Newly-published research confirms too much news is bad for our health. While there aren’t any FDA-approved treatments for “news addiction,” time spent in nature could help strike a balance between being an informed citizen and existential dread.

Current events in the last handful of years have been… a lot. We don’t even need to take a deep dive into the latest catastrophe to start spiraling with existential dread and anxiety—just skimming headlines and hearing things word-of-mouth can do the trick.

Last month, a study in Health Communications confirmed what a lot of us probably suspected: Consuming too much news is bad for our mental and physical wellbeing. 

By “consuming too much news,” we don’t mean reading the paper or scrolling through a news app with our morning coffee. We’re talking about compulsively checking the news and being unable to think about anything else, to the point that it’s interfering with other aspects of your life. The study focused on the one out of six respondents whose news habits had reached this degree of severity, but anyone who has gone on a news binge in the last few years knows that the news takes a toll long before it reaches the point of an addiction.  

News addictions are different from many other forms of addiction when it comes to treatment, where the goal is often complete abstinence. There are real and important benefits for staying up-to-date on current events—the question is how to get the positives without suffering the side effects.