Shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer, I made a conscious decision to stop watching the news. Why? Because most of what is shown on the daily news is negative information. I need positive reinforcement during this time.
Several years ago during a period of personal development, I went 60 days without watching the news or reading the newspaper. During that period of time, my outlook on life and attitude changed dramatically. I had a can-do spirit. I was genuinely happy. I saw the glass half full. I saw the genuine good in people. Friends and colleagues commented on how nice and friendly I was. I even smiled more often. They felt I was much more approachable. Now don’t get me wrong, I have always been a very nice and approachable person, but obviously not everyone felt that way. I never would’ve thought just doing one small thing like that would make such a big difference in my life.
What we don’t realize, it that most news stories these days are designed to evoke strong emotions. Graphic accounts of killings, bombings, bad weather casualties, robberies, and government officials bickering keep people watching. Unfortunately, some of the emotions that result from taking in this negative information are dispair, distrust, depression and even anger for the viewer.
Feel-good stories just don’t appeal to us like bad news does. Society views it now as entertainment. But what we don’t realize is that taking in so much of this negative information desensitizes us, scares us and creates an outlook of doom and gloom and encourages us to be fearful of our fellow man.
Not all news is bad, but right now, I cant afford to spend 25 minutes watching negative news for the 5 minutes or less of positive news I might hear. Some people are able take this information and cause positive social change. But the average person just takes in the information and the feelings created sit in their subconscious mind causing them to do and act in ways they don’t even realize.
Negative news sells. This equals increased advertising. Which means more money for the networks. It’s not going to change. So I have to change.
I will admit it’s hard to completely disconnect from what is going on in the world. In the era of 24-hour news, access to news is just way too easy. My husband is a news junkie so often times I have to sit in a separate room in order to avoid watching the news with him. With the huge presence of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter it’s hard not to see the headlines come across my screen. I make a conscious decision not to open those news stories and read further. I turn the radio off after the traffic and listen to playlists or podcasts on my phone so I don’t hear the news. The use the weather channel or phone apps to get the weather report instead of the local news.
This next year is going to have its ups and downs and I need to be emotionally ready. This worked for me in the past, so I’m going to do it again. Am I going overboard? What do you think?
– I learned to always see the glass half full.