Research insights penned by Professor Barbara Sahakian (Fellow of Clare Hall); Dr Christelle Langley (Affiliated Postdoc); Professor Jianfeng Feng (Associate) and Dr Chun Shen (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Fudan University) offer guidance on the negative effects doomscrolling can have on our cognition and mood.
Published in The Conversation, their new article highlights the ways in which doomscrolling (spending an excessive amount of screen-time reading negative news) promotes feelings of depression and anxiety. Mood induction and excessive empathy can lead us to ruminate on negative thoughts, amplifying them and potentially leading to reduced attention and memory or reasoning problems.
The research team advises the following to help alleviate the effects of doomscrolling:
- Do something you enjoy, which is relaxing and helps to reduce stress, such as reading for leisure, watching a light-hearted film, visiting friends and family
- Mindfulness practice
- Learn something new, such as a language or musical instrument
- Be kind and take action – join or support a charity involved in helping Ukranian civilians
- Work with a clinical psychologist; cognitive behavioural therapy can help reduce doomscrolling behaviour and its effects