Watching the news is a huge contributor to your daily stress level. So why would you want to be watching it when you are trying to heal?
Stress affects our bodies in many ways and one of the simplest explanations of how it is related to healing and health is that when we are stressed our heart rates increase, our breathing becomes shallow and our cortisol levels rise. All of these bodily reactions constrict the bodies natural ability to heal itself.
Whether we are recuperating from an illness or surgery , or sitting in a waiting room in the doctors office the last thing we should be doing is exposing ourselves to new media. NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Medicine put together a comprehensive survey that reported just how bad the news media can be on our bodies.
A healthy alternative to viewing news media would be healing music, meditation, nature videos and inspirational or educational media content. This allows for the patient to relax which contributes to more blood flow, increased oxygen to the brain and reduced cortisol.
Next time you are in a waiting room or recuperating from and illness ask your medical staff if they have an alternative to the news media that is being projected on the screen. If not encourage them to look into providing better waiting room and patient room television programming.
If you are a health provider, take notice of what kinds of media you are exposing your patients (and staff) to. Chances are you are not even aware that you are contributing to the stress level and possible poor patient experience. By playing nature videos, providing educational and inspirational reading materials, enhancing your waiting room environment with soothing music and aromatherapy you are priming your patient for a positive patient experience and a quicker road to healing.