern day life. Now you can find bad news from everywhere across the world if you look for it. The reality is that this news does not affect our lives very much at all.
  • 10. There is nor reason for us to continually scroll for more bad news. It is not a threat to our survival but something that people choose to do in today’s world. Although we don’t need to consume this bad news, it still has a negative impact on our mental and physical health when we do it. Covid-19 was always going to trigger our amygdala because it is a real danger. But it made a lot of people very compulsive for the bad news that surrounds it. Living on a diet of constant bad news is going to change your perceptions in a negative way. Doomscrolling can Intensify Irrational Fear Continuous doomscrolling can make you believe that the world is a far more dangerous place than it actually is. The more that you continue with doomscrolling the more concerned and anxious you can become. You can be compelled to specifically look out for negative things which will just make everything worse. Too much doomscrolling is not healthy at all as it can make you feel helpless and believe that you are heading for disaster. You can start to develop new irrational fears and intensify existing ones. It can strengthen the negative bias in your brain so that you are constantly searching for new things that prove the world is a very bad place. Doomscrolling is a Time Stealer There is nothing more precious than time. You can’t buy more of it no matter how rich you are. Another major downside of doomscrolling is that it is highly likely to monopolize your time. A report in the New
  • 11. York Times revealed that since the pandemic, Americans are spending 50% more time looking at their computer or smartphone screens. Think of all of the good things that you could do with that wasted time. You could get a lot more work done and spend more time with your family and friends. These things are far more important in life than social media. Doomscrolling can Negatively Impact your Mental and Physical Health Much worse than wasting your time is the negative impact that doomscrolling can have on your mental and physical health. Too much doomscrolling can increase anxiety, stress and depression. These are things that you want to avoid at all costs because they can ruin your life. There are a number of physical health problems that can result from doomscrolling as well. These days more and more people are suffering from increased muscle tension, a lack of energy, headaches, sleep difficulties, stomach issues and more. Constantly bombarding yourself with negative information can cause severe anxiety problems and a number of physical health issues. This can all lead to depression due to irrational fear that you are in constant danger when you are not. People always looking for bad news can even become aggressive and hostile in their behavior because they believe there is always danger. A lot of people like to do their doomscrolling late at night and this has a negative impact on their sleep time. When they finally do want to sleep, they can often find this harder to do due to the doomscrolling. They feel uncertain about their environment and this can create high levels of stress and anxiety. This fuels the need to find more bad news.
  • 12. It can become a Vicious Cycle If you are in a negative state of mind due to the amount of doomscrolling you have done then you are likely to be very sensitive to more emotionally disturbing bad news. It can strengthen your irrational fears and make you more anxious. In turn you have an even stronger craving for more negative information. There is so much bad news available these days that this in itself can heighten your anxiety. You are anxious to keep up to date with everything but this is impossible for you to do. People can literally believe that this negative information is crucial to their survival and they just can’t get enough of it. They have to keep searching for answers and it results in a negative spiral that is really difficult to get out of. This can soon turn into anxiety and depression. If you become anxious then you feel that consuming more information will help you to regain control. You can only stop the vicious cycle by overriding your instinctive habits. It is going to be Tough to Break the Doomscrolling Habit We want to be as realistic as possible in this report. You need to know that it is going to take a lot of self-discipline to break your doomscrolling habit. There are no overnight fixes available but know that you can break free from doomscrolling. You are going to need to be determined to stop doomscrolling and you will need good focus and energy to overcome your desire to keep doing it. This means that you need to increase your self-awareness to stop doomscrolling on autopilot. The best way to break the doomscrolling habit is to replace it with an empowering habit.
  • 13. You need to create a more positive daily routine that will change your life for the better. The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the trust that many people have in life. They feel that the pandemic has made them lose control over their life. None of us have experienced this situation before. It has made some people very anxious. Research Studies Prove the Negative Impact of Bad News There are many research studies linking regular exposure to bad news to poor mental health. We now live in a time where you can access bad news 24/7. Before the Internet and social media, you had to wait for the news on TV for your daily dose of negativity. It is so easy to consume a lot of bad news these days. This is making people more stressed and resulting in higher numbers of depression and anxiety. You probably never intended to be a doomscroller, the volume of negative information available forced you to become one. People that are obsessive doomscrollers have what psychologists call an “intolerance of uncertainty”. This is what makes doomscrolling such a difficult habit to break. These people have a constant need to know what is going on in the world even though the bad news makes them more anxious. There was a research study conducted on the affect that positive and negative headlines had on the participants. How would a positive or negative headline affect the mood of those taking part in the study? The study consisted of 30 participants that were divided into three different groups. The first group was subjected to mainly positive news, the second were presented with a mixture of good and bad news, and the last group was subjected to mainly bad news. They checked the mood of each
  • 14. participant before the study began and afterwards. Nobody was shocked by the outcome of the study. Everyone in the third group that had constantly seen bad news were in a heightened fearful state and were more anxious than the participants in the other two groups. It was found that the participants in the bad news group tended to worry a lot more about the private worries they all had. This means that if you are constantly doomscrolling and consuming bad news you are highly likely to become anxious about more than what you are reading. You will probably start to focus on the things that stress you out in your life that you feel you cannot control. Technology Compounds the Problem Modern technology is a wonderful thing but it compounds the problem of doomscrolling. Nowadays, people can search for information on any subject and consume all of the bad news that they want using social media. People carry their smartphones around with them wherever they go, so bad news is always available to them. To compound the problem even further, search engines and social media platforms have complex algorithms that learn about what you are interested in and serve up more of the same for you. They want you to be engaged on their platforms as much as possible so they keep providing you with the content that you want. The result of this is that you will be constantly served up with negative content even if you didn’t intend for this to happen. It becomes much harder to get away from this content because you are confronted with it every day.
  • 15. You are going to have to battle with search engines and your social media accounts to break your doomscrolling habit. It is going to take determination on your part to regain control over the information that you consume online. Changing what you search for and what you read on social media will help a lot. Your preferences detected by the algorithms of search engines and social media are going to take a while to change so you need to be aware of this. Once you have committed to breaking your doomscrolling habit you are still going to find negative content being served up to you on these platforms for a while. The effort and determination required to stop doomscrolling will certainly be worth it though. In time, you will feel a lot more positive about your life and your anxiety and stress levels will fall. There is no better decision for you to make than to break free of doomscrolling. In the next section we will discuss how you can break free from doomscrolling…
  • 16. How to Break Free from Doomscrolling Breaking free from doomscrolling is going to require that you establish a new daily routine. You need to change direction in your life so that you reduce the amount of bad news that you consume. This will require that you are focused in your endeavors and that you apply consistent effort to regain control of your life. The benefits of breaking your doomscrolling habit are numerous. Once you begin to replace your habit of searching for bad news all of the time with new empowering routines you will feel so much more positive about your life. You will also reduce your stress levels and anxiety and begin to feel in control once more. Minimize your Sources of Bad News There are many places that you can find bad news, and if you are regularly using many different sources then you can make a great start to stopping your doomscrolling by minimizing the sites that you visit. This in turn will reduce the amount of bad news that you consume each day. Let’s assume that you are currently visiting 8 websites with your doomscrolling. It is likely that you will be seeing the same bad news over and over again which will just fuel your habit. When you reduce the number of sites that you visit you will gradually lesson the anxiety triggers from seeing the same news over and over again. Another action that you need to take is to closely monitor the emotional impact that reading bad news has on you. If a source of bad news fuels your anxiety causing you constant problems, then you need to cut that source off right away. It is a good idea to find sites that have good news to replace the bad sources.
  • 17. Take a Break from your Devices Decide to take a break from your computer and smartphone. This is fairly easy to do if you do something else in your life to fill the void. Let people on your social media accounts that you will no longer be responding to every notification instantly. It is easy to turn off your computer or to put your smartphone in a place that is difficult to access. If you are concerned about missing calls and text messages then get a cheap mobile phone that does not have the functionality to surf the web or use apps. Taking short breaks from your devices will help to calm any irrational fears. Start by taking short breaks and then gradually building on this. There is more to life than social media and the Internet. While you are taking your breaks you will be able to clear your head and think about what you are doing. Ask yourself Questions about your Doomscrolling Habit Asking yourself the right questions can really help you to make progress with breaking free from your doomscrolling habit. Here are some questions that will make you think more carefully about what you are doing: • Is the information I am consuming useful or is it just fueling my doomscrolling? • How do I feel when I read the bad news? • Is my doomscrolling preventing me from doing other things that make me happy? • Does my doomscrolling make me angrier and more aggressive?
  • 18. • Am I verifying that the bad news I am reading is really true before letting it affect me? • Am I sharing negative information with others without validating it? It is essential that you answer all of these questions honestly. You will not make any significant progress with breaking your doomscrolling habit if you lie to yourself. An important point that we want to make is that breaking your doomscrolling habit does not mean that you should never keep abreast of important things that are happening in the world. What we are recommending that you do is to challenge the information to check that it is useful and relevant to you. When you challenge what you are consuming in this way you can avoid many of the negative emotions that will hold you back in life. For example, if your doomscrolling makes you fearful and angry then you are going to have a hard time understanding your world and those around you. Increasing your Awareness is Critical In an earlier section we told you that the way our brains are hard wired makes it natural for us to want to doomscroll. Don’t beat yourself up about this or you will never beat the habit. Be committed to increase your awareness of what information you are consuming instead. Remind yourself that the world has changed significantly from the days of our ancient ancestors. The way that bad news worked well for them to survive is not required in modern life. It is extremely unlikely that there will be a pack of lions in your neighborhood looking to attack you.
  • 19. Improving your self-awareness will help to put all of this into perspective. The vast majority of the negative information that you consumed by doomscrolling is neither useful or relevant to you. It was just instinctive for you to look for it and using self-awareness will help you fight this instinct. It is a good idea to protect your time and your mental space. You do this by being aware of the amount of information you consume every day and assigning categories to everything. So you could categorize the information you consume as follows: • I need to know this • I want to know this • I don’t need to know this After a short time of doing this, you will be able to see how much information you consume is a symptom of your doomscrolling habit. You can then take action to eliminate the kind of information that is irrelevant for your life. Another way to develop your self-awareness is make an assessment of your feelings as you are consuming information. If you are feeling stressed or anxious in any way then stop consuming that information. Not everything that you are going to see online, and in particular on social media sites, is going to be accurate. Even major news websites get it wrong sometimes. You will definitely benefit from ensuring as much as you can that the information you are consuming is accurate. The information that you consume needs to be based on fact and not just on someone’s opinion. Opinions are often wrong and you cannot trust them. Do not react to any information that you consume until you have done your best to verify the accuracy of it.
  • 20. Conclusion You now know what causes doomscrolling and the negative impact that it can have on your life. It is time for you take action and break free from your doomscrolling habit. This report is not a miracle cure for doomscrolling (this does not exist). The good news is that you can definitely break free from doomscrolling but you need to be determined and apply consistent effort. Remember that doomscrolling is just a habit and replacing this with not doomscrolling is a habit as well. It is going to take time and persistence to replace your doomscrolling habit but you can do it. Self-awareness is the key to breaking free from doomscrolling. You need to work on your self-awareness so that you are completely conscious of the content that you are consuming each day. Be accountable to yourself and become diligent about what you consume. This will take self-discipline as it is very easy just to scroll through sites to consume negative content that is harmful to you. Keep the bigger picture in mind here. When you are tempted to return to doomscrolling (which is very likely to happen in the beginning) remind yourself that the consumption of negative content will elevate your stress levels and make you anxious. Also tell yourself that doomscrolling is lowering the quality of your life. There are many better positive things that you could be doing instead of doomscrolling such as spending time with your family and your friends. If you have opted in for news alerts then opt out of them. Develop a serious intent about what content you are going to consume. Intention will force you to use other areas of your brain which are not used with mindless doomscrolling. We wish you every success breaking free from doomscrolling.
  • 21. Essential Resources What is doomscrolling and how to stop it https://www.health.com/mind-body/what-is-doomscrolling Why doomscrolling is bad for your mental health https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/i-hear-you/202011/here-s- why-doomscrolling-is-so-bad-your-mental-health 3 apps to help you stop doomscrolling https://techunwrapped.com/3-apps-to-stop-doomscrolling-2021/ 6 tips to stop doomscrolling https://happiful.com/tips-to-stop-doomscrolling/