Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Feels Overwhelmed by the News

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am saddened by how much hate there is in the world. I feel like I can’t turn on the TV or even look at my smartphone without receiving some horrible piece of information. I tried cutting off all communication for a while so that I wouldn’t get any news, but then I got nervous that I might be in danger. It’s making me feel nuts.

How can I manage in today's world without being worried all the time? For that matter, how can anybody be calm when it seems like there could be danger lurking around every corner? From terrorism to anti-Semitism to random shootings in public places -- it’s all too much. -- Paralyzed by Fear, Detroit

DEAR PARALYZED BY FEAR: You need to strike a balance regarding how much and what information you expose yourself to. You don’t have to go completely off the grid, but it is wise to limit how much news you consume on a daily basis.

Similarly, think of what you can add to your information intake that will be nurturing. You can listen to soothing music, take a walk in the park or meditate. Find ways to calm yourself so that you can see your way to the positive.

This does not negate the fact that horrible things are happening in our world, but you cannot allow yourself to be consumed by them. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Engage your neighbors. Choose to surround yourself with joyful people and experiences. This will not end bad things happening in our world, but your attitude should help you to avoid succumbing to fear.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Read more in: Mental Health | Miscellaneous | Death