News of war can impact your mental health — here’s how to cope

Even short exposure to bad news can increase worry and anxiety.
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Nilufar Ahmed, University of Bristol

The war in Ukraine has left many across the world feeling stressed and anxious. Coming on the back of a global pandemic which has already had a devastating toll on mental health, news of the war has only compounded feelings of fear and uncertainty which are known to increase anxiety.

People far from the conflict may be wondering why their mental health is suffering as a result of the news and images they’re seeing. Part of this can be explained by the fact that our brains are designed to scan for threats to protect us from potential danger. This can lead to an almost unstoppable, constant scouring of the news to help us prepare for the worst – a phenomenon many might know better as “doomscrolling”.

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